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Dr. Laura Nichols

Ph.D., C. Psych
Clinical Psychologist

I founded the Centre for Change in 2017 because I wanted to create a sanctuary space, exclusive to adults, in the West end of Ottawa and throughout Ontario. A space that is private and serene and filled with hope.

My demeanor, both personal and professional, is relaxed and warm.  In fact, I am probably best known for my warm down-to-earth therapeutic style with clients and I boast that this is due to my east coast roots!  I grew up in Nova Scotia and the east coast values instilled in me through my family and the culture, are an important part of who I am as a person and as a psychologist. I build partnerships with the clients I work with and together we formulate a plan that will address the specific difficulties you are experiencing.

Clients often ask me if people can change—yes change is possible, and I am proof.

I practice Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and its specialized forms of treatment for PTSD, Prolonged Exposure (PE) and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT). Although I work with individuals experiencing a variety of difficulties, much of my focus and expertise is helping first responders and their families - RCMP, firefighters, police, paramedics, veterans and military members who have experienced operational and/or traumatic stress. I also work with individuals from the general public on concerns related to stress, grief, life transitions etc.

I am affiliated with the University of Ottawa as an external Director of Training and Clinical Supervisor and consequently much of my professional time is spent training and supervising doctoral students at the centre.

I also am committed to my work serving as a board member for the Ontario Psychological Association and as President Elect, I have the privilege to be involved in a variety of initiatives including advocating for the profession of psychology across the province and the developing of programs for our membership.

I have been honing my skills and advancing my knowledge for the past 15 years. I have received advanced training and supervision in CBT, and I regularly attend local, national and international workshops and conferences in CBT. I love my work, and I am humbled when individuals risk being vulnerable with me so that I can be of service.

Prior to working in private practice, I worked at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Care Centre in the Mood and Anxiety, Dual Diagnosis and Community Mental Health Programs. In these roles, I was responsible for conducting assessment and delivering individual and group therapy for individuals experiencing significant difficulties with bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety.

Professional Memberships

  • President Elect, The Ontario Psychological Association (OPA)
  • College of Psychologists of Ontario (CPO)
  • The Canadian Psychological Association (CPA)
  • The Association of Behavior and Cognitive Therapy (ABCT)
  • International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS)
  • Canadian Association of Behavior and Cognitive Therapy (CABCT)
  • The Ottawa Academy of Psychology (OAP)

Other Professional Contributions

  • I have presented at national, international and world conference proceedings
  • I have served as an ad-hoc reviewer for the Institute of Mental Health Research and for the Anxiety and Depression Association of America
  • I have served as an Adjunct professor (University of Ottawa, University of New Brunswick, St. Thomas University and Dalhousie University)
  • My own research findings have been published in top-tier, peer-reviewed journals including The Psychology of Addictive BehaviorsEuropean Eating Disorders Review and Cyberpsychology, and Behavior and Social Networking

Credentials

  • Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, University of New Brunswick, 2011
  • Master of Education, Counselling, University of Maine, 1989
  • Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, Dalhousie University, 1983
  • Certified, Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD, 2020
  • Certification (in process) for Prolonged Exposure for PTSD, 2020

Clinical Services for Adults, 18-65 Years

  • Diagnostic Assessment (VAC eligibility, return to work, etc.)
  • Posttraumatic Stress
  • Operational Injury & Workplace Stress
  • Bipolar Disorder (experiencing fluctuations in mood from depression to hypomania or mania)
  • Depression
  • Generalized Anxiety
  • Panic Attacks/Disorder
  • Interpersonal/Relationship Difficulties