Click on a therapist to see their bio, locations, and email them directly for appointments.
Steve Wickelgren, MA, LMFT
Law Enforcement Assistance (LE-AST) is headquartered in Twin Cities area, MN and founded by Steven M. Wickelgren, MA LMFT. Steve is an experienced mental health professional who specializes in trauma and depression as well as crisis intervention. Steve is trained in ART (Accelerated Resolution Therapy) and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). Both are an effective and quick treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other anxiety/trauma related issues. Steve is an experienced police officer who served the Minneapolis Police Department from 1988 to 2014. He served in a number of capacities, including use of force instructor, investigator, supervisor, and policy writer among others. He served as the police department's full time counselor from 2001 until 2014. Steve also serves as the Clinical Director for the Minnesota Crisis Intervention Team Officers Association, where he leads mental health training for law enforcement officers. He focuses on training police officers to provide crisis intervention services and to act as liaisons to the mental health system. This training features professional actors who play the role of a person struggling with a mental illness.
Aside from his role with the Minneapolis Police Department and the MN CIT Officers Association, Steve has had many other roles in relation to the mental health profession. He was an Instructor/Program Assistant at Hennepin County Technical College. He is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and has served as a volunteer at the MN chapter of National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), and has also volunteered with the Metro Critical Incident Stress Management Team since 2002. Steve is also trained as a Transformative Mediator.
Steve sees clients virtually and at our Burnsville, MN office.
Scott Marks, MSW, LICSW
Scott has been a licensed police officer in Minnesota for over twenty-three years. When not in uniform he provides individual therapy and couples counseling for law enforcement officers and their significant others for a variety of concerns.
Communication problems, anxiety, depression, grief, PTSD, coaching, at times we all need a little help navigating our lives. Scott believes in a trauma focused strengths-based perspective using an eclectic mix of therapy drawing from Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Mindfulness, Narrative, Motivational Interviewing, Psychodynamic, and ART to build resiliency and support with thoughtful interventions.
Scott sees clients virtually and in-person at our Golden Valley, MN office.
Kristin Turner, MA, LPCC, DBTC
Kristin Turner is a therapist who specializes in working with complex cases and serious mental illness. She has experience working in inpatient hospital settings, correctional settings, and outpatient clinics. Kristin is a staff presenter for MN CIT and is committed to helping law enforcement safely interact with those struggling with mental health issues. She is familiar with the culture of public safety work and enjoys working with those that help their community. In therapy, Kristin utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and person-centered techniques. She believes in meeting each person where they are at and tailoring her approach to the unique needs of each client. Kristin has a direct but casual approach and appreciates humor in session. She supportively challenges thinking and behavior patterns to help clients reach their true potential and individual goals.
Kristin sees clients virtually and in-person at her office in Cottage Grove, MN.
Laura Sosalla, MA (EMDR trained)
I specialize in working with military, law enforcement, first responders, emergency medicine, and the unique challenges these professionals and their loved ones face. Prior to becoming a trauma therapist, I started asking myself “Who is watching out for those who help, protect, and serve”? This question led me to shift focus towards working with the people I used to work alongside.
My style is laid back, collaborative, and educational (yes, you’ll get homework). I use trauma-informed, mindfulness-based, body-centered, and integrative approaches. I work from the foundation of neuroscience that painful thoughts, feelings, beliefs, behaviors, and sensations are not a sign of mental illness, weakness, being broken, or a failure. But are actually natural and normal human responses to life’s adversities, cumulative or traumatic stress, unresolved grief and loss, broken trust or betrayal, harmful interactions or from damaging relationships.
What does this mean for you? We will create solutions necessary to manage the pain from these “injuries of experience”. While we also do the work necessary to heal from the inside out, to personally grow, and create lasting change. Similar to healing from complex physical trauma - It also takes time, patience, and hard work to heal and grow from the impacts of psychological trauma.
Laura sees clients virtually and at her office in St. Paul, MN.
Erin Holznagel, Clinical Trainee, MFT Candidate
Prior to practicing therapy, Erin was a licensed police officer in Minnesota for over 12 years and recognizes that the unique experiences of public safety personnel require a highly individualized approach to therapy. Erin’s desire to help others create meaning out of loss, provide avenues of hope, and a space to heal, ultimately led to her transition from law enforcement to her work as a therapist.
Erin believes we are all influenced by the systems we are a part, including our families, our work, our schools, our relationships, and our communities. Our experiences and whether our beliefs or values are challenged or supported often impact every aspect of our lives. Erin offers a neutral, nonjudgmental atmosphere and utilizes trauma informed care practices and evidence-based treatment options to reach your goals and improve your overall well-being.
Erin recognizes that each story is unique and understands it is not always easy to talk about problems that exist. When it becomes too difficult to share your story out-loud, Erin is trained in Brainspotting which is a non-verbal treatment option that works to identify and release those primary sources of emotional and physical pain, trauma, and a variety of other challenging symptoms. Erin believes that trauma does not need to end in tragedy and utilizes a Post Traumatic Growth approach in her practice. This approach recognizes that significant life events and adverse experiences can result in negative life outcomes but can also be a catalyst to positive growth afterward.
Erin is passionate about working with individuals to identify their needs’, resources and the flexibility needed for lasting growth and change.
Erin sees clients virtually and at her office in Otsego, MN.
Hannah Puls, MA, LPCC
Hannah is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor with over a decade of counseling experience, primarily in the work of criminal justice and first responders. She has worked with adults with a wide range of health issues including trauma, anxiety and depression, addiction, crisis counseling, family issues, sleep concerns and more. She recognized the special lens it requires to work with individuals in public safety. Hannah has been on the MN Metro CISM Team for four years and is passionate about first responder wellness.
She is experienced in many therapeutic techniques and works collaboratively with her clients to find what works with them. She believes that the relationship between the counselor and client is the best predictor of success and works to nurture that relationship throughout the therapeutic experience. Depending on the client needs, she will utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, to challenge negative thinking patterns and draw parallels to desired behavior change. She encourages autonomy in clients and will work diligently with you to come up with solutions that promote independence and self-reliance in the future.
Whatever the reason you are reaching out, Hannah is here to offer a non-judgmental space to explore answers and promote active recovery.
Hannah sees clients for Check Up From The Neck up virtually.
Linda Mercado, MA
Linda has a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.
Prior to attending school, she was a licensed police officer in St. Paul MN for 17 years. Linda understands the unique stressors first responders face and she strives to eliminate the stigma faced when asking for support.
She offers a confidential, safe, and nonjudgmental space to help navigate through the challenges that can occur with this career. Linda uses a strength-based approach, identifying and utilizing a person’s existing resources, strengths, and survival skills to promote healing, resilience, and post traumatic growth.
Linda is trained in Brainspotting which is a non-verbal treatment option that works to identify and release those primary sources of emotional and physical pain, trauma, and a variety of other challenging symptoms.
Linda can provide individual, couple, or family therapy. Other areas of interest include grief and loss, complex trauma, and chronic pain.
Linda sees clients virtually and in person in Burnsville.
Shannon Seibel, Clinical Trainee, LPCC Candidate (EMDR Trained)
Shannon's primary goals are to provide person-centered therapeutic services for those struggling with trauma, anxiety, depression, grief, and symptoms related to other adverse challenges. Her approach is trauma informed and focuses on normalizing symptoms tied to traumatic experiences through processing, behavioral activation, strengths identification, and solution-focused goal setting.
After working in civilian law enforcement roles for 17 years, Shannon as developed a deep appreciation for public safety professions, and has a unique understanding into professional and family stressors, trauma/secondary trauma/vicarious trauma, and moral injuries that can occur when working in the criminal justice systems. She believes in or to heal, the conversation needs to start with who you are, and what you need to feel supported, learn how to process physical and emotional responses to stress, and work toward personal goals that improve daily functioning.
Shannon resides in the Bemidji, Minnesota area, and recognizes challenges faced by rural law enforcement, fire, EMS, and other professionals; and they need to have access to culturally competent counselors. Availability is currently virtual, but as demand grows, she will begin in-person therapy.
In Addition to LE-AST Services, Shannon is an outpatient behavioral health counselor, crisis response worker, and provides psychoeducation on mental health and suicide prevention. She is currently a PsyD in Clinical Psychology doctoral student, holds a master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, bachelor degree in Criminal Justice Leadership and Management, is EMDR trained, and has completed CISM Basic Group Interventions.
Shannon sees clients virtual and in Bemidji, MN.
Mel Koenen LAMFT
Mel is a Licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in Law Enforcement/First Responders. She uses Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART), Internal Family Systems (IFS), and a mix of other things to help clients learn how to regulate their nervous systems. She and her clients develop practical systems to put into place to help them feel more balanced. Her personality is direct, a bit sweary, but always compassionate towards people’s experiences. She hopes that her clients know that no matter what she is always in their corner and wants the absolute best for them. Sometimes that means holding clients accountable and sometimes that means showing them how to give themselves some grace.
Mel sees individual adults and couples virtual and in Big Lake, MN.
Karen is a mindfulness instructor offering classes grounded in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. We know first responders have some of the most stressful occupations and routinely face intense situations. This chronic stress can lead to many physical and psychological challenges. National Institutes of Health studies of police officers reveal higher rates of heart disease, obesity, and depression. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction offers tools to help us recover from day to day stressors and learn to respond rather than react.
These tools have been proven to reduce blood pressure and anxiety while improving sleep, focus, and a sense of well-being. Karen’s commitment to working with first responders is reflected in her classes – experiential, engaging, and practical. She received qualification to teach Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction from the UMass Medical School. MBSR is one of the most highly researched and validated approaches to stress reduction and its effectiveness has been shown in studies spanning many health disciplines and populations.