Minding the Gaps 2019: Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness & Compassion

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Chapman Building, Room C3; Peel Park Campus

Off University Road

Off The Crescent


M5 4WT

United Kingdom

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Sales Have Ended

Registrations are closed
Thank you for booking, We look forward to seeing you on June 21st for what should be a fascinating day.
Event description


Trauma Sensitive Approaches to Teaching Mindfulness and Compassion

Can Mindfulness be Too Much of a Good Thing?

This year's day conference is exploring whether mindfulness can be too much of a good thing (and the value of the middle way).

This is inspired by Willoughby Britton’s important and insightful article of this name (Britton, W. B. (2019). Can Mindfulness Be Too Much of a Good Thing? The Value of a Middle Way. Current opinion in psychology. 28: p.159-165)

Her article is available here if you have institutional access to online journals (please use this link if you can as it helps raise the profile of her article). If you do not have free access her article is available here. I really encourage you to read it as it brings together so many crucial considerations for teaching mindfulness safely to everyone.

Willoughby has very kindly offered to make a live Skyped presentation for us in which she will explore some of the issues she raises in her article.

I found her article really chimed with a particular growing concern of mine: when we ask someone to practice mindfulness what are they then doing less of to make time for their mindfulness practice: what has to give? If someone’s life is already over-committed, does making time for mindfulness practice mean sleeping less, exercising less, or seeing less of loved ones or friends? And will stopping doing established self-care activities to make way for mindfulness risk destabilisation of someone’s existing coping strategies?

It is an interesting thought experiment to consider at what point your wellbeing would start to be undermined through committing too much time to formal mindfulness practice on a daily and ongoing basis at the expense of what else sustains your wellbeing.

This is one of the reasons in our training we focus on starting with short practices woven into existing routines and building from there at each person’s pace.

This also connects to offering mindfulness practices in a trauma sensitive way. While cultivating mindful awareness is often an essential part of trauma recovery, mindfulness practices, if poorly matched to the person practicing them, may themselves be traumatising or re-traumatising. Even if the practice itself is well matched to the person, the context in which the practice Is undertaken and how it is practiced need consideration to ensure the practice does not have a destabilising effect.

Internationally, a growing number of clinicians and researchers have been highlighting the need for trauma-sensitive approaches to teaching mindfulness. David Treleaven‘s important book, Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness, powerfully sets out the issues that people who have experienced trauma can face when practicing mindfulness in ways poorly matched to their needs. Leigh Burrows is another key author and researchers in this field. Willoughby Britton‘s earlier landmark research article that explores negative mindfulness experiences is available here.

I look forward to seeing you at our day conference.

Warm regards

Tim Duerden

2019 Conference Presenters

Willoughby Britton will offer a live video discussion of her article Can Mindfulness Be Too Much of a Good Thing? The Value of a Middle Way.

Kelly Birtwell is reporting on her PhD research project investigating how to adapt mindfulness to individual need with a particular focus on starting with shorter practices.

Tim Duerden will detail an accessible theoretical framework that enables both mindfulness teachers and participants to tailor practices to meet individual need. He will also be reporting on the experience and privilege of working with a Jewish men’s mindfulness group.

Ginny Wall was due to present but due to ill-health she is not now able to do so.


The indicative schedule is as follows (details of the running order of the presenters to be posted soon):

9.30 arrivals

10.00 Welcome and first practices and presentations

11.15 Break

11.35 Presentations and practices

12.30 Lunch

13.30 Presentations and practices (short comfort break)

16.00 Close

The symposium is part of the student enrichment programme associated with the MSc Advanced Counselling and Psychotherapy Studies, MSc Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy, the OneCPD Mindfulness-Based Approaches for CBT module and the BSc (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy (Professional Practice).

An attendance certificate will be provided for CPD purposes at the end of the day.

We hope that most presenters will be in a position to share their presentations via this webpage after the event.

You may be interested in the presentations from last year's symposium available here.

We aim to hold this event annually; the expected 2020 date is Friday June 19th 2020. Booking for this will be available here: www.mindingthegaps.uk.


Please see the University website: http://www.salford.ac.uk/about-us/travel/travelling-to-the-university The Chapman Building is building 10 on the downloadable campus map here.

Parking for external delegates is available on-site at the near-by Irwell Place car park and costs around £4 a day. Parking is very restricted and you are advised to use public transport as a parking space may not be available.

If you do park then expect it to be getting full by 9.30am - it may be ok if it is a day with fewer students, but it is random at this time of year. There is a pay machine located in the car park. There is also a pay-by-phone option with the car park number posted all around each car park. The number for all the different University car-parks in the vicinity is 59323. Farmer Norton car park is a fall back if Irwell Place is full.

See https://www.salford.ac.uk/estates/car-parking for details of the pay-by-app. It is best to download it and set up your payment options at home so all is needed on the day is inputting the car park identification number - 59323 - when you arrive.

Salford Crescent train station has very regular trains and is less than 10 minutes walk from the venue. Trams connect to the local trains at Victoria and Piccadilly train stations.

Buses are also very frequent.

Food & Refreshments

This is a free event so you will need to bring your own food and refreshments or use the café and canteen facilities on site or nearby shops. You can check what's on offer at the various canteens at https://www.salford.ac.uk/salfood/on-campus-outlets/menus

Chapman has a canteen that serves hot meals etc. Hot drinks are available here from machines.

There are a range of other shops, a Subway and other canteens nearby plus some bars and cafes 10 minutes down the road towards Manchester.

The issue will be queues - it depends on whether there are many students around - the queues can be so long that in the morning break you may spend the whole time in the queue, so it is wise to bring your own liquid refreshment as a back-up.

There are water coolers to fill your own water bottles.


Please book via the EventBrite page for this event.


If you have any queries please contact:

Tim Duerden


Date and time


Chapman Building, Room C3; Peel Park Campus

Off University Road

Off The Crescent


M5 4WT

United Kingdom

View Map

Organiser Tim Duerden

Organiser of Minding the Gaps 2019: Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness & Compassion

Tim Duerden is a senior lecturer at the University of Salford with a particular focus on how mindfulness can be made more accessible and taught safely to a wider range of people. 

He is also co-director and a lead trainer for Integrated Mindfulness, a Northwest mindfulness teacher training organisation. 

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