Daniela F. Sieff, PhD

Author, scholar and speaker, exploring the dynamics that underlie emotional trauma, healing and well-being and illuminating how it feels to live these dynamics. 

About me and my approach

I am inspired by curiosity and questions.  I am fuelled by a desire to understand what shapes us as human beings. I am driven by a need for my own well being. I am excited by the challenge of articulating what I am learning with clarity and in a manner that is helpful to other people. 

I explore emotional trauma, healing and well being by drawing on three strands of information: (1) the experience of working with my own trauma, (2) the insights of others who have worked with their personal trauma, (3) formal academic research into trauma psychology, attachment theory, anthropology and evolution. 

As I weave together these different strands, I employ the scholastic rigour that I developed when studying for a PhD at the University of Oxford. My subject was biological anthropology; my research took me to a wilderness area of Tanzania where, for several years, I worked with a traditional livestock herding people. This experience also informs my work with trauma.   

What emerges from this interweaving is both a practical, layered and nuanced understanding of the dynamics of emotional trauma, healing and well being, and  compassionate insights into the impact of living with emotional trauma, and working through the healing process.

I strive to communicate this understanding in ways that speaks to people who are exploring their own trauma, to mental health professionals, and to those who simply want to be better informed.

Explore My book

Understanding and Healing Emotional Trauma ​

Understanding and Healing Emotional Trauma explores the forces involved in both the creation and healing of emotional trauma in a way that is accessible, engaging and vibrant.  

It comprises ten conversations with leading clinicians and researchers, each of whom shares their understanding in a warm, personable and informative way.  The questions addressed in these conversations include:

  • What is emotional trauma?
  • How is it created? 
  • What is it like to live with emotional trauma?
  • How can we heal?
  • What does it mean to be healed? 

Marion Woodman, Donald Kalsched, Tina Stromsted and Bruce Lloyd offer perspectives from depth psychology, inviting us to enter the inner world of the world of the unconscious mind and body.

Allan Schore, Daniel Siegel and Ellert Nijenhuis provide neurobiological perspectives, elucidating  how trauma impacts the biological systems that mediate our emotional lives.  

Sarah Blaffer Hardy and Randolph Nesse and James Chisholm contribute evolutionary perspectives, framing emotional trauma within the legacy of what we have inherited from our distant ancestors. 

Each interviewee’s ideas are presented in an accessible way which will resonate with the general reader, but at the same time the interviews go into sufficient depth to convey substance and nuance. I was aiming for a tone that is akin to popular science writing.

Reviews from Readers

Other Publications

Explore some of my work

How to Understand and Heal Emotional Trauma.

Royals Society of Arts Public Events Programme

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The Death Mother as Nature’s Shadow.

Fostering compassion and healing through an evolutionary consciousness

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What Makes Emotional Trauma?
Fear, Disconnection and Shame.

The creation and healing of trauma-worlds

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