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  • Writer's pictureCait Donovan

Rebecca Kase: Polyvagal Informed EMDR: A Neuro-informed Approach to Healing

Rebecca Kase is the Owner of Rebecca Kase & CO, LLC as well as a licensed clinical social worker and author of Polyvagal Informed EMDR: A Neuro Informed Approach To Healing. You may remember her burnout story from a previous episode of FRIED. Rebecca began studying polyvagal theory at the start of the pandemic and is now an EMDR consultant and trainer. Today, she discusses the science behind polyvagal theory, how EMDR works, and how to use neuroception for healing the stress responses of the autonomic nervous system.

Polyvagal theory was developed by a researcher who was studying the heart rate changes in NICU infants in response to both safety and stress. This study was a breakthrough in seeing how stressors impact the autonomic nervous system. The symptoms of burnout all come from the autonomic nervous system. When you’re experiencing burnout, you may think that your nervous system is out to get you, but in reality it is just doing what it has adapted to do to–keep you alive. When you experience trauma or toxic stress, those memories can get stuck in your autonomic nervous system and cause physical symptoms every time the memory is triggered. EMDR can be used to unstick those memories and remove the stress response.

Toxic stress, or stress that continues for a long time and overwhelms your abilities to cope, can lead to a slew of serious and chronic health issues. When you take the time to befriend your autonomic nervous system and retrain it to recognize safety cues, you can reduce unwanted stress responses.


The symptoms of burnout are all held within your autonomic nervous system.” (8:41-8:45 | Rebecca)

Toxic stress is really about those experiences that overwhelm your capacity to cope with and often, not always, have a pretty big dose.” (14:49-15:00 | Rebecca)

These circuits are all adaptive. They're not your enemy. They have worked, or you wouldn't be here.” (23:48-23:54 | Rebecca)

There's a humongous, overwhelming correlation to toxic stress and degenerative diseases.” (34:27-34:34 | Rebecca)

You don't just think about your memories, you feel your memories.” (41:35-41:38 | Rebecca)

When we can consciously appraise neuroception, we can increase the autonomic nervous system’s awareness of safety.” (50:14-50:21 | Rebecca)


Connect with Rebecca:, Buy Rebecca's Book, Polyvagal-Informed EMDR: A Neuro-Informed Approach to Healing:



If you know that it’s time to actually DO something about the burnout cycle you’ve been in for too long - book your free consult today:


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