Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms: Building Acceptance and Decreasing Shame

Rachel E. Goldsmith, James I. Gerhart, Samantha A. Chesney, John W. Burns, Brighid Kleinman, Megan M. Hood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mindfulness-based psychotherapies are associated with reductions in depression and anxiety. However, few studies address whether mindfulness-based approaches may benefit individuals with posttraumatic stress symptoms. The current pilot study explored whether group mindfulness-based stress reduction therapy reduced posttraumatic stress symptoms, depression, and negative trauma-related appraisals in 9 adult participants who reported trauma exposure and posttraumatic stress or depression. Participants completed 8 sessions of mindfulness-based stress reduction treatment, as well as pretreatment, midtreatment, and posttreatment assessments of psychological symptoms, acceptance of emotional experiences, and trauma appraisals. Posttraumatic stress symptoms, depression, and shame-based trauma appraisals were reduced over the 8-week period, whereas acceptance of emotional experiences increased. Participants’ self-reported amount of weekly mindfulness practice was related to increased acceptance of emotional experiences from pretreatment to posttreatment. Results support the utility of mindfulness-based therapies for posttraumatic stress symptoms and reinforce studies that highlight reducing shame and increasing acceptance as important elements of recovery from trauma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-234
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume19
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014

Keywords

  • acceptance
  • mindfulness
  • shame
  • trauma

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