Timeline of my work and career
Simon Fraser University, Burnaby B.C.
Bachelor of Arts –Psychology
Graduated in the top five percent
Adler School of Professional Psychology, Vancouver B.C.
Masters of Counselling Psychology – Class Valedictorian
Thesis: Psychotherapy and the relationship to Quantum Physics
2018 - Gold Alumni Award
Adler School of Professional Psychology
2017 - Meritorious Service Medal
Governor General’s Office of Canada
Presented by the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada.
The Meritorious ServiceDecorations recognise individuals who have made remarkable contributions in many different fields of endevor, who inspire others and who share a common goal of making a positive difference.
Awarded to Ms. Van Wyck for her work during the Ebola outbreak.
Further study & training
Professional Development and Certificates
Registered Clinical Counsellor: British Columbia certification number: 6410
IMPACT training: British Red Cross
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) certified level 1 Teacher
Managing Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies: UNFPA/IMC
Mental Health in Complex Emergencies (MHCE 11): Fordham University/IMC/UNHCR
Camp Coordination and Management Training: certified by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations (UN)
How to develop the skill of choosing love over fear.
Podcast interview with Kevin Kepple
1.5hr radio show with Grand Bahama Mental Health services talking about mental and emotional health after hurricane Dorian
1hr Radio Show
ICRC-Philippines – mental health and psychosocial support delegate
Speaking on behalf of ICRC
3rd international conference on action with women in peace
Presentation on how to incorporate mental health into the school system – ICRC
#1 bestselling book
The Good Thing About Mortar Shells:
Choosing Love Over fear.
Jan 2012- Present
Van Wyck Consulting, Vancouver, BC
Psychotherapy based on CBT and other empirically validated methods for clients.
Assisting aid workers overcome burnout, secondary trauma and/or PTSD. I work with clients from all backgrounds in person or through online sessions.
Community Based Protection and Psycho-social Support for Rohingya Families
Nov 2019 - Feb 2020
Caritas/CRS, Freeport, Bahamas
Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Consultant
Reviewed MHPSS material and ensured technical adherence and quality standards according to IASC and Sphere guidelines.
Developed and Facilitated a number of trainings for staff and partner organisations including Protection mainstreaming, MHPSS in emergencies, Basic PSS skills and GBV core concepts.
Created partnerships and collaborations with local, governmental and international organisations including a mentorship program with the University of the Bahamas.
Interviewed, hired, managed and trained MHPSS staff in community outreach as well as 1:1 therapy skills.
Acted as interim MHPSS program manager until long-term program manager arrived in country.
Nov 2017- June 2019
International Medical Corps, Syria/Iraq, Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Coordinator
*The first program-person on the ground, and used computer desk research, consultations, KII, and focused group discussions (FGD) to complete multiple assessments to ensure community participation in program planning.
*Created a culturally sensitive, feminist, survivor-centred GBV response and prevention program in line with IASC guidelines in regions previously controlled by ISIS. The program included providing PSS support; case management; facilitating, and supervising closed 6-week peer-support groups for adolescent girls, boys, women and men. We expanded this to include a variety of other groups, as specifically requested by the community, to provide support to those most vulnerable in that region.
*Hired, trained, used capacity-building processes to develop and strengthen needed skills, and supervised 60 national-staff, and 1 international-staff person in GBV prevention and response. Curated training package for staff on how to prevent and respond to GBV survivors in this specific context.
*Focused on the capacity building of many local organizations, medical staff and other NGO staff in GBV prevention and response. We trained in excess of 500 first responders.
*Created multiple partnerships with other INGO’s and national organisations in order to integrate our services. We gave and received over 100 referrals on a monthly basis.
*Created a sub GBV working group within the Protection working group to increase effective coordination, as well as creating a forum where all GBV actors could collaborate and support each other technically.
*Wrote multiple proposals and increased the program size by 300%. Wrote bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly and end of project reports.
Sept 2015- May-2016
International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC), Freetown, Sierra Leone
*In response to the Ebola crisis: developed and implemented a 3-year strategy plan to train and supervise over 900 PSS volunteers across the entire country of Sierra Leone.
*Within a 7-month period: conducted a TOT in PFA, and cascaded down the relevant training from five regional supervisors to all 900 PSS workers including 200 Community Based Surveillance workers.
*Blended and included PSS into other country programs to reduce stigmatizations and increase access to PSS during the Ebola outbreak. Mainstreamed gender approach into all programs.
*Project manager of a 1.8 million dollar innovative high profile project that IFRC completed in conjunction with UNDP. This project incorporated livelihood skills training along with psychosocial support for frontline Ebola workers.
*Used capacity-building process for Red Cross staff and volunteers by developing and facilitating train sessions and workshops to address many “hidden” issues and challenges, which we uncovered in our assessments (grief, burial traditions, female genital mutilation etc.)
Nov 2016- May-2017
International Medical Corps, Les Cayes, Haiti
Emergency Response Team- GBV Manager
*The first program-person on the ground after Hurricane Mathew. Created a rapid 4 w’s mapping of GBV actors on the request of UNFPA, conducted consultations, desk review, KII and FGD, co-facilitated a Lessons Learned workshop in conjunction with UNFPA.
*Worked with HQ GBV technical advisor to create GBV proposals that most efficiently and effectively addressed the GBV problems identified in the assessment. Created innovative solutions and collaborated with multiple organisations to address the gaps found in GBV response and intervention.
*Interviewed and hired a GBV team of over 20 staff in two locations. Created a training package to specifically address the needs we were seeing. Trained team and provided continuous supervision, which resulted in the development of confident facilitators and advocates of GBV prevention and response, and a highly motivated and passionate team. Furthermore, our team was considered one of the leading teams in GBV response and prevention in the region and our services were repeatedly requested from multiple governmental Ministries, UN organisations, INGO’s, and local organisations.
*Created strong partnerships with local organisations, provided training and follow-up supervision on PSS. Ongoing supervision enabled staff to have a deeper understanding of GBV issues and the implementation of PSS and significantly increased capacity in GBV response and prevention.
Jan 2012- Sept 2015
Alyson Jones & Associates, West Vancouver, BC
*Specialized in working with clients who experience depression, anxiety, grief, GBV issues and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in both individual and group format.
*An integral member of the Divorce and Separation Team: assisted families going through divorce in the most productive and child-centred approach available.
*Part of the innovative Family Forward program; reconciling high-conflict divorce situations. Supported by Judges and Lawyers who stipulated, via court order, to work with me personally.
*Conducted assessments of client and/or family needs, coordinated with other therapists to address client needs. Provided case management for clients, collaborated with social workers, foster families, doctors and schools to provide integrated support to maximize client health and growth.
Nov 2010- Dec 2011
Phoenix Vision Society, Port au Prince, Haiti
Psycho-Social Director- Haiti Division
*Carried out initial assessment, situational analyses in addition to regular follow-up assessments in line with WHO/UNHCR MHPSS assessment toolkit to monitor and evaluate programs.
*Created implemented and supervised a psychosocial program in three Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps. Programs were blended and worked in conjunction with the medical and food provision programs. Coordinated community programs with a variety of non-government organisations and donors such as the UN, UNICEF, IOM, ACF, Partners in Development, and USAID to provide encompassing care in the three IDP camps
*Trained 30 facilitators to complete community outreaches to deal with Cholera education and prevention, trauma, grief, GBV and stress. Supervised facilitators and worked with local camp-leaders to integrate programs into other IDP camps.
*Trained 500+ national and international aid/medical workers on Psychological First Aid.
*Mediated, coordinated and conducted conflict resolution assemblies with camp leaders, members within IDP camps, and between “rival” IDP camps.
Jan 2011- Dec 2011
J/P Haitian Relief Organization, Petionville, Haiti
*Provided crisis intervention for clients referred by doctors through field hospitals or through IDP camp members (in a camp of 50,000 people). Dealt with cases of rape, assault, acute grief, PTSD, GBV, and severe anxiety, provided regular psychological follow up that involved local community actors.
*Created an internship program between J/P HRO and the University of Haiti. Provided 1 month of educational training to assess and augment internship skills including 6-months of supervision.
*Advocated for clients in need, and for the importance of MHPSS integrated practices in the community (to reduce stigma of stand-alone MHPSS), worked with local and international organizations to provide child protection on various levels.
*Identified families ready to relocate, and supported families through the relocation process. Provided case management supervision through the entire process.
Aug 2009- June 2010
Pender Community Clinic, Vancouver, BC
*Provided 1:1 counselling for homeless clients: crisis intervention as well as long term counselling, and case management.
*Advocated on behalf of the client with respect to follow-up treatment sites, recovery homes, or financial assistance.
*Facilitated support groups to address the interconnectedness of addiction and PTSD.
*Facilitated support groups for clients in a Methadone maintenance program.