Mindfulness and Trauma; the way out is through
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Mindfulness and Trauma; the way out is through

Trauma and traumatic episodes can intervene in our life at many points and in many different ways, often without us seeing the impact as traumatic. This experiential workshop explores how we might integrate mindfulness in our approaches to trauma.

“no mind without mindfulness”
– Bessel van der Kolk

“we are all traumatised by life, by its unpredictability,
its lack of regard for your feelings
and the losses it brings”

– Mark Epstein

I define trauma as any event that is too intense,
too painful-emotionally or physically-or
too confusing to be fully received”

– Judith Blackstone

Within our psychotherapeutic practice trauma used to be regarded as the client domain of PTSD-scarred veterans, victims of road traffic accidents, domestic violence or rape.  Over the past few years there has been a growing recognition that trauma and traumatic episodes can intervene in our life at many more points and in many different ways, often without us seeing the impact as traumatic; we live on, carrying the cognitive, emotional and somatic shift inside and adapting our lives (or trying to adapt the world) to it.

Mindfulness used to be seen as a set of practices that were specific to meditation, to monks or high lamas-or at least to those who wished to aspire to some kind of enlightenment project. In the last 10 years or more mindfulness has grown (dare we say grown up?) with UK universities now specialising in masters and doctorate programmes in Studies in Mindfulness. There is a growing body of solid research that supports the efficacy of mindfulness in multiple contexts. But mindfulness as a practice is not mindfulness alone; like a bird with two wings its flight is best accompanied with compassion, notably self-compassion.

This experiential workshop explores via research, text, video, discussion and by practice how we might integrate “east and west” or growing up and waking up approaches to trauma. We will be referencing the following, all of whom have worked in the context of mindfulness, compassion and/or trauma: Paul Gilbert, Mark Epstein, Judith Blackstone, Reginald Ray, Bessel van der Kolk, Choden and Heather Regan-Addis, Ken Wilber, Brown and Gerbarg and Deborah Lee.

We will explore

  • What is trauma?
  • The trauma of everyday life: my splits, me and my shadow
  • The pain body and the power of presence: Eckhart Tolle’s work
  • What is mindfulness?
  • What is compassion and why are we not more compassionate?
  • The compassionate mess
  • Growing up and waking up: the content of our thoughts and the nature of our thoughts
  • Trauma and awakening
  • What is the window of tolerance?
  • How do I traumatise thee? Let me count the ways.
  • The impact of trauma: the emotional regulation system or why zebras don’t get ulcers
  • Mr Duffy
  • Fight, flight, freeze, submit -and the mighty thaw
  • The impact of shame
  • Welcome to my nightmare; trauma memory
  • How can mindfulness help?
  • How can mindfulness hurt?
  • Why compassion? Why does being nice matter?
  • Do I need, or need to be, a trauma specialist?
  • How the body keeps the score: Bessel van der Kolk’s and Reginald Ray’s work
  • Somatics: trauma and the unbound body: the work of Judith Blackstone
  • Embraceable me: the touching work of Risa Kaparo and Peter A Levine
  • Secret number one: attention into the body
  • Secret number two: titration
  • Secret number three: pendulation, or between the lost and found
  • No cure for being human
  • Mindfulness and compassion are not enough. Or are they?
  • Practices
    • Settling, grounding and resting with breath support
    • Mindfulness of breath
    • Mindful inquiry
    • Bodyscan
    • Self-compassion break
    • Coherent breathing
    • Coming to your senses
    • Working with the inner critic
    • Mindful walking
    • The embrace

New Training Venue:

Holiday Inn Newcastle – Jesmond
Jesmond Road
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE2 1 PR

Please click here for a link to the Directions page on the hotel website.

Covid-19 – The training will take place in a large room with a minimum of at least 1 metre distance between delegates.    The Holiday Inn Jesmond has implemented a number of measures to safeguard the wellbeing of guests and colleagues including deep cleaning with hospital-grade disinfectants, and enhanced procedures, which may include: face covering requirements, various ways to reduce contact throughout the hotel, social distancing measures within public spaces and procedures based on local authorities’ guidance and/or advice.

Click here to view our Training Booking Terms and Conditions.

If you have any special requirements, or if you need to advise us of anything before booking or attending the training, then please contact us.


Holiday Inn – Jesmond
Holiday Inn - Jesmond, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE2 1PR United Kingdom
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