I am an author, scholar and speaker.
I study the dynamics that underlie emotional trauma, healing and wellness.
I illuminate how it feels to live these dynamics.
I am driven by curiosity and questions. I am driven by a need for my own healing. I am driven by a desire to understand what shapes us as human beings. I am driven by a call to articulate and communicate what I am learning in a way that touches other people.
I approach my work on emotional trauma in two ways. First, I draw on the understanding and insights that I have forged while working with my own trauma over the last twenty years. Second, I draw on the understanding and scholastic rigour that I developed while doing research for a PhD in biological anthropology at the University of Oxford. My PhD fieldwork took me to live in a wilderness area of Tanzania with people who herded cattle, goats and sheep in traditional ways; my experience of that time also informs my work.
I hope the insights into trauma, healing and well-being that emerge from interweaving these approaches will resonate with other people and offer something of value.
I am the author of ‘Understanding and Healing Emotional Trauma’ (Routledge 2015). I am currently working on a new book, articles and videos for YouTube. Please subscribe to my newsletter, if you would like to be informed of new work (I won’t swamp your in-box – there will be no more than 4 newsletters a year).
Understanding and Healing Emotional Trauma is a multi-layered book which 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 we are at risk, our minds and 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:
• Psychotherapists: Donald Kalsched, Bruce Lloyd, Tina Stromsted and
• Neurobiologists: Ellert Nijenhuis, Allan Schore and Daniel Siegel
• Evolutionary researchers: Jim Chisholm, Sarah Blaffer Hrdy and Randy Nesse
This book 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 to a wide audience. My aims were to demystify and humanise the dynamics involved in creation of trauma, provide a mirror that would help people to recognise the consequences of their wounds, and offer a scaffold that could help to hold people as they do the inner work of healing.
It has received positive reviews from many journals, and from people struggling with their own trauma. It is currently being translated into Polish and Portugese.