About Me

Nicole Kangas, PhD, JD, LMFT

I’m a Social Psychologist and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (License #102954) with a private practice in San Francisco’s East Bay. My counseling practice is devoted to helping women overcome their challenges, and make changes, in order to lead their best lives. I help women with a wide variety of mental health concerns including:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety and Mood Issues
  • Life Transitions
  • Trauma and Loss
  • Relationship and Parenting Struggles
  • and More…

I also specialize in helping women and their partners with with issues related to reproductive mental health including infertility, birth trauma, pregnancy and postpartum concerns, and perinatal/infant loss. It was my own reproductive struggles, combined with a long-standing interest in women’s health, that spurred me to dedicate myself to helping other women. I’ve since focused my counseling practice on providing support for women with infertility, in addition to all other women’s mental health needs.

My focus on women’s well-being began in college, and continued in my Ph.D. program. I researched career and family building with an emphasis on reproductive and maternal mental health issues. I also studied the effects of family and work decisions on women’s well-being and life satisfaction. This work laid the foundation for my clinical training and practice.

Dr. Nicole Kangas PhD LMFT - Counseling for pregnancy loss, infertility, postpartum depression and anxiety treatment Lafayette CA

Nicole Kangas, PhD, JD, LMFT

verified by Psychology Today

Experience and Specialized Mental Health Training

For the past 15 years, I have been providing support and counseling for women in the mental health field. I have worked in various settings including hospitals, schools, community clinics, and private practice. I have also treated a wide range of clients including:

  • Adolescents
  • Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse
  • Women Struggling with Eating Disorders, and
  • High Conflict Couples and Families

Before starting my private practice, I spent eight years working at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. I worked both in the antepartum unit and the NICU. During that time, I mentored mothers who were hospitalized because of pregnancy complications. I supported parents with babies that were born prematurely or with other health problems. I would also lead support groups for pregnant women and new moms and dads as they transitioned into parenthood. This work, which was extremely rewarding, continues to influence how I work with women in my practice today.

I also have specialized clinical training in reproductive and perinatal mental health. This broad-based experience allows me to bring a wide range of knowledge and skills to my practice.

Further Notable and Ongoing Experience and Specialized Training

I also have specialized clinical training in reproductive and perinatal mental health. Currently, I’m participating in a leading edge, ten-month Postgraduate Program on Fertility Counseling. I’ve had the privilege to train under Harvard Medical School health psychologist, Alice Domar, Ph.D, and I continue to receive advanced training in her internationally recognized Mind-Body Program for Infertility. I’m EMDR trained, and utilize this technique to treat various types of trauma including reproductive trauma. I’ve done extensive training with Postpartum Support International (PSI) and world renown postpartum expert Karen Kleinman in the area of Postpartum Mood and Anxiety Disorders. Volunteering for PSI and Resolve (The National Infertility Association), I currently serve as a PSI Support Coordinator for Northern California.

I understand the complex emotional, psychological and physical struggles that can affect women during their reproductive experiences and later as they deal with family, work, and life challenges. Most importantly, I know that with support, women can and do feel better.

My Approach to Counseling

My approach to therapy is two-fold. First, I prioritize relieving any distressing mental-health symptoms. Second, I build on the client’s strengths to increase coping, self-efficacy and resilience. I enter into a relationship with my clients, in which we work together to identify and work towards treatment goals.  Taking an active role in sessions, I draw upon CBT strategies, mindfulness and mind-body techniques, and interpersonal and client-centered interventions. My approach is culturally-sensitive and non judgmental. I incorporate feminist principles that consider how societal views and pressures can influence an individual woman.  My approach also includes an all-encompassing, integrated structure. Collaborating with a clients’ physicians, alternative health care providers, family members and others helps in providing the best care possible.

I love my work and feel extremely fortunate that I’m able to spend my days helping other women. I’m inspired by my clients’ curiosity and courage, and their pursuit of a life well-lived.

When I am not with my clients, I treasure spending time with my children and husband. I also love being with friends, traveling, reading, and staying physically active.

Get the Counseling and Support You Need

You don’t have to struggle alone.  I have the training and experience to help you be the best version of yourself.  If you are ready to begin counseling, please reach out to schedule your first psychotherapy appointment today.  Whether you’re looking for specialized counseling services for a particular issue or more general individual counseling, I’m here to help!

License

  • Marriage and Family Therapist
  • California Board of Behavioral Sciences, license # 102954

Education

  • Stanford University, PhD (sociology/social psychology)
  • Santa Clara University, MA (counseling psychology)
  • Boston University School of Law, JD
  • Bucknell University, BA (women’s history)

Postgraduate Trainings/Certifications