While unpleasant experiences are common and expected in accurate mindfulness meditation training, adverse effects are uncommon but harmful experiences that tend to persist outside the meditation practice and impair one’s behaviour to varying degrees. These effects are usually tied to past painful emotions which may no longer be conscious or even traceable in memory but are bound to occur in some clients. Often this causes the client to drop out of therapy without understanding it and without discussing it with the therapist. It is important for therapists to learn how to differentiate the realistic and expected unpleasant effects of productive meditation from the so-called “adverse effects” of meditation. If these are not understood, some therapists will likely over-react to benign cues of reasonable discomfort and foster client avoidance, or overlook genuine signs of clients’ maladaptive responses to traumatic cues and allow harm to increase.
This masterclass will clarify the difference between “central effects” and “side effects” of meditation, and provide a useful explanation of how to address both. It will also help you adapt the MiCBT skills to minimise potential harm, especially in clients with complex trauma.
You will learn:
- How to case-conceptualise normal and expected discomfort during mindfulness mediation
- How to differentiate and understand clients’ symptoms of trauma during meditation
- What to do with trauma and other symptoms emerging during meditation practice.
- Precautions for minimising harm