\Complex childhood trauma often affects the capacities of survivors to experience empathy and compassion toward themselves and others. Recent mindfulness literature recognizes meditation as an evidence-based practice that is able to change the brain, increasing one’s capacities for empathy and compassion. This article offers an exploration of selected literature on complex childhood trauma and on mindfulness practices related to the development of compassion and empathy. A case study illustrates the use of a meditative dialogue practice in psychotherapy with a survivor of complex childhood trauma that serves to increase her ability to have empathy and compassion for herself and others.
Susan A. Lord