Deb Kennard, Founder of PTI

Deb Kennard, Founder, PTI and Developer of SAFE EMDR Methodology

Deborah Kennard (Deb) is the founder of Personal Transformation Institute (PTI) and the developer of the proprietary Somatic and Attachment Focused EMDR (S.A.F.E) methodology, a trauma informed approach to EMDR therapy. Deb is a graduate of West Liberty State University with a BA in Psychology.  In addition, she holds a Master of Science in Clinical Psychology from Eastern Michigan University. 

Leveraging Clinical Experience and Evidenced-based Study to Advance EMDR Effectiveness

Deb was first trained in EMDR practice in 1996 by Francine Shapiro, the originator of EMDR therapy.  She later joined Dr. Shapiro’s faculty in 1998.  Deb Kennard is well known for her in-depth and ongoing commitment to advancing the practice of EMDR.  With more than 30 years of clinical experience, including private and public practice, Deb has gained rich experience in trauma treatment for a variety of patient populations. In addition to being certified in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, she has studied and practiced Vipassana meditation for 14 years.  She has woven her experience and studies into her approach to treatment, as well as clinician training, to help both the client and therapist ready their mind and body for the therapeutic process. 

Deb Launches Personal Transformation Institute (PTI) EMDR Therapy Training in 2014

As her EMDR practice advanced, Deb developed the SAFE EMDR methodology as an augmentation to the AIP model, created by her mentor Dr. Shapiro.  Through practice and teaching, Deb found that the SAFE approach simplifies attachment and regulation theory and helps clients eliminate roadblocks to effective therapy. In an effort to bring SAFE EMDR to other clinicians in the field, Deb founded Personal Transformation Institute (PTI) in 2014.  At PTI, Deb trains mental health professionals to use the SAFE EMDR approach through in-person and virtual training courses.  Since its inception, thousands of clinicians have been trained in SAFE EMDR at PTI.

Through SAFE EMDR training, Deb and her team infuse the foundational principles of nonviolence, mindful awareness, compassionate assumption, and healthy boundaries into PTI’s EMDR approach.  These principles are essential to healing, learning, and connecting.  In her leadership capacity, Deb trains, oversees, and collaborates with seven other mental health professionals to deliver EMDR training.  She also coaches over 50 training assistants who help facilitate the training supervised-practicum experiences at PTI.  Deb is most proud of the amazing team of professionals at Team PTI who work together to advance EMDR therapy.  The training team at PTI offers care and safety to its training participants, and to each other, in a supportive and collaborative community. 

More about Deb Kennard, PTI Founder

 When not leading the team at PTI, Deb enjoys spending time with her husband and family, including her five amazing grandchildren.  The youngest of 10 children, Deb also enjoys spending time with her fun group of siblings.  In her downtime, she golfs, hikes, travels and gets together with friends.  She is also currently writing a mental health book for clinicians on the SAFE EMDR approach, its guiding principles and how the concept of “The Answer” can help unlock transformational healing during EMDR therapy.

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