Category: Blog
A trauma treatment that struggled for legitimacy is getting recognition from the VA

A local veterans advocacy group celebrated a big victory over the weekend: The recent announcement by the Department of Veterans Affairs that it will encourage the use of a therapy called EMDR for veterans suffering from trauma.

The Veteran Resilience Project, the brainchild of Minnesota EMDR therapist of Elaine Wynne, has been at the forefront of pushing for recognition of the therapy.

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PTSD Treatment Dropout Rates Clearly Show Need for EMDR

Joe Graca - Licensed Clinical Psychologist retired from U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs


Guest post written by Dr. Joseph Graca, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, retired from U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs after a 32 year career that included providing EMDR in a PTSD residential program for veterans at the St. Cloud VA.


Eye Movement and Desensitization Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) is included as a first line treatment for PTSD in numerous national and international practice guidelines as well as in the Veterans Administration/Department of Defense’s (VA/DoD) own Clinical Practice Guideline for the Management of Post-Traumatic Stress (2010).

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Open Letter to Minnesota

The title of this blog post is the actual title of the commentary that I wrote and sent to the Star Tribune newspaper editors, “Open Letter to Minnesota.” I’m telling you this because what was published as a headline/title of my commentary was this – “Forget the VA: Our group can help heal trauma of PTSD” which does not reflect the essence of my letter. Here’s the full article published March 11th, in the Star Tribune.

I am an Iraq vet and the executive director of the Veteran Resilience Project. VRP is a Minneapolis-based nonprofit dedicated to providing any veteran (or active military member) suffering from the aftereffects of war and military service confidential trauma treatment, regardless of ability to pay. On the heels of a successful pilot project that helped 30 Minnesotans overcome the tyranny of their past, the VRP’s board of directors has empowered me to take the project to the public.

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Benefit Concert 3/20 at Uptown VFW

VRP 3:20 benefit flyer

VRP Benefit Concert w/ Tim Mahoney
Army veteran Javier Matos
Army veteran Matthew Griswold
DATE: Sunday, March 20th
TIME: 7pm
COST: $10 at the door (funds raised pay for free EMDR therapy for veterans in need)
LOCATION: New live music room at the beautifully renovated and expanded:
Uptown VFW Post 246,
2916 Lyndale Avenue South,
Minneapolis, MN 55408
You are in for a treat with this lineup, no joke. I am very thankful for the generous donations and support from the musicians, Uptown VFW Post 246, Sean Barnard and the Alive & Social Network, and two new contributors Vidku and Slam Academy.
Forever grateful,

Executive Director | Veteran Resilience Project
ResilienceMN Host/Producer

The VRP History

My name is Paul Riedner, MBA, Iraq war veteran, Executive Director of a startup non-profit called the Veteran Resilience Project, Inc (VRP).
VRP was created to address an unfolding crisis in our community. A community that doesn’t care for those it sends to war needs healing. We are in the process of fundraising so that we may continue our successful pilot project offering free, EMDR trauma therapy to any Minnesota veteran. Please visit our crowdfunding page above to donate before October 9th to help us get started. If you know any public or private foundations with grants available, please reach out to The following piece provides perspective into the origin of VRP, why EMDR is the right solution for treating trauma, and why this community needs healing too.
Thank you!

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MinnPOST Article

Paul Riedner: Helping veterans recover from trauma of war gives life ‘meaning and purpose’

Back in 2006, when Paul Riedner enlisted in the U.S. Army as a deep-sea diver, he was an idealistic young man looking for adventure. Today, nearly 10 years later, he’s a slightly less young 37, but still idealistic and adventure-seeking, just in a different way. His four years of active duty in the United States and the Middle East changed his perspective on life and his goals for the future.

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