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Dr Nikki Kiyimba
Dr Nikki Kiyimba
Trauma-Informed Mindfulness (TIM) was developed by British Psychologist Dr Nikki Kiyimba, who is now based in New Zealand, to introduce mindfulness practices safely on a one-to-one or small group basis to individuals who have experienced PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and other trauma-related issues. TIM draws upon established models of trauma-informed care, and a wealth of clinical experience in working with people who have experienced trauma. Each exercise is designed to be only a couple of minutes long, so that the quality of practice is prioritised over quantity. The short practice times and use of everyday exercises make TIM very flexible for use in a wide range of cultural contexts and with diverse populations of clients, including those with limited attention.

Trauma-Informed Mindfulness: A Practitioner's Guide for One-to-One Work is a clear, step-by-step and practical guide, for practitioners working with traumatised individuals. The book provides a simple framework for introducing and utilising mindfulness practices safely and effectively in one-to-one interactions. A working knowledge of both psychological trauma, and mindfulness practices, is needed as a foundation to working with this model.

Dr Nikki Kiyimba said: “I developed the TIM model as a result of my own therapeutic experience as a Clinical Psychologist in the UK, and also as a Lecturer in Psychological Trauma at the University of Chester. The dissociation, anxiety and intrusive thinking associated with PTSD and other trauma-related difficulties can be a huge source of distress for sufferers and their families. Mindfulness has been found to be an excellent intervention for these symptoms. However, traditional group mindfulness programmes can sometimes inadvertently re-trigger the very trauma symptoms they seek to alleviate. They generally encourage people to be ‘embodied’ by being more aware of, and less disconnected from, their physical body. Whilst this is often an important part of an intervention, for those people who have protected themselves from feeling things in their body through dissociation for many years, this can be really challenging. Trauma-Informed Mindfulness therefore offers strategies for practitioners to adjust the exercises in various ways, including starting with external observations before and moving towards internal mindfulness exercises at a speed and level that the client can tolerate safely.”

She added: “It is not an adaptation of traditional mindfulness group-based interventions, but it is a different kind of model that utilises the principles of mindfulness and compassion in a way that can be flexibly adapted for the particular needs of individual clients. The individual exercises can be used in a variety of settings to support traumatised individuals on a one-to-one basis in learning to focus, to concentrate, to be more self-compassionate and less self-critical.”

Trauma-Informed Mindfulness: A Practitioner's Guide for One-to-One Work by Dr Nikki Kiyimba is available directly from the University of Chester Press: www.chester.ac.uk/university-press (including online ordering), or call 01244 513305, or email: sarah.griffiths@chester.ac.uk

Note to Editors:

Dr Nikki Kiyimba is a Chartered Clinical Psychologist, Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and a registered psychologist with the UK Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) and the New Zealand Psychologists Board. She holds a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, and a PhD in Discursive Psychology. Nikki was the Postgraduate Programme Lead in Therapeutic Practice for Psychological Trauma at the University of Chester for a number of years. Having emigrated from the UK to New Zealand, she now works as a Senior Educator in the School of Social Practice, Programme Lead for the Masters in Professional Practice and Chair of Research and Ethics at Bethlehem Tertiary Institute in the Bay of Plenty. Nikki is a respected international researcher and has published widely in a number of peer-reviewed journals. Her work spans research interests in qualitative methodology, child and adolescent mental health and trauma-informed working.

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