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 I continue to teach peer team interventions, as well as providing clinical support to the St. Paul Fire Department Peer Support Team.
Kathy Abram, MA
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.
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.
Lori Alveshere Sommer
Nurse & Consultant
I’m a certified professional coach and trainer with 15 years experience working as a registered nurse in the field of cardiology, in direct patient care and clinical research and as a project manager in public health settings. I’m looking forward to sharing practical science based techniques and strategies to manage the stressors encountered while doing meaningful & challenging work, so you can stay in the game for the long haul.
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.
MD, FAAP, TTS
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.
Linette Meyer, RN, BSN
Nurse & Consultant
It’s been an honor to work as a Registered Nurse for more than thirty years. My field of specialty is clinical field of organ donation, caring for donor families and advocating for organ, tissue and eye donation, while also coordinating a complex clinical process. I’ve seen the positive impacts that destress conversations can have and have benefitted personally from discussing the impact of critical incidents. Those conversation have helped me continue to care for the patients and families I serve.
Earlier in my career, I worked in hospital and nursing home environments in the ICU, medical-surgical unit, obstetrics and cared for the elderly. I’ve seen and felt the impact of end-of-life care and have been privileged to be present with patients and families at the end of life.
I believe that health is an ongoing and holistic continuum, and that destress conversations can help normalize stressful events to keep providers in the career of their choosing.
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.
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.
BSN, RN, TCRN
Over the course of my 41 year career as a registered nurse, I’ve worked in a variety of areas and roles dedicated to the care of injured patients, their families and those who care for them. Most recently, I retired from North Memorial Health Hospital – a busy Level 1 trauma center – after 35 years. In the course of my career there, I worked in both the ICU and Trauma program. Prior to my tenure at North Memorial, I spent several years in hospital critical care at another facility. I’m a site reviewer for the Minnesota Department of Health Trauma System and served as the Performance Improvement Specialist for the Metro Regional Trauma Advisory Committee from 2015 – 2021.
Sharon Sinclair, MA
For over 35 years, I have been privileged to provide Employee Assistance Program (EAP) services to health care workers. For 29 years, I led the EAP for a large health care organization. I led many debriefings during those years for issues including workplace violence, patient death, sentinel event, patient suicide, employee death, employee suicide and active shooter. I was a founder of CISM teams for two acute care hospitals and am passionate about providing supportive care to caregivers, as well as contributing to their understanding of giving good care to themselves.