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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) which form 2/3 of my practice. 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. Other areas of my clinical expertise include workplace stress, anxiety, and mood related problems.

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

  • 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 Ontario Psychological Association (OPA)
  • 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


  • 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