The Rock Counseling Group - Champaign IL

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The Rock Counseling Group Staff


Rock CG 2 17 18 0121r R.J. McNicholl, MSW, LCSW
Senior Therapist

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R.J. is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 15 years of experience. He specializes in individual counseling, couples counseling, teenagers and family counseling, with expertise in addressing a variety of issues including depression, self-esteem, anxiety, ADHD, and disruptive behavior disorders. R.J. has extensive experience in addiction counseling, working with substance and process addictions with a special interest in treating pornography and other sexual behaviors concerns. R.J. works very closely with local first responders, military veterans, fire fighters, and law enforcement, providing counseling, coaching, and therapy services to this important population and their families. R.J., along with his wife Staci, are certified by the Family Dynamics Institute as Dynamic Marriage Facilitators, focusing on the identification and fulfillment of important emotional needs in marriages and relationships. R.J. works within a cognitive behavioral and interpersonal framework with adults, adolescents, and couples. His ability to incorporate both concrete recommendations as well as insight-oriented approaches provide a unique experience for his clients. R.J. focuses with his clients to gain insight into both conscious and unconscious roadblocks that create difficulty in daily life.  As chair of the University of Illinois suicide prevention team from 2010-2015 and extensive experience in emergency services,R.J. is sought out by his local community to provide training and education in suicide prevention treatment, risk assessment, self-harm reduction."


Message from R.J.:

“Are you experiencing difficulty in your relationships, engaging in self-sabotaging behavior, feeling paralyzed in your life? You can create change. You don't have to remain anxious, depressed, confused or paralyzed in relationships or in life. Together we can create a safe space for you to feel both understood and empowered. We will work in partnership exploring the hurdles that prevent growth, and the patterns of behavior that are no longer helpful but difficult to let go of. Together we will lay the foundation for lasting change. My specialties include: relationship difficulties, anxiety, depression, identity issues, men's issues, pornography and sexual behaviors, PTSD, risk assessment, self-sabotaging behavior and life transitions. 


Rock CG 2 17 18 0116r Staci McNicholl, MSW, LCSW
Senior Therapist

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During my 15+ years in practice, my specialties include disordered eating/eating disorders (binge eating, compulsive overeating, anorexia, bulimia, dieting issues, and those who have or are undergoing gastric bypass surgery) as well as body image/body dysmorphic disorder. I also specialize in depression, anxiety, cutting/self-harm, substance abuse, and couples/marital therapy. My husband and I provide a unique approach to couples therapy by working with couples as a couple. My passion has been to facilitate change for clients via multiple treatment approaches in order to empower people to break the bondage of seemingly intolerable emotions or circumstances. 
I am also a Certified Nutrition & Wellness Consultant through the AFPA. This specialized certification and training means that in my work with disordered eating and eating disordered clients, I am able to provide the most comprehensive, up-to-date treatment possible by including the vital components of nutrition and wellness into a client's treatment. When a client finds it beneficial, I enjoy incorporating Christian principles into sessions. I work in practice with my husband, also an LCSW, to provide a private and healing environment. This allows us to ensure the highest quality treatment and to work with clients who have unique or complex issues. 
Message from Staci:

"It is my hope that you will find comfort and understanding in your life journey. I find it important that you are able to find your voice and are comfortable expressing your feelings, emotions, and desires. I can understand how difficult it may be to consider confronting past hurts and experiences and want to be a beacon of hope in that journey. I also am very aware of the stresses of life, parenting, marriage, and the demands this can put on our lives. It is important to me that you find your value and worth in yourself and that you find purpose in your life. Life is not a destination but journey."


Rock CG 2 17 18 0100r Trevor Kendrick, M.A., LMFT
Staff Therapist

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Over 13 years of counseling experience have provided Trevor with proof that support and guidance from a nurturing and skilled therapist have the power to change lives. Trevor focuses on reality based therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, attachment therapy, and family system approaches to assist clients in their journey of healing. Trevor believes in focusing on the individual’s specific needs and personal strengths; whether it is traditional talk therapy, play therapy, or use of therapeutic workbooks assignments.


Trevor works with individuals, couples, children, and families who struggle with a variety of issues ranging from depression, anxiety, family adjustments, grief, behavior disorders, substance abuse and many more. Trevor specializes in assisting women, children, and families who are dealing with abuse, neglect, family separation, divorce, child visitation conflicts, foster care, and adoption. She is one of the therapists preferred by local lawyers, judges, and Guardians ad litem. Her experience with adolescents who are defiant or appear to have “lost their way” provides Trevor with concrete tools to assist those adolescents and their caregivers in navigating this very difficult stage of life. Trevor’s work in the foster care system provides her with a vast knowledge of the issues that impact foster children, birth parents, and foster parents.


Message from Trevor:

“In certain situations, family members are incorporated into the therapeutic process. Many times the individual’s identified issue is actually a family system issue. At times, healing the family system can diminish the targeted behavior or issue and lead to a more functional and content individual, family or child. I am passionate in my work with women who have been sexually abused in their childhoods and are struggling with how to integrate that very traumatic experience into their current lives and relationships. As a mother of 5, I understand the demands of being a parent and wanting what is best for your family. I desire to be an advocate and bring a voice to those who have experienced trauma in their lives.”


Rock CG 2 17 18 0114r Michelle Buxton, MSW, LCSW
Staff Therapist

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Michelle has over 15 years of experience providing mental health services. Michelle offers tangible tools and compassionate support for women, children, and families with a focus on cognitive behavioral systems, and person centered treatment, dialectical behavioral therapy, grief work, and mindfulness strategies. Michelle provides a confidential and supportive environment in which to discuss many life stressors and issues that you may be facing in your life right now. Michelle’s specialties include trauma, grief and loss, depression, anxiety, self-esteem, and adjustment and stress reduction. Michelle’s many years working in Champaign, IL and surrounding communities makes her a valuable asset in treatment and recovery. Whether the concerns involve children, teens, a spouse or partner, work/life balance or other life adjustments and stressors, treatment methods used will create real and lasting change.


Message from Michelle:

“I have an affinity for working with clients who benefit from a safe, meaningful, and therapeutic environment in which to express their feelings, while collaborating with you to find passion and purpose in life. I hope that you will benefit from a trusted and skilled advocate and therapist in which real improvement can be obtained. I enjoy incorporating spiritual strengths as a way to frame treatment when this is a desire for clients. I have found that working in a small, professional, collaborative environment like The Rock Counseling Group allows me the opportunity to seek consultation from a dynamic staff, and a use a team approach when necessary, to treat an individual with complex issues or an entire family/sibling set.”



Rock CG 2 17 18 0081rLynn Griffith, MSW, LCSW
Staff Therapist

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Lynn’s many years working in the mental health field have given her the opportunity to work with a wide variety mental health concerns. Lynn works with individuals, couples, and families facing struggles related to depression, anxiety, addiction, eating disorders and behavioral issues, chronic health and pain issues, relationship conflict, life adjustment, and severe and persistent mental illness. Lynn experiences assisting individual and families have the opportunity to adjusting to a new life circumstances makes her a strong advocate and support for her clients. She enjoys the opportunity to work in collaboration with her clients to identify realist strategies to find passion and purpose in their lives. Lynn’s interests include women’s issues, couples, and families as well anxiety and depression. She has significant experience working with addiction related issues as well as behavioral issues in teens and young adults focusing on reducing risk of negative consequences and reducing self-harm. Lynn welcomes the opportunity walk her clients on this journey. Her office provides a confidential, quiet, professional atmosphere as well as flexible hours.


Message from Lynn:

“I have a strong belief in each person's ability to heal and help themselves with the assistance and empowerment of supportive and skilled counseling. I provide a safe, professional, and understanding environment for you to explore your situation and make the necessary changes to improve your quality of life. I have an eclectic style with the majority of my training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Person Centered, and Systems approaches to therapy. This style allows me the flexibility of approaching each person in the way that fits them best. I understand that the therapy and counseling relationship is unique, unlike any other relationship we may have in our lives. It is my hope that your experience in our office is one of hope, purpose, and passion for whatever season of life you are in.”



sararivierSara Rivier, LSW
Staff Therapist

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Over the last decade, Sara has had the opportunity to work in many areas of the mental health field. This has given her the unique ability to work and connect with children and adolescents, as well as adults. Sara uses a strengths-based approach, combined with cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and other strategies, to allow for a tailored approach to each individual client. She has experience working with trauma and PTSD, substance abuse, anxiety, depression, couple and family relationships, behavior disorders, persistent mental illness, among other life challenges. Sara is committed to making sure that each client has a space to express themselves, and has a safety net as they move towards a happier life.

Message from Sara:
"I believe that change happens outside of our comfort zone. At the same time, I believe that feeling safe is a vital part of the change process. We can only begin to step outside of where we have been, into a more healthy and happy life, if we are first grounded in safety and security. I strive to provide this environment for my clients. My goal is that all clients feel safe and secure the entire time that we work together to move through the uncomfortable aspects of life, towards a happier, healthier, more fulfilling existence."


Rock CG 2 17 18 0054r Kelsey Oglesby, LPC, NCC
Staff Therapist

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Kelsey's years of experience in the counseling field have provided countless opportunities for her to be a figure of support and guidance when interacting with her clients. Her authentic personality and genuine exchanges trademark her specialty using a person-centered approach that highlight individual values of each client and their strengths. Kelsey experience in multiple clinical settings has afforded her the opportunity to be an eclectic therapist using a variety of approaches including existential therapy where one can find freedom with responsibility as well as humanistic therapy where one opens the mind to acceptance and growth. She has training and extensive experience utilizing Cognitive Behavioral therapy techniques to assist her clients in addressing negative thought patterns and developing more healthy ways to approach their life. Kelsey works with adults, adolescents, families, and couples in her practice. Kelsey also has vast experience working with clients in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. Kelsey prides herself on her ability to be flexible and begin therapy where the client feels safe and comfortable.   

Message from Kelsey: 
I regard seeking help one of the toughest endeavors in life. I ventured into this field because of my ability to help others in a real way. My hope is to build an environment where my clients feel safe and comforted knowing they have someone to listen, advocate, and care in times of struggle.  My strengths lie in self-exploration, self-connection, and empowerment. Counseling is not a one player team. I am your teammate, coach, cheerleader and your biggest fan, working with you every step of the way to meet your goals. As a wise professor once advised me, "In the game of life, it's better to work smarter not harder. Seeking out help does not make you weak, makes you smart."


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Amber Dowers,M.S., LCPC

Staff Therapist

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Whichever way life's twists and turns take you, I am here to provide stability, safety, and a comforting platform from which to work through these sometimes life-changing, overwhelming events. I am a therapist that has been in practice in this community for over 10 years. I especially enjoy working with children, teens, and their families to promote better communication, support from past traumas, self-esteem, or functioning within the family. My focus with couples is also on communication-from evaluating and understanding communication styles to utilizing communication to improve functioning for the entire family.

Message from Amber: 

"Providing a strong voice for children as an advocate for special needs, medical issues, and chronic stress is also a part of my passion. Additionally, helping teens navigate through this stage of their stage of life is also a committed passion of mine. I enjoy focusing on their levels of independence and ability to navigate through it in a healthy way. Encorporating and focusing on total overall wellness is very important-nutrition, physical activity, overall health-and essential when it comes to the competent, compassionate mental health care that I strive to provide."

Rock CG 4 20 18 166r ps Sheldon Aaron, M.S., LPC

Staff Therapist

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Sheldon’s experience in the mental health field has allowed him the experience to work with a wide variety of clients and mental health concerns. Sheldon assists clients in understanding their present world, how they are affectted by their lived experiences, and how to explore meaning and understanding to their present issues in order to learn how to manage their emotions in a healthy and positive manner. Sheldon’s primary areas of treatment are individuals, couples, and families of all backgrounds facing concerns related to depression, anxiety, phase of life issues, relationship conflict, LGBTQIA issues, and many others. Sheldon focuses on psychodynamic therapy (understanding how the past affects the present), cognitive-behavioral therapy, and humanistic therapy to assist clients in learning how to live their best life.


Most importantly, Sheldon believes that the most important aspect of counseling is the relationship between counselor and client, and ensures a professional, compassionate, and safe environment when working with clients. Sheldon’s ability to build a different kind of relationship with his clients enables his clients to be in an environment they feel allows them to be open and honest about their lived experiences, so that his clients are able to work hard in creating change for themselves.


Message from Sheldon: “Life gets a little hard to handle, and that is a normal experience for everyone. Circumstances arise that are difficult to navigate through alone. My hope is that through counseling, we can navigate those muggy waters together in order to learn how to manage your emotional experiences in a healthy manner.  My goal as a counselor is to provide you with a safe and welcoming environment where you feel comfortable being your most honest self. I utilize a variety of therapeutic approaches that are meant to bring forth understanding of your present situation, to challenge your way of thinking, and to encourage creating positive and effective change in your life. I have hope that difficult situations get better, and I hope that through working with me you feel the compassion, safety, and courage needed to allow me to work through those difficult situations with you. Seeking counseling is one of the toughest and bravest steps one can make, and I am proud to be able to start this journey with you.”


Rock CG 4 20 18 158r ps John Kleber

Clinical Counseling Intern

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John is a professional counseling intern who is currently working toward his Master's in professional counseling, and has over 7 years experience working with children and adolescents and their families. John has experienced high level crisis situations in both residential treatment centers and as a member of a counseling team working with families in their homes, schools, and communities. He has been trained to provide crisis intervention and cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to youth, and has been able to assist parents in working through their own personal challenges and mental health needs. His experience has included youth with conduct and disruptive disorders, ADHD and issues of impulsivity/decision making, depressive disorders and suicidal thoughts, trauma and abuse history, and some substance abuse. He has experience working with adults with PTSD, depression, bipolar disorder, and ADHD. John has also assisted children and families with relational and communication issues, which has included work related to parental relationships and unity. John is trained in mental health first aid and crisis de-escalation, and has consistently built connections and trust with families, causing them to feel comfortable allowing him to see the vulnerable aspects and moments of their lives.

Message from John: "Life is hard, and at times can cause us to feel like giving up. Suffering can and does occur as a result of life circumstances, others' decisions, and our own, and I greatly desire to come alongside those who are suffering to support, encourage, and identify patterns that are keeping them stuck. I am convinced that there is always hope no matter the difficulty, and a way to move forward. It is my hope to help others find the strength and faith to persevere and find their identity in the midst of a difficult world."


Rock CG 2 17 18 0093r Megan Webb

Patient Accounts Manager

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It is important that from the first call to The Rock Counseling Group, the experience is comfortable and respectful. Megan focuses on providing each client with personal attention, connecting them with the therapist that is best suited to their personality and situation. She will answer all of your questions related to your account, your insurance benefits, employee assistance benefits, and scheduling/rescheduling appointments.
Message from Megan:
Loving what you do leads to happiness. As the Office Manager at The Rock Counseling Group I love what I do.I’ve spent several years in an office setting, which advanced my skills in customer service. I will work to establish a safe and welcoming environment from the moment you walk in to the moment you leave. I recognize the importance of an emotionally safe place for clients and strive to facilitate that every day. I hope my presence at The Rock Counseling Group will add value to your therapy experience.

Counseling services

Children, adolescents, families, and individuals can all benefit from a helping hand and a listening ear at certain times that can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges.


Even highly motivated, upwardly-mobile, educated, generally healthy people can sometimes use a helping hand to make their lives even better! The Rock helps you develop leadership skills that will not only grown your career, but enhance your life.

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The Rock Counseling Group - Champaign IL