WE CAN HELP
With more than 30 years of experience under his belt, Kevin Polky is amply qualified to oversee KP counseling as both founder and executive director. He is a licensed clinical social worker, certified alcohol and drug counselor, certified school social worker, executive coach, former football and strength coach, and personal trainer. Kevin has worked with individuals, families, and organizations in areas of Illinois and Wisconsin and currently works with individual clients and their families at KP Counseling. He also facilitates three men’s groups, conducts workshops and seminars, and serves as a consultant to businesses, schools, and churches. In 2010, Kevin founded Four Corners Wellness which has evolved into a company that produces workshops and trainings, business consulting, and executive coaching. In 2016, Kevin founded Shatter Our Silence a not-for-profit company to increase awareness and educate on the factors that lead to suicide in young adults.
Kevin has written or co-authored seven different leadership programs: Working with Disruptive Students I and II – 32 hrs., Solution-Focused Safety Program (developing a safety culture within a manufacturing/industrial environment) – 32 hrs., Striving for Excellence (developing a culture of excellence within the industrial environment) – 16 hrs., Impact of Young Adult Suicide and What We Can — 6 hrs., SISU-Developing Resilience — 3 hrs., Caring for the Care-Giver — 3 hrs., Order-Disorder-Reorder: Preparing for the Re-Order of COVID-19 – 3 hrs., and Managing Stress and Developing Resilience — 3 hrs.
In 2019, he launched his weekly podcast “Kevin Polky-The Journey” based on stories and conversations with individuals regarding their journey of transformation from setbacks to soaring. In 2020, Kevin added to his executive director position by taking over the same role at Red Oak Counseling at their Elm Grove and Oak Creek locations (both located in Wisconsin). In 2021, Kevin continues to expand his role as executive director in Wisconsin by taking the helm of Sherman Counseling in the Appleton, WI area leading their 10 offices.
He volunteers at local schools and churches, teaching youth and adult classes on a variety of psycho-social-spiritual material. He is active on a variety of non-for-profits board of directors for local agencies. Kevin’s favorite activities outside of KP counseling, Red Oak, and Sherman Counseling include spending time with family, exercising, supporting the arts, reading, and enjoying God’s presence through nature.
Dr. Joseph Eckburg
Dr. Eckburg is a Board Certified Family Physician and has been serving the Rockford, Illinois area for over 18 years and has been the KP Counseling Medical Director since 2016. Originally from Pecatonica, he was educated and trained at the Universities of Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin.
Dr. Eckburg holds the following degrees:
B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Iowa, 1987
M.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Illinois, 1991
Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, University of Illinois, 1993
M.D. University of Illinois, 1994
In his spare time, Dr. Eckburg enjoys time with family, reading, and exercising.
Kevin Anderson brings more than 25 years of experience working in the mental health profession to kp counseling working with individuals of all ages, couples, and families. He is a licensed clinical social worker and certified alcohol and drug counselor. Kevin’s experience includes inpatient and outpatient chemical dependency treatment and psychiatric hospital care.
An important aspect of his practice is redirecting and teaching individuals and families to see change in family dynamics as a crucial piece in working with psychiatric disorders. Kevin consults with physicians regarding medication management and to assist the flow of information between therapist, client, and doctor. He volunteers in various capacities with several schools and churches in the area.
Kevin enjoys spending as much time as possible with his wife and teenage son. Spirituality is a significant part of his personal life and is intertwined into his professional practice as well.
Since 2006, Delinda Grindle has been a member of the kp counseling team, providing grief support services to area churches and schools. She has worked in therapeutic settings with children, adolescents, adults, families, and couples in both individual and group counseling. Delinda provides years of experience in leadership and organizational development and works off-site offering grief counseling in churches, schools, and other organizations. In 2008, Delinda developed and implemented the “Character for Success” program in the Harlem School District as part of their Student Assistance Program (SAP).
Delinda’s specialization in grief counseling includes the following issues:
Anticipatory grief and caregiving
Anticipatory grief and terminal illness
Death and grief
Extended grief due to loss of health and physical ability
Job loss or job change
Breakup, divorce, or other loss of a love relationship
Loss of financial security
Loss of job/identity
Delinda received her certification in Grief and Death Studies in 1996 and pursued her master’s degree in social work in 2012. During her time in graduate school, Delinda partnered with Fitzgerald’s Funeral Home and Crematory, assisting in the development of their Soulprints Aftercare program. Her philosophy in counseling is “companioning individuals in their healing journeys.” She believes that journey involves reflecting on the physical, emotional, cognitive, social, and spiritual areas of one’s life.
When she’s not working, Delinda enjoys spending time with family, hiking, exercising, and reflecting on her awareness of God’s presence in her life.
Gail Logemann has been working with kp counseling since 2002, providing support in areas of remarriage and stepfamilies, divorce recovery, individual and couples therapy, dating and relationship coaching, and men’s and women’s issues. A Rockford native, Gail has a master’s degree in Applied Family and Child Studies, with a specialty in Marriage and Family Therapy. She is licensed by the state of Illinois in Marriage and Family Therapy and is a certified Aroma Freedom Technique practitioner, using essential oils to trigger a permanent shift in how we view ourselves and the world.
In addition to having a Christ-Centered approach to therapy, Gail has had 8 hours of Co-Parenting Training for court-ordered P.A.C.T. for divorcing parents, 40 hours of training for the School Crisis Assistance Team, she has specialized training in suicide prevention, and has attended numerous seminars and workshops in areas of her clinical interests. Prior to joining kp counseling, she was a Wisconsin state-certified police officer and EMT, and a volunteer firefighter. She had a small private therapy practice in Sycamore and worked as a counselor in the CHANCE Program at NIU. She also taught undergraduate courses for the Department of Family, Consumer, and Nutrition Sciences at NIU for three years.
Gail attends Forest City Church and has served in the singles community in the greater Rockford area and was a “Big Sister” for several years.
In addition to her passion for marriages and families, Gail enjoys fishing, shooting, beading, cooking, reading, canoeing, and campfires. She currently resides in Rockford and has an adult son living in Madison, Wisconsin, and is in the “rough draft” stage of writing a book on red flags in dating and how to date smarter.
Karen Lauer joined the KP counseling team in October 2007. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) who has extended training in the areas of loss and trauma, interpersonal relations, and child and adolescent development. Karen primarily works with individuals in adolescence through adulthood who are going through life transitions, stress, loss, and trauma. She also provides treatment for individuals struggling with symptoms of anxiety or depression, those navigating relationships challenges, and those looking to become healthier in all aspects of their lives.
Karen received a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Iowa and a M.S. in Applied Family and Child Studies with a Specialty in Marriage and Family Therapy from Northern Illinois University. While spirituality is very much a part of Karen’s life, she follows the client’s lead with their personal spiritual beliefs and strengths. Karen hopes that spiritual balance can serve as a guide both in and out of counseling to help individuals and families in their pursuit of health and healing.
Karen prefers to spend her personal time outdoors, traveling, cheering on the Iowa Hawkeyes and Green Bay Packers, exercising, and being with her husband, family, and close friends.
Pat Spangler joined the kp counseling team in December 2015. Prior to that, he worked at Rosecrance for more than 20 years where he worked with adolescents and adults in both inpatient and outpatient treatment settings. He helped to initiate programs to address the specific needs of young adults, clients suffering from opiate addiction, as well as individuals representing the aviation and fire protection services. Pat has also been a regional and national presenter on the topics of treating opiate addiction and working with the young adult population. Pat has completed several interviews offering insight from his longstanding, professional experience of working in the addictions field which has been included in the news, television, and radio.
Pat received his M.S.Ed at Northern Illinois University and is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in Illinois. He also is a Certified Alcohol and Other Drug Counselor (CADC), as well as a Medication, Assisted Addiction Treatment Professional (MAATP).
Pat enjoys working with young adults, adults, and older adults and has extensive experience working with clients in individual, family, and group counseling settings. Pat came to kp counseling to return to working directly with those in need and to return to his “roots” of counseling.
In his spare time, Pat enjoys spending time with his family and plays a variety of sports. He also helps coach youth softball and volleyball.
Dr. Christina Warden
Christina earned her BS in Anthropology and Sociology from Rockford College, and her MSW from the University of IL at Urbana/Champaign. Prior to counseling individuals, couples, and families, Christina worked in our community for over 12 years assisting individuals and families in crisis, victims of domestic violence, victims of rape/sexual assault, and youth-at-risk. Christina had the profound privilege of working with patients and families in hospice care for several years prior to private practice counseling and ultimately joining KP Counseling. Christina earned her Doctorate in Clinical Social Work at Aurora University in Aurora, IL, and she has been an adjunct professor teaching both bachelor’s and master’s level coursework in social work for over 8 years.
Christina and her husband will celebrate 19 years of marriage this year, and they are very busy with their four children who are all involved in multiple sports and activities. Beyond her faith, her family, her friends and her work, Christina enjoys reading, writing, volunteering and spending time outdoors working in her yard. She and her husband are focused on never missing the value of a single moment, and she is dedicated to working as a conduit in others’ lives to promote understanding and healing. Christina identifies most with cognitive/behavioral therapy traditionally, but operates from several modalities working with couples and marital therapy, memory work, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, PTSD or survivors of trauma or childhood trauma and more. She is also a LCSW in both IL and WI.
Sonya Nygren started working at KP Counseling in 2013. Prior to that, she worked at a local substance abuse facility providing outpatient and detox services. Sonya works with children, adolescents, and adults in a variety of issues including relationship/family dysfunction, depression, anxiety, trauma, self-esteem, and eating disorders. Sonya uses a combination of treatment approaches including cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), solution-focused, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR).
Sonya earned her Bachelors of Science at Rockford College and her Masters of Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in substance abuse from Walden University. She is a National Certified Counselor (NCC), a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in Illinois, and a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor (CADC) in Illinois.
When she is not busy at kp counseling, Sonya enjoys spending time with her family and friends, exercising, and traveling.
Amy joined kp counseling in 2014, after spending seven years working as certified alcohol and drug counselor in the addiction field. Most recently, she worked for a local substance abuse agency as an evening supervisor overseeing crisis, detox, inpatient, and outpatient clients and staff. Amy also completed a one-year internship at a local hospice and grief center.
Amy obtained her B.S. in Community Health at Western Illinois University and completed her graduate work at National Louis University where she received her M.S. in Community Counseling.
Amy’s favorite activities outside of kp counseling include spending time outside, playing cards, and spending time with family and friends.
One of Amy’s favorite quotes is from Mary Anne Radmacher, “The jump is so frightening between where I am and where I want to be… because of all I may become I will close my eyes and leap!”
Renae joined the kp counseling team in September 2015. She has an Associate Marriage and Family Therapy license and experience working with individuals, families, and couples in the areas of relationship issues, depression, trauma, self-esteem, and parent-child issues. Renae received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and her Masters of Science in Applied Family and Child Studies with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy from NIU.
In her spare time, Renae enjoys attending church, boating, and spending time with family
Ashley joined the kp counseling staff in August 2015, bringing her professional background in addictions, mental health, and family counseling. Ashley works with adolescents and adults on a variety of issues including anxiety, depression, and substance use disorders. Ashley understands that mental health and substance use disorders affect the family as well as the individual, and she enjoys working with family members who are struggling with a loved one’s disorder. In addition to providing individual and family counseling services at kp counseling, Ashley also works at a local middle and high schools to provide social-emotional counseling to students. Ashley is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Social Work from Aurora University with a specialization in addictions and child welfare services.
Jonathan joined the KP counseling team in May 2017. He has experience working with children, adolescents, young adults, and families. He has worked with individuals age 6 to 18 in the areas of anxiety, depression, parent-child relations, substance abuse, and self-esteem.
Jonathan received his Bachelors degree in Social Work from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He received his Masters in Social Work from Aurora University with a specialization on Clinical Social Work, focus area in children, youth, and families.
Jonathan likes to spend his free time outside, with friends and family, listening to music, and watching as well as playing sports.
Michelle joined KP in December 2018, bringing with her 6.5 years of experience working in various settings as a therapist.
Michelle received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a minor in Women and Gender Studies from Illinois State University and her Master’s Degree in Applied Child and Family Studies with a Specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy from Northern Illinois University.
Michelle has worked as an outpatient intern therapist in community mental health and a therapist in both residential and inpatient settings. She has experience working primarily with adolescents and young adults to maneuver crisis situations and life transitions. She also obtained her CADC (Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor) certification and has worked with adolescents struggling with substance abuse and addiction issues. Michelle has experience helping people navigate depression, anxiety, self-esteem, identity exploration, school-related stress, addiction (substance-related), body image, anger management, and relationship stressors. Michelle enjoys working with individuals, couples, and families.
Michelle approaches counseling as a collaboration between therapist and client. She strives to be a supportive change agent helping to guide clients towards their goals.
In her free time, Michelle enjoys spending time with her family, exercising, reading, playing games, and traveling.
Jim Johnson joined KP Counseling in September of 2019. Jim brought 9 years of experience in the counseling field-8 years in the substance abuse area and an additional year in Community Mental Health. His substance abuse experience includes working with both inpatient and outpatient programs, including group and family therapy. In the last year, Jim worked with patients of all ages as well as facilitated anger management groups and groups for patients with trauma.
Jim graduated with his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois and completed his Master’s Degree in Counseling at Northern Illinois University. Jim is also a certified addictions counselor.
Jim enjoys doing things with family, especially if it means getting outside. He also enjoys bicycling, motorcycling and working with animals. Particularly, training border collies for stock dog trials.
Joining KP Counseling in 2019, Phil Curtin is a licensed clinical social worker who brings over forty years of experience as a school social worker and psychotherapist. Phil worked full-time for many years in the Lowell, MA school system, an urban district with a diverse ethnic and economically challenged population, many of whom were trauma survivors.
After twenty-four years of being a school social worker providing direct service to emotionally and behaviorally disordered adolescents, Phil became director of Lowell’s social work department. Here the main focus was educating the social work staff and his district colleagues about the growing understanding of trauma’s serious negative impact on learning and behavior and, more importantly, about the emerging treatment approaches that helped survivors overcome adverse experiences and restore emotional balance to their lives. In his last four years in Lowell, Phil taught trauma studies an urban education master’s degree program as an adjunct professor at Fitchburg State University.
In addition to his school position, Phil worked part-time in private practice for over thirty years providing individual, couples, and group counseling. Treatment issues addressed included anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, character issues, and difficult life transitions, all of which were informed by studies of trauma treatment, brain function, and human development.
Phil’s counseling philosophy centers on the belief that effective emotional self-regulation allows us to live our most functional and satisfying lives. Regulation of our emotions depends on concrete skills we can learn, practice, and enhance at any point in our life’s journey.
Phil earned his B.A. in psychology and philosophy at Boston College and his MSW at Boston College Graduate School of Social Work. His internships were at a school for the hearing impaired and a Veterans Administration hospital where he first worked with traumatized war veterans.
Outside of work, Phil enjoys spending time with family and friends but also retains a passion for reading and learning about what makes us tick. Currently, he is studying neurofeedback with the intention of soon incorporating this promising modality into his practice.
Amanda has spent most of her life in the Rockford area. She joined the kp counseling team in 2018. She will be working with individuals from adolescence to adults. Amanda helps clients with relationship issues, anxiety, depression, emotional struggles, self-destructing behaviors, self-esteem, trauma, and other life struggles. Her genuine and empathetic demeanor creates a comfortable environment for the client to discuss important issues. Amanda believes that therapy can help her clients improve their quality of life, reach personal goals, enhance interpersonal relationships, and increase their resiliency.
Amanda earned her Associates of Arts from Rock Valley College, Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Rockford University, and her Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Judson University.
In addition to counseling, Amanda loves spending time outdoors with her husband and two children, gardening, playing basketball, working out, taking weekend road trips, walking her dog, and watching Netflix.
Cody Berillo joined KP in 2020. She earned her BS in Family and Child Studies from Northern Illinois University and recently received her MSW from Aurora University.
Over the last four years, Cody has worked with different organizations throughout the community of Rockford providing advocacy and crisis intervention to local families. She has experience working with adolescents and adults in areas of depression, anxiety, complex trauma, PTSD, domestic violence, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, codependency, personality disorders, grief, body image and self-esteem, and relationship issues.
In addition to her work, Cody enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her husband, daughter, and two dogs.
Joining KP Counseling in 2019, Masha earned her Associate of Arts from Rock Valley College, Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Rockford University, and her Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Prior to her graduate studies, Masha was a personal wellness coach working with young adults overcoming anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive, and eating disorders. Masha enjoys working with clients seeking transformational change and creating a deep sense of meaning and belonging in their lives. As well as, identity development, self-esteem, assertiveness training, and career counseling.
She believes in helping her clients in a holistic way by identifying strengths and past success and building on those in order to overcome obstacles and find joy. Her coaching experience provides her with an ability to reframe situations and find opportunities for growth with her clients, as well as, aid clients in building motivation to take charge of their lives and transform into the best version of themselves.
Being an immigrant herself, she values working with individuals who are adapting to significant life changes at any stage of life. Her clinical interests include personal growth, spirituality, identity development, transformational change, coming of age issues, relationship issues.
In addition to counseling, Masha enjoys spending time in nature with her family; whether it’s hiking in the woods or kayaking on a lake. Enjoying movement through yoga and exercise, reading, writing and working on her spiritual and personal development.
Kemper joined KP Counseling in 2020. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, (LCPC) and is certified as a Level 1 Theraplay play therapist.
Kemper was born and raised in the Rockford area and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development from Rockford University. She went on to earn her Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, TX.
Kemper works with children and adults ranging from three years old to adult. She has experience working with family issues, anxiety related issues, substance use, grief, trauma, depression, and child behavior issues, and parent-child issues. Kemper utilizes a variety of therapeutic modalities, including play therapy, art therapy, and animal assisted therapy with her certified therapy dog, Tucker.
Kemper has a passion to help others create and sustain a fulfilling purposeful life and works to help them learn to own their story and love themselves.
Outside of work, Kemper loves spending time with her family and friends, playing games, traveling, and enjoying the outdoors with her two dogs.
Kellie Ojeda has been in the Rockford area for over a decade. She works with clients from adolescence through the lifespan. During her internship, she interned at a private practice as well as facilitated a JOYNT group for women from their 50s-80s on emotional eating and weight loss strategies. She also works with people experiencing interpersonal and marital questions, depression, anxiety, infertility and miscarriage, life stages, weight loss/weight gain issues, trauma, and boundary construction. She loves to help clients achieve a sense of empowerment through implementation of boundary work, increasing self-discovery, increase coping skills such as cognitive-behavioral techniques, mindfulness and grounding, and, of course, the safety and understanding of the therapist. She is also particularly interested in working with clients who are looking for a Christian therapist, although she has worked with people from all walks of life.
Kellie has co-authored an article on pregnancy loss, volunteered at a youth ministry, she has been a JOYNT coordinator for the YMCA, and she has worked in private practice since graduation. She obtained her Associates of Arts at Rock Valley College, her Bachelor of Arts from Judson University in Criminal Justice Management, and, finally, her Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Judson University.
Kellie enjoys going for long walks, coffee with her friends, movie nights (and afternoons) with her kids, writing and working creatively, Bible study, eating sweets, and working out (specifically strength and agility training). Interesting facts: She has run two Spartan races (one in Lambeau Field), has a hypoallergenic Welsh Terrier, and sang in choir throughout high school.
Arianna earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree from Northern Illinois University in 2017. She earned her Masters’s in Social Work degree from George Williams College of Aurora University in 2020. Arianna has worked for the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Rockford for the past 20 years working in a supportive role for all departments at the Rockford campus. Arianna has worked with adolescents and adults. She partners with individuals to work through life’s challenges such as anger, anxiety, depression, trauma, and grief using best practices such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and psycho-education. Most important to Arianna is being with her clients with whatever they are confronting. It is important to her to help clients feel safe, that they have someone that understands them, and to help them work towards improved wellness.
Arianna started her educational journey at 28 years old, working a job full time, school part-time, and parenting full-time. Arianna’s perspective is that it’s never too late to make a change and positive change happens when a person feels supported.
Arianna is a single parent and spends her time outside of work with her children and the family dog. She enjoys being outdoors when the weather is nice, reading, listening to music, and watching movies in her spare time.
Linda Kayser joined KP Counseling in August of 2020. Linda is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has experience working with individuals, families, and groups in the areas of depression, anxiety, grief and loss, domestic violence, trauma, parent-child relationship, adoption issues and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Master’s of Education in Counseling from Northern Illinois University.
In her spare time, Linda enjoys hiking, kayaking, reading and spending time with friends and family.
Mark joined KP Counseling in 2020. He is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) and is certified in Critical Incident Stress Debriefing.
Mark is a lifelong resident of Rockford, graduating from Boylan Central Catholic High School. He earned an Associate in Arts from Rock Valley College, a Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement Administration from Western Illinois University, and a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Argosy University. Mark retired after 21 years with the Rockford Police Department where he was a K9 handler and a field training officer.
Mark has experience working with teenagers and adults. He has experience working with substance abuse, grief, trauma, mental health, anxiety, depression, and family issues with youth and adults in a variety of settings including non-profit, law enforcement, and residential settings. Mark has experience working with first responders – law enforcement, corrections, firefighters, EMS, and nursing, as well as veterans. Mark also has professional and applied experience in crisis management and de-escalation strategies and techniques. Mark is passionate about working with others to obtain their full potential in life and believes that our past does not have to define us.
When not at work, Mark enjoys hunting, fishing, scuba diving, hiking, and being in nature with his wife and children.
Ashton Lockhart joined KP Counseling in 2021. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and A Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. She has experience working with youth, adolescents, and adults individually, in groups, and with families in the areas of trauma, complex trauma, domestic and family violence, anxiety, and depression.
Ashton earned her BA from Marquette University and her MSW from Aurora University. She has spent several years working in the courts and other organizations throughout the Rockford area, and undertaking needs for equity, inclusion, and diversity within the populations she has served. Ashton also has professional and applied experience with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Emotional Freedom Technique (or tapping), Narrative Therapy, and Skills Training in Affective and Interpersonal Regulation (STAIR).
In addition to her work, Ashton enjoys traveling, dance fitness classes, and spending time with family and friends.
Kalab Polky joined KP in 2021. He earned his BS in Anthropology/Sociology and minor in Art: Print Making from Rockford University and received his MSW from George Williams College of Aurora University.
Over the last couple of years, Kalab has worked with different organizations throughout the community of Rockford providing advocacy, case management, and counseling to at-risk youth and their families. He is a founding board member of Shatter Our Silence, a non-profit organization focused on young adult suicide prevention. He has been a lifelong athlete and had the opportunity to play collegiate football, coupled with his degree in art influences his versatile approach in his therapy. He has experience with adolescents and young adults in the areas of depression, anxiety, grief, bullying, learning disabilities, kids with ADD and ADHD, and study/focus issues.
In addition to his work, Kalab enjoys printmaking, watching stand-up comedy, and spending time with family and friends.
Lindsay provides individual & family counseling at KP. She enjoys working with adolescents and adults on a variety of issues including coping with depression, chronic pain, self-injury, anxiety, and substance use disorders. She has 17 years of experience in the Social Work/Mental Health field. Lindsay understands that seeking services can be difficult and she is here to help you through whatever you are facing.
Lindsay received her Bachelors of Science at Illinois State University and her Masters of Social Work at Aurora University. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in Illinois and a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor (CADC) in Illinois.
When she is not in the office, Lindsay spends time with her husband and son, enjoying the outdoors and nature, and watching the Chicago Bears with her family and close friends. She is a spiritual person who also is an avid orca lover.
Charlotte “Cheri” Reed
Charlotte joined KP Counseling in February 2021. She is a licensed clinical professional counselor (LCPC) a certified alcohol and drug counselor (CADC), a problem and compulsive gambling counselor (PCGC), with an adolescent treatment endorsement (ATE), and is a national board-certified counselor (NCC).
Charlotte has 17 years of working with adolescents, adults, children, and families in a variety of settings, including residential, outpatient, and recovery homes. She specializes in working with children, adolescents, adults with experience in addressing anxiety, depression, life transitions, personality disorders, substance abuse, parent-child relational issues, process addiction, low self-esteem, anger management, domestic violence, trauma, and LGBTQ-related issues.
Charlotte earned her Bachelor’s Degree at Northern Illinois University and went on to complete her Master’s Degree at National-Louis University. She uses a strength-based approach with cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectal-behavioral therapy, client-centered approach, and beliefs in helping people accomplish their own personal goals.
When not in the office, Charlotte enjoys spending time with her family, watching Marvel movies with her kids, cooking and baking, going on bike rides and leisure walks with her little dog, Walter.
Emma is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor with over ten years of experience in the behavioral health field in a variety of settings including residential, outpatient, and a recovery home setting. She has experience working with children as young as three years old, using a play therapy approach. She also has experience working with adolescents, adults, and families in the areas such as substance use, trauma, depression, anxiety, parent-child relational issues, foster care and adoption, and a variety of other areas.
Emma received her Bachelor’s Degree in Family and Consumer Sciences, with a focus on Family Services, from Eastern Illinois University in 2007. She went on to get her Master’s Degree in Community Counseling from Argosy University in Schaumburg in 2012. In addition to her college education, Emma has attended numerous hours of training in the areas of play therapy and trauma. She also has experience as a previously licensed foster parent.
Emma believes that the key to a positive therapy experience is the therapeutic relationship and works hard to establish rapport and a successful relationship. She also uses strengths based approaches to assist people in identifying and utilizing their strengths in making positive change.
Emma grew up in the Rockford area and feels lucky to call Rockford home, where she lives with her two young sons. Outside of work, Emma enjoys spending time outside and being active, including hiking and running, playing games, watching documentaries, and spending time with her family and friends.
Anita Knight joined KP Counseling in June of 2021. Anita completed her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Master’s of Education in Counseling from Northern Illinois University. Her counseling experience has been working with youth, adolescents, and young adults on a plethora of issues which include: anxiety, depression, ADHD, grief and loss, trauma, life transitions, relationship issues, self-esteem, and family issues. She uses an integrative approach including cognitive behavioral therapy, solution-focused, and mindfulness techniques when working with clients. Her philosophy of counseling is to empower clients that they have the power within to make the necessary changes in their lives that will lead toward growth, fulfillment, and wellness. Anita is passionate about reminding clients of their inner strength and resilience to overcome trauma and challenges. She believes in using a holistic approach that focuses on the entire individual mind, body, and soul.
In addition to work, Anita enjoys watching movies, writing, reading, walking, dancing, and spending time with loved ones.
Nikki is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor. She graduated from Northern Illinois University with a Master’s degree in 2018 with a Graduate Certificate in trauma counseling. Nikki has a passion for trauma work and is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), as well as hypnotherapy, and is a level 2 trained Reiki practitioner. She works with children, adolescents, adults, and families, treating a variety of mental health concerns and challenges. Nikki aligns with a Rogerian approach, consisting of unconditional positive regard, empathy, and authenticity for clients. She realizes that not one counseling approach works with every client, so she incorporates many different theories and interventions in her work. Nikki meets clients where they are at and helps them to reach their goals so they can live a more congruent, fulfilling life.
In Nikki’s spare time she enjoys spending time her family, friends, and her pets. She enjoys kayaking, hiking, and working in her yard.
Amara Rafiq is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a National Certified Counselor. She earned her Bachelor of Science in psychology and her Master of Science in Education in Counseling degrees from Northern Illinois University. Additionally, she holds a Professional Educator License and has experience working as a school counselor—assisting middle and high school students with their social-emotional, academic, and college/career goals.
Passionate about her work in the mental health field, Amara helps individuals manage their mental health concerns. She is experienced in conducting both individual and group counseling sessions on topics including anxiety, emotional regulation, stress management, and multicultural counseling.
Using person-centered therapy, she emphasizes the use of a non-judgmental approach to counseling. She utilizes the core conditions of counseling—genuineness, unconditional positive regard, and empathy—to support clients working through issues of distress. Amara’s goal is to help individuals live their best life and achieve personal fulfillment.
In her free time, Amara enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, reading, volunteering, and giving back to her community.
Julianna joined KP Counseling in March of 2022, as a school counselor providing social emotional support for middle school students. Julianna earned an Associates of Arts from Rock Valley College, Bachelor of Arts in Human Services, and her Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Judson University.
Julianna is a Master Therapist, a certified alcohol and drug counselor (CADC), medication assisted addiction treatment professional (MAATP), with a gender endorsement competency (GEC) provided by the Illinois Certification Board.
Julianna has worked in Behavioral Health for over 18 years assisting hundreds of individuals with addictions and other co-occurring disorders. Julianna takes pride in helping her clients discover alternative ways to become a healthier person emotionally and spiritually.
Julianna uses a client-centered approach with cognitive-behavioral therapy when coaching her clients in achieving their goals. She has an interest in working with adults and adolescents with issues related to anxiety, depression, life transitions, substance abuse, self-esteem, boundaries, and lack of self-empowerment, as well as clients who prefers a faith-based approach to counseling. She believes that every person placed in the right environment has the ability of becoming the best version of themselves.
Outside of the office, Julianna enjoys shopping, traveling, gardening, and spending time with friends and family.
Betsy completed her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Augustana College and a Master’s degree in Clinical Counseling through National Louis University. Betsy uses a strengths based approach to assist clients in solving problems and rebuilding connections with the end goal of working towards a more balanced future. She believes that giving a voice to one’s story is a huge part of working through past hurdles in life. Betsy uses an integrated approach using a variety of treatment modalities: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness, Solution Focused Therapy, Motivational Therapy, Trauma Focused and Reality Based Therapy.
Betsy’s previous work history includes working with DCFS involved families as well as being a supervisor at a residential facility for individuals with persistent mental illness. Most recently working as a school therapist at a therapeutic school. Betsy has vast experience in working with: persistent mental illness, anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Trauma and Emotional/Behavioral Disorders, Mood Disorders, relationship issues, self-esteem issues as well as the LGBTQ community. Throughout her career, Betsy has worked with adolescents and as well as adults. She has also assisted people in dealing with issues surrounding disabilities, multicultural issues, family dynamics, complex trauma and PTSD. Betsy has completed training in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) as well as Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). She is Bilingual, speaking Spanish and English.
In her free time she enjoys spending time with her children and family. As well as traveling and reading.
Cierra Polky joined KP Counseling in 2022. She earned her BS in social work at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee in 2021 and graduated with her Masters in Social Work from Aurora University in August of 2022.
The last two years Cierra has worked with Autism Treatment for Children in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area providing in-home therapy for children between the ages of three and five. She also has worked in the Kinnikinic School District since the start of 2022 providing social emotional care. Cierra has been a lifelong performer and has a passion for art which influences her versatile approach in her therapy. She has experience with children, adolescents and young adults in the areas of bullying, anxiety, depression, learning disabilities, ADHD and life transitions.
In Cierra’s spare time she enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family and participating in community theater.
Meredith joined KP Counseling in July 2022. Meredith earned her Bachelor of Arts from DePaul University and her Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Judson University.
Meredith describes life as a journey filled with great experiences, hard times, seasons we find ourselves celebrating, and ones we wish we could forget. It is her desire to help individuals find their true, healthy selves no matter what they are currently experiencing. She believes that all people are capable of growth and change. Meredith finds it an honor, joy, and privilege to get to know one’s story, understand their uniqueness, and journey alongside them.
Meredith particularly enjoys working with individuals 11 & up to help them navigate the season of life in which they find themself and any struggles that they might be facing. Though she tailors her therapeutic approach to the individual who sits across from her, the primary purpose is to create a strong, trusting relationship with her clients where they feel safe to talk about anything. Meredith’s goal is to empower individuals with the tools and support necessary to get to where they want to be. Meredith also integrates faith-focused interventions for those clients who desire that direction of care.
Outside the office Meredith enjoys spending time with her family and friends, tending to her numerous houseplants, and working out.
Brianna “Annie” Christensen
Annie joined KP Counseling in August 2022 as a school counselor for Whitehead Elementary School. She will also be seeing clients in the office starting in October 2022. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Minnesota – Duluth, and a master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of St. Thomas – St. Paul.
As a clinician, Annie has experience working with children and adolescents who present a variety of mental health concerns including depression, anxiety, trauma, adjustment disorders, and ADHD. When working with individuals, Annie prioritizes building a trusting therapeutic relationship as she believes it is essential to their optimal development and growth. During this process, she strives to create a warm environment to help her clients feel comfortable, supported, and empowered to be the best version of themselves. By meeting her clients where they are at, Annie tailors her sessions to achieve their individual direct needs. While she draws from a variety of treatment modalities, a majority of her practice revolves around cognitive behavioral therapy and attachment theory. Annie helps her clients understand the connection between the mind, body, and soul to propel them towards living their most fulfilling lives. A personal goal of Annie’s is to guide clients in understanding that they are resilient, powerful, and strong, and ultimately the writers of their own life journey.
Outside of work, Annie enjoys the outdoors, exercise, hockey games, and spending time with her family, friends, and of course her four-legged fur baby.
Mary joined kp counseling in November 2022 but has been providing mental health services through various programs in Rockford for 8 years. Mary earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Memphis, her Master’s Degree in Social Work from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and obtained licensure as an LSW in May, 2022. Mary believes that you are the expert on your lived experiences with endless strengths and abilities. Mary utilizes a holistic and strengths-based approach in every interaction. Her goal is to meet you where you are, let you decide where you want to go, and help you get there on your terms. Mary is dedicated to promoting social justice, equity, and respect for all persons. She strives to provide an atmosphere in which you feel safe to find and express your story.
Mary has experience providing counseling and support to various populations in a variety of settings. She has worked with families and individuals coping with veterans’ affairs, homelessness, change/adjustment, persistent and progressive mental illness, domestic/intimate partner violence (DV/IPV), the child welfare system, substance abuse, co-occurring substance abuse and mental health diagnoses, complex, developmental, and intergenerational trauma disorders, grief and loss, chronic illnesses, anxiety, depression, Bipolar Disorder, trauma-response personality and behavioral disorders, women’s health issues, and the LGBTQ population. Mary can offer tools and techniques for behavioral and cognitive re-framing for adolescents and adults struggling with ADHD, neurodivergence, and executive functioning disorders. She has experience with those families and individuals coping with body image and/or disordered eating behaviors (anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, etc.). Mary utilizes a variety of therapy modalities based on your needs and preferences such as mindfulness and trauma-focused CBT, DBT, solution-focused therapy, family systems therapy, narrative therapy, and social justice/multicultural therapy.
In her spare time, Mary enjoys traveling, watching theater, spending time with family and friends, and working on her own personal and spiritual growth.