Damir S. Utržan, M.S.
Medical Family Therapist | Ph.D. Student | Researcher
Damir Utržan received his undergraduate degree in psychology with minors in philosophy and human development from Rockford University, formerly Rockford College. He completed his clinical graduate degree in marriage and family therapy at Northwestern University and his clinical internship residency at the Bette D. Harris Family and Child Clinic in Evanston, Illinois specializing in the treatment of individuals, couples, and families.
As a graduate assistant to Douglas Breunlin and William Russell (Breunlin, Schwartz, & Mac Kunne-Karrer, 1992), Damir conducted extensive research and review on the neurobiological implications to psychotherapy and the interaction between psychotherapeutic and pharmacological treatment interventions in relation to neurobiological factors. As a graduate teaching assistant at Northwestern University’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, Damir assisted instructors and facilitated break-out sessions with a co-therapist for students enrolled in Marriage 101: Building Loving and Lasting Relationships.
Damir is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in family social science with a specialization in couple and family therapy with a minor in human rights at the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota.
As a grief therapist on an interdisciplinary group of Twin Cities Campus professionals, he provides consultation to assess situations and determine relevant assistance for student groups affected by trauma, brief interventions for student groups coping with a significant loss, and follow-up assessment and referral for continuing resolution of trauma effects. As a clinician for the Center of Victims of Torture, Damir performs psychiatric interviews and mental health assessments for Healing Hearts, Creating Hope: Exploring the Efficacy of Integrated Mental Health Services for New Refugees, a three-year collaborative project to provide new, on-site mental health services to refugees at the HealthEast Roselawn Clinic in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Damir is a compassion fatigue specialist in the behavioral health response strike team and provides mental health support to survivors, emergency responders, and the larger community in the event of a disaster. The principal focus of this strike team is to minimize the harmful psychological effects of stress and trauma on surviving individuals and families immediately following a disaster. All team members receive specialized training, including Psychological First Aid training. Damir serves as section instructor for FSoS 1101: Intimate Relationships, a course focused on the interpersonal dynamics of couples, under the supervision of dissertation adviser Tai Mendenhall, Ph.D., LMFT, CFT. Responsibilities vary to the nature of the position assigned but included development and instruction of course, grading of examinations, reports, and/or assigning final grades, preparation of examination or class materials, organization of course, assistance, and supervision or introduction of laboratory classes. As graduate research assistant to Steven Harris, Ph.D., LMFT, program director of the couple and family therapy specialization track in the Department of Family Social Science, Damir is investigating the potentially mediating effects of couples’ financial constraints separate.
In January of 2014, Damir began a two-year appointment as student membership committee co-chair of the American Psychological Association’s Division 56 of Trauma Psychology and recently won the Family Process Institute New Writers Fellowship.
Damir has native fluencies in American-English, German, and several dialects of Bosnian.
Gottman Couples Therapy Level 1: Bridging the Couple Chasm
Gottman Couples Therapy Level 2: Assessment, Intervention, and Co-Morbidities