About Constance “Ahuva” Scharff, PhD

Constance Scharff, PhD leading a workshop in Eugene, Oregon 2019

Constance Scharff, also known by her Hebrew name Ahuva, has a Ph.D. in Transformative Studies, specializing in radically transformative personal experience. She is a full time author and speaker, traveling globally to help people overcome trauma and addiction. Her life’s work is to help people heal from addiction and trauma, as she has done, so that each of us can live lives of meaning and purpose.

Dr. Scharff is an award-winning, bestselling author. She has published three books. Her most recent is Rock to Recovery: Music as a Catalyst for Human Transformation, published in 2021 by Around the Way Publishing. That book won a National Indie Excellence Award, received a GOLD Award in the Nonfiction Book Awards and an Award of Distinction in the 28th Communicator Awards. She also wrote the Amazon #1 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, where her articles have received more than 1.3 million views. Her book reviews can be found at the New York Journal of Books.

In her role as an addiction and trauma researcher, Dr. Scharff brings the latest in evidence-based, complementary addiction and trauma treatment information to those who suffer worldwide from addiction and trauma. 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. She works to eliminate the stigma that is too often associated with addiction, trauma, and other mental health issues, so that individuals in need of care will be able to receive that support. In 2019, she received St. Lawrence University’s Sol Feinstone Humanitarian Award for her advocacy and work on behalf of those with mental health, trauma, and substance use issues.

Dr. Scharff trained in international development, specifically evaluating aid projects designed to improve the lives of women, indigenous/aboriginal groups, religious minorities, and others who have faced systemic discrimination or outright persecution. Her heroes are people like Vandana Shiva, Wangari Maathai, and Berta Cáceres. Dr. Scharff believes that women and historically marginalized and vilified groups can work together to re-envision a future that is just and fully invests in projects and programs that develop all sectors of our communities.

NPR interview in Nashville, Tennessee 2018

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 experience the divine. 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 member of the Society for Consciousness Studies, American Psychological Association, Interamerican Society of Psychology, World Federation for Mental Health, and the International Society for Contemplative Research. She is also a life-long Girl Scout.