About Constance “Ahuva Batya” Scharff, PhD
Constance Scharff, also known by the name Ahuva Batya, has a Ph.D. in Transformative Studies, specializing in radically transformative personal experience. She is on the advisory board and oversees research at Rock to Recovery, an evidence-based music therapy program in Southern California.
Dr. Scharff is an award-winning author. She has written two books, the best-selling Ending Addiction for Good and an award-winning poetry book, Meeting God at Midnight. Dr. Scharff writes regularly for several blogs and websites, including Psychology Today and Huffington Post. Her most recent work is at the intersection of mental health and environmental awareness/whole health activities. She is also a novelist with a book expected in 2018.
In her role as an addiction researcher, Dr. Scharff brings the latest in evidence-based addiction treatment information to those who suffer from addiction worldwide. She has spoken at conferences and shared information with researchers and mental health professionals in Europe, North and South America, the Middle East, Asia, Oceania, and Africa. Her goal is to eliminate the stigma that is too often associated with addiction and other mental health disorders so that individuals in need of care will be able to receive that support and lead productive, fulfilling lives.
Understanding that not all people have access to mental healthcare, Dr. Scharff uses her resources in storytelling and outdoor education to help individuals in areas of the world with limited mental health services. By re-telling stories in new ways, with emphasis on different parts of the story, individuals can overcome many mental health problems that would otherwise become intractable. Spending time in the outdoors can help individuals realign their life purpose and find meaningful ways to come to terms with traumatic experience and focus on new ways of being.
Personally and academically, Dr. Scharff has an interest in mystical and spiritual experience, the kind of experience that literally changes a person’s life in a moment. She has traveled the world visiting practitioners of various religious traditions in order to help her understand how it is that individuals comprehend God. She focuses specifically on the ways in which these experiences can radically transform those who have them and uses that understanding to help those undergoing deep-seated change to incorporate that change in ways that are healthy and productive.
Dr. Scharff is a board member with the Society for Consciousness Studies and a member of the American Psychological Association, World Federation for Mental Health, Association for Experiential Education and the North American Association for Environmental Education. She is also a life-long Girl Scout.
In her spare time, Dr. Scharff rides a half-Arabian gelding named Cody in Western pleasure events in the Pacific Northwest.