BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL:
Meditation and Trauma
While meditation is often recommended for people with stress and trauma, unintended psychological impacts are common. In this class, we will learn how a history of trauma can impact the experience of meditation, and how to skillfully identify and work with this trauma residue. We will review the neurobiology of trauma and how it affects brain functions. We will examine the most common impacts of trauma on meditation, including agitation, fearfulness, dissociation, and spiritual bypassing. Methods of intervention and inquiry will be discussed, including participants own clinical material.
At the end of this workshop participants will be able to:
- Describe the most common causes of psychological trauma and its impact on the brain and cognitive function.
- Discuss how a history of trauma can impact the experience of meditation, and how a skillful therapist or leader can notice and inquire about these experiences.
- Apply modifications to traditional meditation instructions that can be made for people struggling with hyperarousal or hypoarousal linked to a trauma history.
- Hilton, L., Maher, A. R., Colaiaco, B., Apaydin, E., Sorbero, M. E., Booth, M., . . . Hempel, S. (2017). Meditation for posttraumatic stress: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 9(4), 453-460.
- Akers, D., Lee, M., Zaharlick, A. (2018). Meditation and Treatment of Female Trauma Survivors of Interpersonal Abuses: Utilizing Clients’ Strengths.
- Compson, J. (2014). Meditation, Trauma and Suffering in Silence: Raising Questions about How Meditation is Taught and Practiced in Western Contexts in the Light of a Contemporary Trauma Resiliency Model. 274-297.
Megan Rundel, Ph.D., is a graduate of PINC. She has taught widely in the Bay Area psychoanalytic community. She is also a Zen teacher at the Crimson Gate Meditation Community. Dr. Rundel has special interests in sexuality, spirituality, and the body in psychoanalysis. She has a private practice in Oakland.
Crimson Gate Meditation Community is a Zen practice and study group by and for mental heath professionals. We offer a weekly meditation group, classes, workshops and retreats in Oakland's Grand Lake neighborhood.
This course is intended for pre- and post-‐licensure mental health professionals. It is an intermediate course that requires participants to have a foundation in the basic principles and terminology of psychoanalytic theory and technique, as well as significant clinical experience.
Enrollees who cancel at least SEVEN DAYS prior to the event date will receive a refund minus a $35 administrative charge. No refunds will be allowed after this time. Transfer of registrations are not allowed.