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Who We Are.

Board of Directors

Ryan C. Van Wyk, Psy.D., LP - Founder & President, MNTP Board of Directors

Dr. Ryan Van Wyk is a licensed psychologist practicing in MN and the Founder of MN Trauma Project.  He is an experienced clinician, presenter, consultant, and writer focused on the integration of trauma informed care approaches into the systems that most significantly impact people, including mental health, medicine, education, and other social services.  Dr. Van Wyk currently works as the Specialty Lead for the Mental Health Services Center at North Memorial Health (Robbinsdale, MN).  He specializes in working with people whose lives have been impacted by trauma and who as a result have struggled with persistent dissociation, substance use issues, and eating disorder symptoms.  His approach is grounded in the science that relationships affect change within the person and he consistently pursues further education and training in  understanding how to help people heal.

In addition to his other accomplishments, Dr. Van Wyk is a behavioral health provider for the MN Army National Guard, with a current rank of Major.  He is the founder of MN Trauma Project, a non-profit organization created in 2015 that aims to increase awareness of trauma and its impact on individuals and communities and to increase accessibility to trauma informed care in the state of MN.  Dr. Van Wyk is a national trauma consultant who in 2015 was featured on the Trauma Therapist Podcast, which brings together seasoned professionals in the fields of trauma, addiction, mindfulness and yoga, to educate and inspire those just beginning their trauma-informed education.  He was recently interviewed about working with addiction through the lens of trauma for the Radical Recovery Summit, an exciting gathering of leaders in the recovery field sharing their innovative approaches to the exploding epidemic of addiction in the many forms it takes. Dr. Van Wyk is one of the founders of Awakening Together Zen Community.

Katie Olson, JD - Vice President, MNTP Board of Directors

Katie Olson is an attorney with a non-traditional legal career path. As an avid advocate for vulnerable and at-risk children and youth, Katie seeks out professional opportunities to put her passion into practice, and believes evidence-based education and collaboration are imperative when working towards systems change. Currently, Katie is the Director of Training in the Zero Abuse Project at Mitchell Hamline School of Law. The purpose of Katie’s work is to provide online and in person training focused on trauma, secondary trauma, and trauma-informed care in legal systems, in addition to providing practical skills for professionals in the child welfare and related fields. Since 2012, outside of her regular “9 to 5”, Katie has been a volunteer attorney with the Children’s Law Center of Minnesota, representing children living in foster care in their child protection, juvenile delinquency, and education court cases. Prior to working at Mitchell Hamline, Katie was an Investigator and Educational Specialist at the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), served as a law clerk for a Judge in Hennepin County, and worked as a family and criminal law attorney. Before attending law school, Katie worked as a youth program director, family advocate, and PCA.

Katie received her law degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. She completed her undergraduate work in family social science and family violence prevention at the University of Minnesota, where she was also a member of the women’s swimming team. Katie lives in Saint Paul with her husband, daughter, and bassador.

Yussef Shafie, MSW, LICSW, Treasurer, MNTP Board of Directors

Yussuf Shafie, MSW, LGSW is a graduate of the University of MN. Yussuf is an active and well-respected member of the addiction community. He completed his internship with the Community University Health Care Center as a Social Work Triage Specialist, and he continued on as a Mental Health Practitioner with CUHCC. In 2015, Yussuf opened Alliance Wellness Center in Bloomington, MN, a DHS licensed Chemical Dependency Outpatient Treatment Program. Yussuf's passion is to bring wellness to those affected by addiction and mental health problems.

Kathy L. Heuser, Psy.D., LPCC

Dr. Kathy Heuser is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor specializing in adult individual, couple, and group psychotherapy. She is a founding member of MN Trauma Project. Dr. Heuser works in private practice in Burnsville, Minnesota. With over 25 years in practice as a sexual and domestic violence victim’s advocate, teacher, presenter, growth coach, psychotherapist, consultant, and clinical supervisor, her areas of expertise include treatment for symptoms of depression, anxiety, trauma, grief/loss, and adjustment issues. She often draws upon her training and knowledge of energy-related therapies, enneagram studies, and natural health in her clinical work. She is known and highly regarded for her compassionate care and creative and effective interventions. Dr. Heuser holds a doctoral degree in clinical psychology, is a certified teacher of the Enneagram in the Narrative Tradition, and holds other certifications in several psychotherapy methods.

Elizabeth Jackson, MS, RD, LD

Elizabeth Jackson, MS, RD, LD is a Licensed and Registered Dietitian specializing in eating disorders, co-occurring/substance use disorders, and ARFID/child and family feeding issues. After practicing for 7 years at Melrose Center in outpatient services, she is now in group private practice at Lyn-Lake Psychotherapy & Wellness, Ltd. Prior to moving to Minnesota in 2010, Elizabeth worked in Michigan for 19 years in private practice. During this time, she also developed and taught an upper level course on eating disorders at Central Michigan University for 8 years, as well as serving on the clinical faculty of the Ellyn Satter Institute, conducting workshops and trainings throughout the US and Canada on optimal child feeding. Elizabeth has a special interest in the intersection of insecure attachment, trauma (including food trauma) and eating disorders, and the prevention and treatment of the multigenerational impact of all three. She is a founding member of MN Trauma Project and uses a Health at Every Size approach to weight in all of her work.  She currently works as the Director of Nutrition and Integrated Services at Kodiak Recovery.

Mark Sander, Psy.D., LP

Dr. Mark Sander earned his doctorate from the Minnesota School of Professional Psychology in 2000. Dr. Sander is a Senior Clinical Psychologist for Hennepin County and the Director of School Mental Health for Hennepin County and the Minneapolis Public Schools. In that role, he coordinates the Minneapolis Expanded School Mental Health Program and conducts research and evaluation on the program and  provides technical assistance to the Hennepin County School Mental Health Initiative. In addition, Dr. Sander is a Visiting Scholar at Wilder Research and is a member of the Advisory Board for the Center for School Mental Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Previously he was an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Sander is a Certified Master Trainer in the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study and for the past four years has been providing training and consultation on develop trauma informed organizations and trauma sensitive schools. Dr. Sander has published several journal articles and book chapters on school mental health and has presented extensively on school mental health and ACEs and developing trauma sensitive schools at local, state and national conference. Dr. Sander also has a private practice in Minnetonka, MN and lives in Minneapolis with his wife, Sarah and their 3 daughters.

Emily Van Wyk, Psy.D., LP

Dr. Emily Van Wyk is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, trauma consultant, and clinical supervisor. She is a founding member of MN Trauma Project. Dr. Van Wyk is the President of Lyn-Lake Psychotherapy & Wellness, Ltd., a large group wellness practice in Minneapolis. Clinically, she has specialized in helping individuals heal from trauma, eating disorders, attachment wounds, identity development, sexual violence, and addiction. She integrates models of Interpersonal Neurobiology, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Internal Family Systems, Comprehensive Resource Model, EMDR/bilateral stimulation, attachment, and the structural model of dissociation into her work. 

Dr. Van Wyk is a board-approved supervisor for therapists seeking LP, LPC, and LPCC licensure in MN. She offers consultation on issues related to trauma conceptualization and treatment, clinical/ethical issues, professional development, and more. Dr. Van Wyk is one of the founders of Awakening Together Zen Community. She is interested in creative arts, indigenous healing practices, and developing spiritual resources through meditation, creativity, nature, and mind/body practices.

Jennifer Waltman, PhD

Dr. Jennifer Waltman has more than 20 years of experience and facilitates research with Native American women and the experience of trauma on wellbeing.  In addition to national and international consulting, she performs clinical postdoctoral behavioral health work with the Native American Community Clinic (NACC) in Minneapolis, Minnesota and neurocognitive testing at the Clinic for Attention, Learning, and Memory (CALM).  She is trained in both reservation mental health and urban integrated health centers. Dr. Waltman completed a clinical rotation at world-renowned trauma and addiction treatment center, the Meadows in Arizona.  As a 2014 Bush Foundation Fellow, Dr. Waltman studied at the Institute for Applied Neuroscience in North Carolina and trained with Traditional Elders and Lakota Spiritual Leaders to gain competency in healing and wellness to identify as a Neurobehavioral Specialist with trauma focus.

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