About Me

I am a Social Psychologist and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (License #102954) with a private practice in San Francisco’s East Bay. My practice is devoted to helping women work through their challenges, and make changes, in order to lead their best lives. I help women with a wide variety of 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 on their path to wellness.

My focus on women’s well-being began in college, and continued in my Ph.D. program, where I researched career and family building with an emphasis on reproductive and maternal mental health issues, and 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.

Nicole Kangas, PhD, JD, LMFT

Nicole Kangas, PhD, JD, LMFT

verified by Psychology Today

Experience and Specialized Training

For the past 15 years, I have been providing counseling and support in the mental health field. I have worked in various settings including hospitals, schools, community clinics, and private practice, and I have 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. This broad-based experience allows me to bring a wide range of knowledge and skills to my practice.

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

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

I understand and appreciate 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. I also know that with support, women can and do feel better.

My Approach

My approach to therapy prioritizes relieving any distressing mental-health symptoms while building on the client’s strengths to increase coping, self-efficacy and resilience. I do this by engaging in a collaborative relationship with my clients, in which we work together to identify, and work towards treatment goals. I take an active role in sessions, drawing upon cognitive behavioral strategies, mindfulness and mind-body techniques, and interpersonal and client-centered interventions. My approach is culturally-sensitive, non judgmental, and built on feminist principles that consider how societal views and pressures can influence an individual woman’s view of her own struggles and her path towards wellness.  My approach also includes working collaboratively with clients’ physicians, alternative health care providers, family members and others to provide the best care possible.

I love my work and feel extremely fortunate that I am able to spend my days helping other women. I am 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.

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