If you are experiencing thoughts of self harm/suicide or if you are experiencing an emergency call 9-1-1.



Kristten Buttermore, M.S., LMHC

Kristten is the founder of Creative Counseling Services. Kristten graduated from Iowa State University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology. She went on to graduate from Drake University in 2003 with a Master’s in Education in Community Counseling. She has been providing mental health and substance abuse services since 2000, working in a variety of settings and roles. Kristten is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC). She no longer sees clients in the office but is still involved in the administrative side.


Amy Hawcott, M.A., LMFT

Amy graduated with her Bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University before obtaining her Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Bethel Seminary in 2004. Amy has been working in the field since 2004 and has been providing therapy services since 2011. She has worked with diverse populations providing a variety of services, including Functional Family Therapy, adolescent substance abuse treatment, adolescent sex offender treatment, and marriage and family therapy. Amy is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) who provides mental health assessment and therapy to individuals, couples, and families.


Cheri DeGroot, B.A., IADC

Cheri graduated from Mt. Marty College in South Dakota with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Behavioral Sciences. Cheri has been working in the substance abuse field for 15 years and has experience working with diverse populations and settings, including providing treatment services at a men’s correctional facility and the State of South Dakota Psychiatric Hospital. Cheri’s interest and experience in corrections lead to her current position as a Probation Officer, but her passion for substance abuse treatment has kept her actively working in the field. Cheri is a certified International Alcohol and Drug Counselor (IADC) and provides substance abuse treatment services including assessment and individual counseling/treatment sessions. She maintains a limited case load due to her full-time position as a Probation Officer.


Stephanie Vela, TLMHC, CADC, NCC

Stephanie obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in sociology from Northern Illinois University. Over the past 10 years Stephanie has worked in a variety of positions in the field, including working with at-risk youth, working in an adolescent shelter, child-welfare, and counseling individuals with addictions and cooccurring disorders. Stephanie has been a certified alcohol and drug counselor (CADC) since 2011 and recently obtained her Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Stephanie is a temporary licensed mental health counselor (TLMHC) as well as a National Certified Counselor (NCC). Stephanie conducts substance abuse assessments and individual treatment/counseling sessions as well as individual mental health counseling assessment and therapy sessions.


Jacqui Kniffen, TLMHC, NCC

Jacqui is the newest member of the Creative Counseling team. She completed her practicum and internships here at CCS and officially joined the team as a full-time counselor in September 2016. Jacqui graduated with a bachelor's degree from Luther College and recently obtained her Master of Science Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Walden University. She is currently a Temporary Licensed Mental Health Counselor (TLMHC) and a National Certified Counselor (NCC). Jacqui provides substance abuse and mental health assessment services, as well as individual therapy services.