Martina Leeven Psychologu and EMDR Therapy for East London at The Plane Tree

Martina Leeven

Martina is an experienced psychologist and trauma therapist specialised in EMDR. She addresses a full spectrum of mental health concerns including anxiety, depression, PTSD, relationship issues and more.

Qualifications & Professional Registration

  • Post MA Dip Counselling Psychology
  • MA Counselling Psychology
  • Chartered Psychologist- British Psychological Society (BPS)
  • Registered Psychologist- Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC)
  • EMDR Europe Accredited Practitioner, Consultant-in-Training
  • Climate Psychology Alliance Member and Climate Aware Therapist

About Martina

Martina is a registered and chartered psychologist and fully accredited EMDR Practitioner. She has been working therapeutically since 2005 and as an EMDR therapist since 2012. In 2012 Martina opened the Plane Tree clinic with Osteopath husband John Mallinder.

How I work

I work with a broad range of mental health issues predominantly using a trauma-focused lens to explore the roots of what has led to difficulties and to process blocks using EMDR, leading to better overall functioning. EMDR looks to treat nervous system dysregulation and can therefore be considered an embodied or somatic therapy with impacts felt both in the mind and body. Unresolved trauma can block the optimal functioning of the nervous system, and this dysregulation shows up as mental health symptoms such as anxiety and depression, rumination and fears, difficulties relating to others, sleep problems, and overall stress which also exacerbates health conditions through sustained hyperarousal and inflammation in the body. EMDR therapy aims to resolve these issues and bring the whole system back into balance.
EMDR therapy attracts people who experience symptoms of PTSD and more complex trauma, also those with significant blocks or patterns in their lives that keep them stuck, and where other therapies have not resolved the problems they are facing.

The process of therapy

EMDR therapy, broadly speaking, moves in stages while keeping the therapeutic relationship at its core. There is an initial history taking stage to get an understanding of what is causing you problems in your daily life, what you would like to be different, and in particular what the triggers are that link you back to old disturbing feelings and memories. A ‘processing map’ emerges, consisting of current triggering situations, distinct past memories or clusters of memories, and chronic negative beliefs.

This map gives an overall picture which guides us to identify together what needs to be processed using EMDR. We can also then begin to formulate a hypothesis about what has given rise to your problems and how to work to resolve this towards a better balance.

The next stage is identifying your resources and introducing additional tools to manage stress when it arises during the course of therapy. Thirdly, the processing of blocked memories proceeds using the EMDR protocols so that these memories no longer give rise to symptoms or disturbance in the present. This usually includes a shift in insight and perspective on past events, opening out thinking and reducing the overall stress response experienced in the mind and body.

My therapeutic approach also includes strong elements of Attachment theory, and Internal Family Systems (IFS), as well as a grounding in mindfulness approaches.

What is EDMR?

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, and is one of the leading trauma therapies today. EMDR works from the basis that within us all there exists an ‘information processing system’ that naturally moves us towards health and wellbeing. ‘If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering. Once the block is removed, healing resumes’. This is achieved by using evidence-based EMDR protocols and methods which link thoughts, feelings and sensations and enable us to ‘process’ a disturbance which helps to resolve the symptoms.

EMDR draws on the most recent neuroscience research that offers insight into the relationship between attachment and trauma and how our personalities form, often by building defenses and coping mechanisms to manage the fall-out from early adverse experiences.

For further information on EMDR, please refer to   

Special Interest

In the last years I have also developed a special interest in the psychology of the climate crisis and biodiversity loss, and how we manage the range of powerful and often overwhelming feelings it evokes in us, including grief, anger or various states of denial. This interest is related to my own personal journey which led me to engage with the Climate Psychology Alliance, among other organisations, and go on to complete some training with them. This on-going development has also translated into my teaching trainee psychologists at City University on this topic, and I am also Chair of the Climate Change Special Interest Group within the EMDR Association.

Martina’s current rate is £110 / 50 mins.

To book an appointment

For further information or for a free 20 minute phone consultation please contact Martina directly on or 07914 621 032.


The Plane Tree, 31 Roman Road, Bethnal Green, East London E2 0HU

020 3022 5892 / Email Us / Location

© John Mallinder