About Sue

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.

Through these experiences, I’ve learned the specific and concrete interventions that help medical professionals and responders  “keep going,” as well as interventions that do not work in the midst of acute stress responses.   I’m trained in multiple modalities for healing psychological trauma, including: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Accelerated Resolution Therapy, Somatic Experiencing , Sensorimotor psychotherapy, clinical hypnosis, Brainspotting, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for insomnia. I’m also experienced in working with medical and emergency service personnel after traumatic events, to assist them in returning to functioning with new perspectives on strength and resilience.