Self-compassion as intervention for trauma exposure

Seligowski, A. V., Miron, L. R., & Orcutt, H. K. (2014). Relations Among Self-Compassion, PTSD Symptoms, and Psychological Health in a Trauma-Exposed Sample. Mindfulness, 1-9.

From the Abstract. Emerging literature on self-compassion suggests that establishing and maintaining a compassionate perspective toward oneself and one’s experiences may help buffer against the negative effects of trauma exposure, such as psychopathology and reduced quality of life.

The goal of the current study was to examine relations among self-compassion, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom severity, and overall psychological health in a sample of trauma-exposed university students. Further, the current study explored these associations while controlling for a theoretically related construct, psychological inflexibility. Participants were 453 undergraduate students enrolled in an introductory psychology course at a large Midwestern University (M age = 19.75).

Results demonstrate that increasing levels of self-compassion may represent an important area of intervention for trauma-exposed individuals.

For mothers with childbirth-related trauma

Kendall-Tackett, K. (2014). Intervention for Mothers Who Have Experienced Childbirth-Related Trauma and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Clinical Lactation, 5(2), 56-61.Full text via Open Access.

The author advocates mindfulness meditation as one of several complementary healing modalities suitable for relief from posttraumatic stress.

Abstract: Lactation consultants may be one of the first healthcare providers who see mothers following a difficult birth. As such, they can be key sources of support and information for mothers at this critical time. Several aspects of the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant’s (IBCLC) scope of practice can fit within trauma-informed care, including helping mothers identify possible trauma symptoms and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and addressing breastfeeding issues that may be sequelae of a traumatic birth. IBCLCs can inform mothers about their treatment options and refer them to additional sources of support.

This article describes breastfeeding issues that might arise in the wake of a traumatic birth and summarizes evidence-based treatment options for PTSD so that IBCLCs can share this information with mothers.