David Treleaven

Is meditation safe for people who’ve experienced trauma?


My name is David Treleaven, and I’m a writer, educator, and trauma professional who's spent the past decade researching this question.


What I learned is that mindfulness meditation can either help or hinder trauma survivors—it depends on how it’s practiced. 

My work is to explain why this is, and offer you specific tools and practices to teach and practice mindfulness in a trauma-sensitive way.

On this site, you can learn more about the book I wrote on this topic, explore resources designed to support your practice, and learn more about me—including my belief that trauma is a social justice issue.


Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness: Practices for Safe and Transformative Healing

Published by W. W. Norton & Company

"This book is a rare combination of solid scholarship, clinically useful methods, and passionate advocacy for those who have suffered trauma. It contains riveting case examples, excellent summaries of research on mindfulness, the brain, and trauma, and extremely clear descriptions of effective approaches in psychotherapy. Throughout, Dr. Treleaven carries the reader along with clarity, enthusiasm for his topic, and heart. Truly a gem."

RICK HANSON, Ph.D., author of Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom

"This is essential and fascinating reading for meditation teachers, mental health practitioners and all those who have suffered from trauma and want to engage on a meditative path in a wise and healing way."

— TARA BRACH, Ph.D., author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge