Felicity de Zulueta

Dr Felicity de Zulueta was born in Colombia in 1948, the grand daughter of a Spanish political refugee and became herself the daughter of a refugee when her father had to flee “la Violencia”. She was brought up learning 5 languages in Borneo, Switzerland, Uganda and Lebanon where she took the French Baccalaureat in Philosophy.
In 1966, she went to England to study and obtained a degree in Biology at the University of East Anglia followed by a Medical degree in Cambridge and Sheffield Universities before specialising in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the Maudsley Hospital in London.
With a training in Group Analysis, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Systemic Family Therapy and EMDR, Dr de Zulueta first created and headed the Department of Psychotherapy in Charing Cross Hospital in 1984. In 1997, she was appointed to develop and head the Traumatic Stress Service in the Maudsley Hospital. It became a specialised psychotherapeutic service for war veterans, survivors of abuse and refugees suffering from severe complex PTSD. During this period she provided training for the UN in Kosovo and for the Army in Singapore. Dr F de Zulueta retired from the NHS in 2011.

Dr Felicity de Zulueta is currently an Emeritus Consultant Psychiatrist in Psychotherapy at the Maudsley Hospital, part of the SLaM NHS  Mental Health Trust in London. She is also an Honorary Senior Lecturer in Kings College, part of the University of London. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and of the Royal Society of Medicine and a member of the British Medical Association, the British Neuropsychiatric Association, the International Society for Forensic Psychotherapy, the Institute of Group Analysis, the Institute of Family Therapy, etc.

Dr de Zulueta first became  interested in the study of Bilingualism: this arose from her discovering that one of her patients presented as “mad” in one language and ‘sane’ in his second language. She subsequently focused on understanding the origins of violence which she wrote about in her book “From Pain to Violence, the traumatic origins of destructiveness”. This led her to specialise in the study of psychological trauma as an attachment disorder and, more specifically, on the importance of dissociation and the use of a specific intervention to elicit the traumatic attachment which she is currently investigating.
Her interest in the use of video recording as a therapeutic tool in psychotherapy has been stimulated  by the use of Video Interaction Guidance (videointeractionguidance.net) which focuses on attunement and mentalisation, both of which are very important in the healing of complex or developmental traumatic disorders as well as being cost effective, positive and empowering to both its clients and their ‘therapists’.

Dr de Zulueta lectures in the UK and abroad on the origins of violence, understanding and treating complex post traumatic stress disorder or developmental trauma, the treatment of refugees and the impact of bilingualism on our sense of self and identity. She supervises therapists who treating  patients suffering from complex PTSD and personality disorders and contributed to a documentary film on PTSD in elephants for the Geographic Society.


  • Zulueta, F. de (1995) “Bilingualism, Culture and Identity”, Group Analysis, 18, 179-190.
  • Zulueta, de F. (2006) a. 2nd edition. From Pain to Violence, the roots of human destructiveness. Chichester: John Wiley and Sons, Ltd. Translated into Italian: Dal dolore alla violenza (2009)  Seconda edizione. Milan: Raffaelo Cortina Editore.
  • Zulueta, de F. (2006) b. “The treatment of PTSD from an attachment perspective”, Journal of Family Therapy, 28, 334-351.
  • Zulueta, F.de (2006) c.  “The role of the traumatic attachment in the assessment and treatment of adults with a history of childhood abuse and neglect”, British Journal of Forensic Practice, 8, pp. 4-15. Translated into Italian: La valutazione dell’attaccamento traumatico in adulti con una storia di abuso infantile attraverso il TAIT (Traumatic Induction Attachment Test). Trauma e Psicopathologia (2008). A cura di V. Caretti e G. Craparo. Roma: Astrolabio Casa editrice.
  • Zulueta, F. de (1998) “Human Violence, a Treatable Epidemic”, Medicine, Conflict and Survival, volume 14, 46-55.