Understanding and Healing Emotional Trauma: Conversations with Pioneering Clinicians and Researchers

Dear colleagues,

I wanted to let you know about my new book: Understanding and Healing Emotional Trauma: Conversations with Pioneering Clinicians and Researchers. We have met either as participants in a workshop, or  you have contacted me to express an interest in my writing.  Either way, having connected through a shared interest in emotional wounding and healing, I felt you might be interested in the book. 

It has just been published by Routledge (in print and e-book versions), and consists of a series of interviews about emotional trauma with pioneering psychotherapists, neurobiologists and evolutionary thinkers.  A short description (including a list of the interviewees) follows.  It can be bought at Amazon (see below for direct links) and through other booksellers.

Regards, Daniela

Understanding and Healing Emotional Trauma:
Conversations with Pioneering Clinicians and Researchers

By Daniela F. Sieff, PhD


This uniquely interdisciplinary book explores our current understanding of the forces involved in both the creation and healing of emotional trauma, in an engaging, accessible and vibrant way.

Emotional trauma, which can be triggered by many types of experiences, is characterised by its impact. When experiences leave us with a deeply held implicit conviction that our survival is at risk, our minds & bodies construct a set of unconscious defences which change our life-paths. Paradoxically, these defences create new, self-perpetuating layers of trauma and pain

In order to elucidate these dynamics, and to understand what is required for healing, I talk to some of the leading clinicians and researchers of today. The interviewees come from three different perspectives:

1. Psychotherapeutic perspectives invite us in to the world of the unconscious mind and body to illuminate how emotional trauma distorts our relationships with ourselves and with other people (Donald Kalsched, Bruce Lloyd, Tina Stromsted, Marion Woodman).

2. Neurobiological perspectives explore how trauma shapes the systems that mediate our emotional lives and well-being (Ellert Nijenhuis, Allan Schore, Daniel Siegel).

3. Evolutionary perspectives help us understand trauma in the context of the legacy we have inherited from our distant ancestors (James Chisholm, Sarah Hrdy, Randolph Nesse).

Understanding and Healing Emotional Trauma took eight years to write, in part because I was committed to introducing the ideas of the interviewees in a way that has substance, but which is also accessible.  My aims were to demystify and humanise the dynamics involved in creation of trauma, enable people to recognise the consequences or trauma, and offer a scaffold that will help people engage with their wounds in a healing manner.

This book was written for those who are struggling with trauma in themselves and in their loved ones, as well as for mental health professionals who work with trauma and want to explore new perspectives.


“Insightful and thought provoking: Sieff opens our eyes to a deeper understanding of how the brain, mind and body can heal following emotional trauma.  A must read for all clinicians and researchers seeking insights into the workings of the mind following psychological trauma, as well as for lay-readers who seek to understand their own trauma…”
Ruth Lanius, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Western Ontario and author of’Healing the Traumatised Self’ and ‘The Impact of Early Life Trauma on Health and Disease’.

“This is a treasure chest of diverse perspectives on trauma.  We are treated to a satisfying mix of leading evolutionary thinkers, stellar neurobiological researchers and distinguished Jungian and other psychotherapists, all offering rich and in-depth insights on a subject that requires inter-disciplinary, joined-up thinking.  Most importantly, the interview style works, and Sieff’s sensitive question-posing and surefooted comments and editing make the reading easy, vibrant and always stimulating »
Graham Music, Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychotherapist, Tavistock & Portman Clinics, and author of ‘Nurturing Natures’ and ‘The Good Life.’

«Sieff makes accessible the latest fascinating thinking regarding emotional trauma and its healing. I highly recommend this book, both professionally and personally.»
Michael Rennie, Global Leader, Organisation, People and Leadership Practice, McKinsey & Co Management Consultants.
“This compelling collection of interviews with outstanding scholars and therapists offers a creative and comprehensive understanding of trauma and its effects”
Margaret Wilkinson, Jungian Training Analyst and author of ‘Coming into Mind’ and’Changing Minds in Therapy’.

Available in print and as an e-book from Amazon & other bookstores

– If you do buy it and read it, then PLEASE, PLEASE review it on Amazon.
– It makes a real difference and I would be hugely grateful.
– You can review it on Amazon even if you buy it elsewhere.
– You can review under a pseudonym, if that is more comfortable.