Saturday, February 28, 2015 | 3:35 pm-5:00 pm
Over the past decade, there has been a significant increase in awareness around the developmental impact of trauma on children and adolescents. From early and prolonged exposure to violence, to sexual abuse, to bullying, educators and school-based mental health professionals are becoming increasingly clear that the environments youth are exposed to profoundly affect the development of their nervous systems. As part of this awareness, there has been a search for tools and methods that can help youth become “trauma resilient” and a desire that interventions in schools and youth services agencies be “trauma informed.”
There is enormous confusion about where mindfulness “fits” within the trauma paradigm.
- Is it a potential source of re-traumatization that should be avoided for certain youth populations?
- Is it a tool that can actually help manage traumatic responses and increase overall resiliency?
- Is it “both”? Does the outcome instead depend on the dosage, facilitator and environment?
This 90-minute breakout will breakdown what we know about using mindfulness with youth populations suffering from complex trauma and what the best approaches are for our own teaching. Specifically, we will:
- Review the research to explore the ways that people are often “talking past each other” in this conversation (e.g. citing meditation studies where re-traumitzation occurred after 3-months of 12-hour-a-day isolated meditation practice in discussions about programs that teach 3-5 minutes of quiet time).
- Review the basic neurobiology of trauma.
- Learn practical tips for adjusting common mindfulness curriculum exercises to the needs of various youth populations dealing with trauma.
- Learn basic trauma first aid and its relationship to mindfulness training.