Steve Wickelgren, MA, LMFT
Law Enforcement Assistance (LE-AST) is headquartered in Minneapolis, 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.
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.
Scott Marks, MSW, LGSW
Scott has been a licensed police officer in Minnesota for over twenty 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 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.
Laura Sosalla, Intern, LADC, LPCC candidate
Laura’s Masters specializes in military, law enforcement, and first responders. Though, her primary emphasis is in officer wellness and the unique challenges they face. Laura has gained cultural competency in cop culture through ride-alongs, trainings, academic research, relationship building, and prior internship experience. Before pursuing a Masters, Laura worked with adjudicated and at-risk youth, people with traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, as an equine-assisted psychotherapist, and as an addiction counselor.
Laura is a passionate advocate that PTSD is not a “mental illness”. But - similar to a stress fracture - is in fact a psychological injury due to ongoing exposure to chronic stress or traumatic events. As a graduate student, Laura continues to gain the necessary training to become an effective trauma therapist. Her areas of interest also include: stress management, grief and loss, emotional resiliency, compassion fatigue and burnout, addictive behaviors and substance use, trust and intimacy issues, and relationship struggles such as infidelity. Laura’s style is laid back, conversational, and semi-structured. Though she practices with evidence-based, client-centered, integrative approaches. She inserts laughter where she can, but isn’t afraid to talk about the tough stuff, and walk with her clients into the darkest places where healing is needed the most.
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.
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.