New Year's Reflections...
Happy New Years from MN Trauma Project!
We want to extend our deep gratitude for an incredibly rewarding 2017, filled with memorable workshops, two wonderful meditation retreats, and more than anything personal and professional connections formed around a shared mission of helping to bring healing to those suffering from the effects of trauma. In 2017, we had four workshops with presenters including Colin Ross, Janina Fisher, Alex Katehakis, and Robert Muller. We also hosted two meditation retreats with psychologist and Buddhist priest/teacher, Flint Sparks. We ended the year by partnering with Kodiak Recovery to co-sponsor a training in Comprehensive Resource Model, a cutting-edge model for working with complex trauma. It has been incredible to see the community that continue to expand in the state of MN as providers gather together to learn more about trauma, effective models for treatment, and ways to help people move from surviving to thriving.
We are very excited about our line-up for 2018 (See below or click here).
February - A one-day workshop on working with refugee and asylum seeking populations with an excellent presenter from Boston, Diya Kallivayalil, PhD.
April - Ruth Lanius, PhD, MD one of the pre-eminent neuroscientists doing research on the neurobiology of trauma will be presenting a two-day workshop.
May - Rachel Yehuda, PhD, the leading researcher on epigenetics and trauma will be doing a two-day workshop on the intergenerational impact of trauma.
September - Stan Tatkin, PsyD will be doing a two-day workshop on working with trauma through the couple through his model of Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT).
We are currently in the process of scheduling one more workshop in the fall, so stay tuned for that!
Where we go from here:
We are very excited about the year to come and the next steps for MN Trauma Project. A little more than three years ago, I shared a dinner with Emily Coisman and Elizabeth Jackson where we discussed the vision of what would become MN Trauma Project. We discussed the longstanding pain that we witnessed our clients carrying from unidentified and unacknowledged trauma and we discussed our shared desire to do something about to increase the number of providers who understood the realities lived by traumatized clients and who would be trained and prepared to help them heal. In December of 2014, we launched the website for MN Trauma Project and in March 2015, we hosted our first workshop with Kathy Steele. Including that first workshop, in the past three years, we have hosted 16 local workshops, trainings, and/or retreats. Additionally, we have hosted a handful of community events to bring attention and awareness to relevant topics and issues.
Along the way, we have made a number of community connections with like-minded organizations and individuals and it has been clear that there is a movement happening in MN around trauma with an array of organizations doing amazing work around training, advocacy, and treatment. It has become clear however, that much of that work is happening in silos and a synthesis of effort is needed to really catapult our efforts into a statewide change. We have realized that our initial goal of expanding then number of trauma informed mental health provider was too small and that the need is far greater. Our expanded vision is to change every system that interfaces with people, schools, prison systems, policy and policy makers, social services, medical centers and hospitals, and more. The far-reaching impact of trauma necessitates a comprehensive approach and coordinated effort between organizations to really change our communities and ultimately society. We must change the conversation about trauma and we must improve our ability to recognize the effects of trauma and respond with effective, compassionate care. We also recognize the importance of identifying the unspoken, unnamed trauma that is carried by those who could potentially traumatize others, or may have already, and we can begin to work on prevention of future trauma. These sorts of changes will require change at the system and policy level to really undo all forms of systemic traumatization in the forms of racism, oppression, poverty, and inequity. If society is going to change, we must create realistic and accessible pathways to healing and thriving for everyone. This is MN Trauma Project’s expanded mission and we are looking at ways to bring organizations and individuals together in a more intentional and focused manner.
With this mission in mind, we are very excited to announce that we have brought on a full-time Executive Director.
Tyler Reitzner served on the MN Trauma Project board before agreeing to step into this position and utilize his extensive background in marketing and business development to advance this mission. He is a loving husband, a devoted father, and an impassioned advocate for everyone’s right to thrive. In long-term recovery from PTSD and substance use disorder, Tyler has worked to bring his experience in marketing and outreach to improving the fields of behavioral health and substance use disorder treatment. His professional life, his recovery, and his lived experience have given him a deep understanding of the influence adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have on our abilities to work, to grow, and to have authentic relationships throughout life. He has experience providing training and consultation to help other professionals apply trauma-informed insights to the work they do, which he will continue to do as our Executive Director. He also sits on the board of Minnesota Recovery Connection. Tyler and his wife Bethany are happy parents to two boys, Logan and Lucas. They live in Apple Valley, Minnesota.
Tyler first steps are finalizing our formation as a 501(c)3 and he will be solidifying the organizational aspects of MN Trauma Project. He is already hard at work in forming and deepening relationships within the community and developing partnerships that will allow us to move toward system level change across the state. We are very excited about what having a full-time staff member will mean for advancing the mission of MN Trauma Project and really making an impact on the communities within which we live and work.
I will be continuing on in a volunteer staff role, as Program Director, coordinating our workshops and learning opportunities specific to clinicians and mental health professionals. It has been an incredible honor to lead this organization into existence over the past three years as a volunteer and I am so excited about the possibilities that may become realities with Tyler working in a full-time capacity.
Thank you for your continued support of MN Trauma Project and for your commitment to bringing healing to our friends, family members, clients, communities, and hopefully this entire state.
Ryan C. Van Wyk, PsyD, LP
Founder, Program Director
Stay tuned for news in the weeks and months ahead as we will be announcing projects, opportunities to get involved, a podcast focused on conversations about trauma, community gatherings, and more.