DR. ODELYA GERTEL KRAYBILL
Odelya was born and raised in Israel. Her personal journey as a trauma survivor has led her to become a trauma specialist, and an integrative psychotherapist specializing in trauma response and therapy (crisis response, psychosocial support, trauma therapy).
Odelya worked from 1998 to 2004 as a development worker and peace activist at the Peres Center for Peace, a leading Israeli NGO established by former Israel President and Nobel Peace Laureate Simon Peres. She worked as a project manager and facilitator in dialogue and encounter projects and productions, leading groups of Israelis and Palestinians in joint experiences in international locations in Europe, US, and the Middle East.
From 2004-2007 Odelya was a Fulbright scholar in Conflict Transformation at the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University.
At that time, she was introduced to recent studies in trauma healing and first drawn to the use of expressive arts in trauma healing. In her practicum, she developed an arts-based program, Arts for Trauma Awareness and Resilience, and conducted workshops for populations exposed to trauma, including New Orleans survivors of Hurricane Katrina.
These experiences led her to a second masters in Expressive Therapies with a focus on trauma therapy, at Lesley University with a focus in psychodrama. Her field practice was with trauma and developmental trauma survivors as well as with gender and domestic violence survivors. For her masters thesis, she developed a new integrated therapeutic approach, Expressive Trauma Integration (ETI), a clinical version of her earlier model and Dr. Ron Kraybill’s cycle of reconciliation.
In 2010, she relocated to Lesotho in southern Africa for several years. She worked with UNFPA as a trauma therapist and consultant to the first shelter and therapy center for survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) complex trauma in Lesotho.
From 2011-13, she was a UNDP stress counselor in Lesotho. She also established a private practice and provided therapy and eTherapy services, working with aid and development workers worldwide.
From 2013 to 2015 she was based in Manila in the Philippines where she conducted research in collaboration with the Philippines Department of Health (DoH) and established a trauma training module in the DoH for disaster responders, using Expressive Trauma Integration framework.
She also served as UN focal point stress counselor for several agencies, conducted expressive eTherapy, and led workshops and training on expressive trauma therapy and psychosocial support for human services personnel and trauma survivors in the Philippines, S. Korea, China, and Japan.
She holds a Ph.D. in Expressive Therapies from Lesley University, her doctorate focused on measurement of the effectiveness of short-term interventions to mitigate secondary trauma among aid personnel.
Odelya relocated to the US with family in 2015, to the Metro DC area where she maintains a private practice for survivors of developmental and complex trauma.
She is an adjunct faculty member in the graduate Art Therapy Program at George Washington University and is widely recognized as a blogger for Psychology-Today on trauma and sustainability.
One of her research interests in the last decade has been wellness and integrative health, especially nutritional psychology in the context of chronic stress and trauma. She advocates for mental health interventions that target root-causes (chronic stress, neuroinflammation, neuroimmunity, autoimmunity, brain-gut-axis) and addresses all aspects of wellness (emotional, cognitive, physical, spiritual and social).
She conducts ETI trainings nationally and internationally and provides consultation and e-consultation on trauma, wellness, and sustainability.
LCPC, Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS) MD license # LC7079