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Clinical Team

  • Dr. Kristy McKiness Ed.D, LCPC, ACS
    Dr. Kristy McKiness Ed.D, LCPC, ACS
    Clinical Director

    Dr. Kristy McKiness Ed.D, LCPC, ACS is the founder of KM Institute, and has been in the helping profession since 2001. She completed her doctorate degree in Counseling and Higher Education at Northern Illinois University. Dr. McKiness has rendered services in settings including jail, emergency room, outpatient, residential, and schools. She highly enjoys working with adolescents and their families as well as adults and couples. 

    She is dedicated to serving first responders, and completed her doctoral dissertation on police officers perspectives of Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training. She also serves as a member of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police on the Police Psychological Services Committee to advocate for a variety of supportive services to law enforcement officers. Dr. McKiness has worked with first responders since 2001 through collaboration with CACI and forensic interviewing, providing professional trainings, rendering mental health and substance abuse services to responders and their families, and training other clinicians to work with first responders. She  holds certifications the areas of sexual assault and domestic violence, a 120 hour specialization certification in counseling firefighters, is a certified domestic mediator and forensic interviewer, and has a certification as an Approved Clinical Supervisor. 

    With regard to her clinical style, Dr. McKiness enjoys working with her clients to reach their personal goals while enhancing their emotional wellness. She recognizes change to be a positive part of growth, progress, and opportunities. She believes in empowering her clients to help them identify their strengths as one avenue of creating long last change. Kristy highly enjoys working with adolescents, adults, couples, and families. Kristy is also passionate about teaching counselors-in-training, and is an adjunct faculty member in the Northen Illinois University graduate counseling program. She also enjoys providing professional presentations, and has presented at state level conferences on a variety of topics including adolescent risk and threat assessment, female doctoral student adjustment, and Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT).

    * Specialties: Anxiety, Depression, Self-Injury, Trauma, Anger management, Grief and loss, Chronic mental illness, Divorce, Relationship issues, Work related issues, Life transition, Domestic violence, Sexual Assault,  Adolescent life adjustment, College adjustment for traditional/non-traditional students

  • Dr. J. Scott Nelson EdD NCC LCPC CRADC
    Dr. J. Scott Nelson EdD NCC LCPC CRADC
    Clinical Advisor

    Dr. J. Scott Nelson has over 20 years of experience helping people as an educator, clinical counselor, addictions counselor, substance abuse professional, employee assistance program counselor, interventionist, pastoral counselor and police chaplain. During his 5 years as a police chaplain, Scott provided Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) for first responders, military groups, and other groups. Scott worked to assist first responders to effectively manage the daily stresses that go along with the challenges of law enforcement and firefighting as well as helping with issues like post traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, family issues, etc.

    Clients usually feel at ease with Scott right away. Dr. Nelson has a successful private practice with offices in Rockford and Crystal Lake, IL and specializes in helping first responders discover meaningful and lasting solutions to emotional, behavioral and relational struggles.

    Dr. Nelson earned his doctorate at Northern Illinois University in Counselor Education and Supervision, and a Master’s Degree in Professional Counseling from Liberty University. Currently, Scott is an Associate Professor of Clinical Counseling at Judson University and was formerly an Assistant Professor of Counselor Education and Supervision at Argosy University and a Teaching Associate of Medicine at UIC Medical School in Rockford. He is also a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC), and a Certified Reciprocal Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CRADC). Scott was also the clinical trainer for Rosecrance, a nationally recognized substance abuse and co-occurring disorder treatment organization in Illinois prior to opening his private practice.

  • Illinois Firefighter Peer Support Team Provider List
    Illinois Firefighter Peer Support Team Provider List

    This list includes providers from Illinois and other states that have been endorsed by firefighters. The contact information and specializations below contain the information that was given by each provider.

    Provider List