Clinical Effects of Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Adults with a History of Childhood Maltreatment: a Scoping Review


Purpose of Review

Survivors of childhood maltreatment are at high risk for developing complex psychiatric disorders. Traditional treatments, including psychopharmacology, tend to be less efficacious for this population. This scoping review aimed to discuss existing empirical studies on the effects of mindfulness-based interventions for adult childhood trauma survivors, as well as the documented clinical challenges and adaptations for this population.

Recent Findings

We reviewed 17 research articles that measured the effects of mindfulness-based interventions for adults with childhood maltreatment histories. These studies showed that mindfulness-based interventions can be beneficial for childhood maltreatment survivors to alleviate psychological symptoms including stress, anxiety, recurrent depression, substance use, and post-traumatic stress. Studies had a wide range of methodological quality and reported a broad range of effect sizes. The wide variety of outcome measures and control conditions made it difficult to compare across studies.


Mindfulness-based interventions can be beneficial for addressing psychopathology among adults with childhood maltreatment histories, although some adaptations can be necessary to address possible challenges this population are likely to encounter. More research is needed to specifically evaluate the clinical effects among childhood maltreatment survivors and to directly compare the effects among those with and without childhood maltreatment histories.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1

References and Recommended Reading

Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

  1. 1.

    Pietrek C, Elbert T, Weierstall R, Müller O, Rockstroh B. Childhood adversities in relation to psychiatric disorders. Psychiatry Res. 2013;206(1):103–10.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Collishaw S, Pickles A, Messer J, Rutter M, Shearer C, Maughan B. Resilience to adult psychopathology following childhood maltreatment: evidence from a community sample. Child Abuse Negl. 2007;31(3):211–29.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Johnson JG, Cohen P, Brown J, Smailes EM, Bernstein DP. Childhood maltreatment increases risk for personality disorders during early adulthood. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1999;56(7):600–6.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Bernet CZ, Stein MB. Relationship of childhood maltreatment to the onset and course of major depression in adulthood. Depress Anxiety. 1999;9(4):169–74.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Nemeroff CB, Heim CM, Thase ME, Klein DN, Rush AJ, Schatzberg AF, et al. Differential responses to psychotherapy versus pharmacotherapy in patients with chronic forms of major depression and childhood trauma. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2003;100(24):14293–6.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Lewis CC, Simons AD, Nguyen LJ, Murakami JL, Reid MW, Silva SG, et al. Impact of childhood trauma on treatment outcome in the Treatment for Adolescents with Depression Study (TADS). J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2010;49(2):132–40.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Kabat-Zinn J. Full catastrophe living: using the wisdom of your body and mind in everyday life. New York: Delacorte; 1990.

  8. 8.

    Gu J, Strauss C, Bond R, Cavanagh K. How do mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and mindfulness-based stress reduction improve mental health and wellbeing? A systematic review and meta-analysis of mediation studies. Clin Psychol Rev. 2015;37:1–12.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Crane R, Brewer J, Feldman C, Kabat-Zinn J, Santorelli S, Williams J, et al. What defines mindfulness-based programs? The warp and the weft. Psychol Med. 2017;47(6):990–9.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Hofmann SG, Sawyer AT, Witt AA, Oh D. The effect of mindfulness-based therapy on anxiety and depression: a meta-analytic review. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2010;78(2):169–83.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Khoury B, Lecomte T, Fortin G, Masse M, Therien P, Bouchard V, et al. Mindfulness-based therapy: a comprehensive meta-analysis. Clin Psychol Rev. 2013;33(6):763–71.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Goldberg SB, Tucker RP, Greene PA, Davidson RJ, Wampold BE, Kearney DJ, et al. Mindfulness-based interventions for psychiatric disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Clin Psychol Rev. 2018;59:52–60.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Linehan MM. Dialectical behavior therapy for borderline personality disorder: theory and method. Bull Menn Clin. 1987;51(3):261.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    World Health Organization. Child maltreatment. 2016. Accessed July 16th, 2019 2019.

  15. 15.

    Teasdale JD, Segal ZV, Williams JMG, Ridgeway VA, Soulsby JM, Lau MA. Prevention of relapse/recurrence in major depression by mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2000;68(4):615–23.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Kim JS, Jin MJ, Jung W, Hahn SW, Lee S-H. Rumination as a mediator between childhood trauma and adulthood depression/anxiety in non-clinical participants. Front Psychol. 2017;8:1597.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Hoglund CL, Nicholas KB. Shame, guilt, and anger in college students exposed to abusive family environments. J Fam Violence. 1995;10(2):141–57.

    Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Andrews B. Shame and childhood abuse. In: Gilbert P, Andrews B, editors. Shame: interpersonal behavior, psychopathology, and culture. Series in affective science. New York: Oxford University Press; 1998. p. 176–90.

    Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Stuewig J, McCloskey LA. The relation of child maltreatment to shame and guilt among adolescents: psychological routes to depression and delinquency. Child Maltreat. 2005;10(4):324–36.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Dorahy MJ, Clearwater K. Shame and guilt in men exposed to childhood sexual abuse: a qualitative investigation. J Child Sexual Abuse. 2012;21(2):155–75.

    Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Neff KD, Dahm KA. Self-compassion: What it is, what it does, and how it relates to mindfulness. In M. Robinson, B. Meier, & B. Ostafin (Eds.), Mindfulness and self-regulation. New York: Springer; 2015. p. 121–37.

  22. 22.

    Baer RA, Smith GT, Hopkins J, Krietemeyer J, Toney L. Using self-report assessment methods to explore facets of mindfulness. Assessment. 2006;13(1):27–45.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Birnie K, Speca M, Carlson LE. Exploring self-compassion and empathy in the context of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR). Stress Health. 2010;26(5):359–71.

    Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Gard T, Brach N, Hölzel BK, Noggle JJ, Conboy LA, Lazar SW. Effects of a yoga-based intervention for young adults on quality of life and perceived stress: the potential mediating roles of mindfulness and self-compassion. J Posit Psychol. 2012;7(3):165–75.

    Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Greenberg J, Datta T, Shapero BG, Sevinc G, Mischoulon D, Lazar SW. Compassionate hearts protect against wandering minds: self-compassion moderates the effect of mind-wandering on depression. Spirit Clin Pract. 2018;5(3):155–69.

    Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    •Joss D, Khan A, Lazar SW, Teicher MH. Effects of a mindfulness-based intervention on self-compassion and psychological health among young adults with a history of childhood maltreatment. Front Psychol. 2019;10:2373. A recent study focused on the theraputic effects of an adapated MBSR program for young adults with childhood trauma. In this study, self-compassion was found to be a significant mediator between changes in mindfulness and changes of anxiety and perceived stress.

  27. 27.

    Vettese LC, Dyer CE, Li WL, Wekerle C. Does self-compassion mitigate the association between childhood maltreatment and later emotion regulation difficulties? A preliminary investigation. Int J Ment Heal Addict. 2011;9(5):480.

    Google Scholar 

  28. 28.

    Tanaka M, Wekerle C, Schmuck ML, Paglia-Boak A, Team MR. The linkages among childhood maltreatment, adolescent mental health, and self-compassion in child welfare adolescents. Child Abuse Negl. 2011;35(10):887–98.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  29. 29.

    Moher D, Liberati A, Tetzlaff J, Altman DG, Group P. Preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses: the PRISMA statement. PLoS Med. 2009;6(7):e1000097.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  30. 30.

    Kimbrough E, Magyari T, Langenberg P, Chesney M, Berman B. Mindfulness intervention for child abuse survivors. J Clin Psychol. 2010;66(1):17–33.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  31. 31.

    Earley MD, Chesney MA, Frye J, Greene PA, Berman B, Kimbrough E. Mindfulness intervention for child abuse survivors: a 2.5-year follow-up. J Clin Psychol. 2014;70(10):933–41.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  32. 32.

    Goldsmith RE, Gerhart JI, Chesney SA, Burns JW, Kleinman B, Hood MM. Mindfulness-based stress reduction for posttraumatic stress symptoms: building acceptance and decreasing shame. J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2014;19(4):227–34.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  33. 33.

    Cash E, Salmon P, Weissbecker I, Rebholz WN, Bayley-Veloso R, Zimmaro LA, et al. Mindfulness meditation alleviates fibromyalgia symptoms in women: results of a randomized clinical trial. Ann Behav Med. 2015;49(3):319–30. A pilot study on the effects of MBSR on prosociality for young adults with childhood trauma.

  34. 34.

    •Joss D, Lazar SW, Teicher MH. Nonattachment predicts empathy, rejection sensitivity, and symptom reduction after a mindfulness-based intervention among young adults with a history of childhood maltreatment. Mindfulness. 2020;11(4):975–90. A pilot study on the effects of MBSR on prosociality for young adults with childhood trauma.

  35. 35.

    Ma SH, Teasdale JD. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression: replication and exploration of differential relapse prevention effects. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2004;72(1):31–40.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  36. 36.

    Crane C, Crane RS, Eames C, Fennell MJV, Silverton S, Williams JMG, et al. The effects of amount of home meditation practice in mindfulness based cognitive therapy on hazard of relapse to depression in the Staying Well after Depression Trial. Behav Res Ther. 2014;63:17–24.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  37. 37.

    Williams JM, Crane C, Barnhofer T, Brennan K, Duggan DS, Fennell MJ, et al. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for preventing relapse in recurrent depression: a randomized dismantling trial. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2014;82(2):275–86.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  38. 38.

    Michalak J, Probst T, Heidenreich T, Bissantz N, Schramm E. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and a group version of the cognitive behavioral analysis system of psychotherapy for chronic depression: follow-up data of a randomized controlled trial and the moderating role of childhood adversities. Psychother Psychosom. 2016;85(6):378–80.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  39. 39.

    Kuyken W, Hayes R, Barrett B, Byng R, Dalgleish T, Kessler D, et al. The effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy compared with maintenance antidepressant treatment in the prevention of depressive relapse/recurrence: results of a randomised controlled trial (the PREVENT study). Health Technol Assess. 2015;19(73):1–124.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  40. 40.

    •Davis JP. Effect of mindfulness based relapse prevention on developmental trends, stress, and substance use among young adults in residential substance use treatment: a randomized controlled trial: ProQuest Information & Learning; 2017. A randomized control trial on the effects of MBRP for substance abuse among 84 emerging adults with moderate to severe childhood trauma.

  41. 41.

    Germer CK, Neff KD. Self-compassion in clinical practice. J Clin Psychol. 2013;69(8):856–67.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  42. 42.

    Brotto LA, Seal BN, Rellini A. Pilot study of a brief cognitive behavioral versus mindfulness-based intervention for women with sexual distress and a history of childhood sexual abuse. J Sex Marital Therapy. 2012;38(1):1–27.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. 43.

    Caldwell JG, Shaver PR. Promoting attachment-related mindfulness and compassion: a wait-list-controlled study of women who were mistreated during childhood. Mindfulness. 2015;6(3):624–36.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. 44.

    West J, Liang B, Spinazzola J. Trauma sensitive yoga as a complementary treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder: a qualitative descriptive analysis. Int J Stress Manag. 2017;24(2):173–95.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  45. 45.

    Slim K, Nini E, Forestier D, Kwiatkowski F, Panis Y, Chipponi J. Methodological index for non-randomized studies (MINORS): development and validation of a new instrument. ANZ J Surg. 2003;73(9):712–6.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  46. 46.

    Kushner K, Marnocha M. Meditation and relaxation. Evidence-based adjunctive treatments. Elsevier; Academic Press. 2008. p. 177–205.

  47. 47.

    Santorelli SF, Kabat-Zinn J, Blacker M, Meleo-Meyer F, Koerbel L. Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) authorized curriculum guide: Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society (CFM) University of Massachusetts Medical School; 2017.

  48. 48.

    Niazi AK, Niazi SK. Mindfulness-based stress reduction: a non-pharmacological approach for chronic illnesses. N Am J Med Sci. 2011;3(1):20–3.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  49. 49.

    Rosenzweig S, Greeson JM, Reibel DK, Green JS, Jasser SA, Beasley D. Mindfulness-based stress reduction for chronic pain conditions: variation in treatment outcomes and role of home meditation practice. J Psychosom Res. 2010;68(1):29–36.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  50. 50.

    Ledesma D, Kumano H. Mindfulness-based stress reduction and cancer: a meta-analysis. Psycho-Oncology: Journal of the Psychological, Social and Behavioral Dimensions of. Cancer. 2009;18(6):571–9.

    Google Scholar 

  51. 51.

    Hoge EA, Bui E, Goetter E, Robinaugh DJ, Ojserkis RA, Fresco DM, et al. Change in decentering mediates improvement in anxiety in mindfulness-based stress reduction for generalized anxiety disorder. Cognit Ther Res. 2015;39(2):228–35.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  52. 52.

    Kabat-Zinn J, Massion AO, Kristeller J, Peterson LG, Fletcher KE, Pbert L, et al. Effectiveness of a meditation-based stress reduction program in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Am J Psychiatry. 1992;149(7):936–43.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  53. 53.

    Vøllestad J, Sivertsen B, Nielsen GH. Mindfulness-based stress reduction for patients with anxiety disorders: evaluation in a randomized controlled trial. Behav Res Ther. 2011;49(4):281–8.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  54. 54.

    Goldin PR, Gross JJ. Effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) on emotion regulation in social anxiety disorder. Emotion. 2010;10(1):83–91.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  55. 55.

    Jazaieri H, Goldin PR, Werner K, Ziv M, Gross JJ. A randomized trial of MBSR versus aerobic exercise for social anxiety disorder. J Clin Psychol. 2012;68(7):715–31.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  56. 56.

    Bernstein DP, Fink L. Childhood trauma questionnaire: a retrospective self-report. San Antonio: The Psychological Corporation; 1998.

  57. 57.

    Felitti VJ, Anda RF, Nordenberg D, Williamson DF, Spitz AM, Edwards V, et al. Relationship of childhood abuse and household dysfunction to many of the leading causes of death in adults: the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study. Am J Prev Med. 1998;14(4):245–58.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  58. 58.

    Teicher MH, Parigger A. The ‘Maltreatment and Abuse Chronology of Exposure’(MACE) scale for the retrospective assessment of abuse and neglect during development. PLoS One. 2015;10(2):e0117423.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  59. 59.

    Segal ZV, Teasdale J. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression: Guilford Publications; 2018.

  60. 60.

    Kuyken W, Byford S, Taylor RS, Watkins E, Holden E, White K, et al. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy to prevent relapse in recurrent depression. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2008;76(6):966–78.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  61. 61.

    Segal ZV, Bieling P, Young T, MacQueen G, Cooke R, Martin L, et al. Antidepressant monotherapy vs sequential pharmacotherapy and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, or placebo, for relapse prophylaxis in recurrent depression. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2010;67(12):1256–64.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  62. 62.

    Shahar B, Britton WB, Sbarra DA, Figueredo AJ, Bootzin RR. Mechanisms of change in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression: preliminary evidence from a randomized controlled trial. Int J Cogn Ther. 2010;3(4):402–18.

    Google Scholar 

  63. 63.

    Evans S, Ferrando S, Findler M, Stowell C, Smart C, Haglin D. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for generalized anxiety disorder. J Anxiety Disord. 2008;22(4):716–21.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  64. 64.

    King AP, Erickson TM, Giardino ND, Favorite T, Rauch SA, Robinson E, et al. A pilot study of group mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) for combat veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Depress Anxiety. 2013;30(7):638–45.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  65. 65.

    Hertenstein E, Rose N, Voderholzer U, Heidenreich T, Nissen C, Thiel N, et al. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy in obsessive-compulsive disorder–a qualitative study on patients’ experiences. BMC Psychiatry. 2012;12(1):185.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  66. 66.

    Külz AK, Landmann S, Cludius B, Hottenrott B, Rose N, Heidenreich T, et al. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy in obsessive-compulsive disorder: protocol of a randomized controlled trial. BMC Psychiatry. 2014;14(1):314.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  67. 67.

    Parker G, Roussos J, Hadzi-Pavlovic D, Mitchell P, Wilhelm K, Austin M-P. The development of a refined measure of dysfunctional parenting and assessment of its relevance in patients with affective disorders. Psychol Med. 1997;27(5):1193–203.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  68. 68.

    Bowen S, Chawla N, Collins SE, Witkiewitz K, Hsu S, Grow J, et al. Mindfulness-based relapse prevention for substance use disorders: a pilot efficacy trial. Subst Abus. 2009;30(4):295–305.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  69. 69.

    Bowen S, Chawla N, Marlatt GA. Mindfulness-based relapse prevention for addictive behaviors: a clinician’s guide: Guilford Press; 2011.

  70. 70.

    Bowen S, Witkiewitz K, Clifasefi SL, Grow J, Chawla N, Hsu SH, et al. Relative efficacy of mindfulness-based relapse prevention, standard relapse prevention, and treatment as usual for substance use disorders: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Psychiatry. 2014;71(5):547–56.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  71. 71.

    Roos CR, Bowen S, Witkiewitz K. Baseline patterns of substance use disorder severity and depression and anxiety symptoms moderate the efficacy of mindfulness-based relapse prevention. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2017;85(11):1041–51.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  72. 72.

    Amaro H, Spear S, Vallejo Z, Conron K, Black DS. Feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary outcomes of a mindfulness-based relapse prevention intervention for culturally-diverse, low-income women in substance use disorder treatment. Subst Use Misuse. 2014;49(5):547–59.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  73. 73.

    Davis JP, Berry D, Dumas TM, Ritter E, Smith DC, Menard C, et al. Substance use outcomes for mindfulness based relapse prevention are partially mediated by reductions in stress: Results from a randomized trial. J Subst Abus Treat. 2018;91:37–48.

    Google Scholar 

  74. 74.

    Neff KD. Germer CK. A pilot study and randomized controlled trial of the mindful self-compassion program. J Clin Psychol. 2013;69(1):28–44.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  75. 75.

    ••Møller SAQ, Sami S, Shapiro SL. Health benefits of (mindful) self-compassion meditation and the potential complementarity to mindfulness-based interventions: a review of randomized-controlled trials. OBM Integr Compl Med. 2019;4(1):1–20. A systematic review of randomized controlled trials on the effects of mindful self-compassion based interventions.

  76. 76.

    Eriksson T, Germundsjö L, Åström E, Rönnlund M. Mindful self-compassion training reduces stress and burnout symptoms among practicing psychologists: a randomized controlled trial of a brief web-based intervention. Front Psychol. 2018;9(2340).

  77. 77.

    Delaney MC. Caring for the caregivers: Evaluation of the effect of an eight-week pilot mindful self-compassion (MSC) training program on nurses’ compassion fatigue and resilience. PLoS One. 2018;13(11):e0207261.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  78. 78.

    Friis AM, Johnson MH, Cutfield RG, Consedine NS. Kindness matters: a randomized controlled trial of a mindful self-compassion intervention improves depression, distress, and HbA1c among patients with diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2016;39(11):1963–71.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  79. 79.

    Campo RA, Bluth K, Santacroce SJ, Knapik S, Tan J, Gold S, et al. A mindful self-compassion videoconference intervention for nationally recruited posttreatment young adult cancer survivors: feasibility, acceptability, and psychosocial outcomes. Supp Care Cancer. 2017;25(6):1759–68.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  80. 80.

    Tesh M, Learman J, Pulliam RM. Mindful self-compassion strategies for survivors of intimate partner abuse. Mindfulness. 2015;6(2):192–201.

    Google Scholar 

  81. 81.

    Neff KD. The development and validation of a scale to measure self-compassion. Self Identity. 2003;2(3):223–50.

    Google Scholar 

  82. 82.

    van der Kolk BA, Stone L, West J, Rhodes A, Emerson D, Suvak M, et al. Yoga as an adjunctive treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder: a randomized controlled trial. J Clin Psychiatry. 2014;75(6):559–65.

    Google Scholar 

  83. 83.

    ••Lindahl JR, Fisher NE, Cooper DJ, Rosen RK, Britton WB. The varieties of contemplative experience: a mixed-methods study of meditation-related challenges in Western Buddhists. PLoS One. 2017;12(5):e0176239. A comprehensive study on the “adverse effects” of meditation practices.

  84. 84.

    •Anālayo B. Buddhist Antecedents to the Body Scan Meditation. Mindfulness. 2020;11(1):194–202. An indepth review on the historical background and Buddhism context of the mordern “body scan meditation”.

  85. 85.

    Vallejo Z, Amaro H. Adaptation of mindfulness-based stress reduction program for addiction relapse prevention. Humanist Psychol. 2009;37(2):192–206.

    Google Scholar 

  86. 86.

    Dutton MA, Bermudez D, Matas A, Majid H, Myers NL. Mindfulness-based stress reduction for low-income, predominantly African American women with PTSD and a history of intimate partner violence. Cogn Behav Pract. 2013;20(1):23–32.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  87. 87.

    Gallegos AM, Lytle MC, Moynihan JA, Talbot NL. Mindfulness-based stress reduction to enhance psychological functioning and improve inflammatory biomarkers in trauma-exposed women: a pilot study. Psychol Trauma Theory Res Pract Policy. 2015;7(6):525–32.

    Google Scholar 

  88. 88.

    •Treleaven DA. Trauma-sensitive mindfulness: practices for safe and transformative healing: WW Norton & Company; 2018. A very informative book with various trauma-sensitive techniques that can be implemented in mindfulness teaching and practices.

  89. 89.

    Levine PA. In an unspoken voice: how the body releases trauma and restores goodness: North Atlantic Books; 2010.

  90. 90.

    Germer C, Neff K. Mindful self-compassion (MSC). Handbook of mindfulness-based programmes 2019:357-67.

Download references


The first author was supported by NIH grant # 5K01AT009085.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Diane Joss PhD.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of Interest

Diane Joss declares that there are no conflicts of interest. Martin H. Teicher declares that there are no conflicts of interest.

Additional information

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

This article is part of the Topical Collection on Early Life Trauma

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Joss, D., Teicher, M.H. Clinical Effects of Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Adults with a History of Childhood Maltreatment: a Scoping Review. Curr Treat Options Psych 8, 31–46 (2021).

Download citation


  • Early life stress
  • Childhood maltreatment
  • Mind-body interventions
  • Mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR)
  • Mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT)
  • Mindfulness based relapse prevention (MBRP)
  • Mindful self-compassion (MSC)
  • Trauma sensitive mindfulness