About us

Critical Incident Stress Consultants (CISC) is dedicated to providing evidence-based resiliency strategies and support following toxic stress exposure to help the helpers stay in their chosen field. Located in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area, we work with clients locally and across the country. When you engage Critical Incident Stress Consultants, you engage a team of experienced professionals.

Sue Johnston, LICSW

CEO & Founder

As leader and CEO of Critical Incident Stress Consultants, I strive to bring together experienced professionals to assist those in the helping professions through evidence-based interventions. My work is informed by my 30 years of experience as a psychotherapist treating stress, anxiety and psychological trauma in a variety of locations and populations, including: emergency services personnel, medical professionals, rape survivors, torture survivors, refugee communities, and war zones with MSF/Doctors without Borders. I’ve responded to multiple critical incidents (employee death in service, employee suicide, staff assault, staff grief reactions, ambulance crash, helicopter crash) as well as mass casualty events, including Hurricane Katrina, the 35W bridge collapse, and tornado destruction.  I was a founding member of the United Hospital and Children’s Minnesota CISM/Peer support team, the Clinical Director of the The Metro CISM Team and continue to teach peer team interventions, as well as providing clinical support to the St. Paul Fire Department Peer Support Team.

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Kathy Abram, MA

Psychologist &

Retired Deputy Sheriff

During my 25-year career in law enforcement as a dispatcher, jailer, patrol officer, detective, and watch commander, there were no helpful interventions. The prevailing attitude was “Buck up and get over it,” which is not a healthy attitude in responding to critical incidents or chronic stress. After my first few debriefing interventions, I was hooked on the way in which I could help first responders and the public normalize a critical incident and help them move on. I am incredibly motivated to help keep first responders mentally healthy for their careers, their families and their communities. Their job should never get in the way of off-duty life.

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Lindsay Benson,


Psychotherapist & Consultant

I am proud of my 15 years of experience in the field of mental health working with groups, couples, children, teens and adults. I’m trained in Critical Incident Stress and work with first responders on a regular basis. I specialize in trauma, incorporating Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and body-brain connections. I approach my work by putting my clients at the center and working with them holistically. I believe there is always a path to healing, and there is always cause for hope.

Cindy Anderson, BSN, RN,



My career spans forty years in the medical field as a Paramedic, EMS Educator and Emergency Department nurse. For the past twenty years I’ve been a member of the Metro CISM Team, a group of volunteers who provide free critical incident stress debriefing sessions to first responder teams within the Twin Cities metro area.

Through my work in both the emergency medical field and the Metro CISM Team, I have experienced firsthand the importance of keeping emergency care responders supported and healthy, especially after an impactful event. Peer support and facilitating critical incident event follow-up have been some of the most rewarding work I’ve experienced.

Stephen Kurachek,



I am a former critical care physician from Children’s Hospital and for the last 7 years of my career I worked in quality and helped develop a peer-to-peer support program. I feel strongly that we desperately need to create cultures where supporting one another, and sometimes forgiving oneself, is embedded in our work.


Suzanne Nelson, RN


I am a Simulation Education Specialist at Children’s Minnesota who previously worked as a Pediatric ER and Medical Surgical RN. These experiences inspired me to do more work in the area of clinical debriefing and peer support. I co-developed and lead this work at Children’s, and am excited to help support this work in other facilities.

Becky Ousley

Communications Consultant

I’ve always been passionate about communication – telling stories and sharing ideas that connect people. My 18+ years of non-profit communication experience combines this passion with my dedication to serving others. Advocating for solutions to homelessness and inspiring people to register as organ, eye and tissue donors has helped me hone the ability to distill complex ideas into simpler narratives with sensitivity and compassion.

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24 HR Critical Incident Notification: 612-293-9448
Email us: info@cistressconsultants.com 

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