I was born to one set of parents and adopted by another set. I grew up always knowing that I was adopted, yet I knew very little about my roots. Consequently I lived in the fantasies that only children can invent––as an adoptee from a closed adoption, those fantasies were always a plausible reality.
The influence of my adoption and reunion (with my biological family) feature prominently in my studio art practice where I explore concepts of intimacy, identity, and belonging through visual work as well as in community engagement works.
I received my MA from Loyola Marymount University in Marital & Family Therapy with a Specialization in Clinical Art Therapy. I came to that program as I began more decidedly to do work with the community, specifically my community of the adoption constellation.
Proudly, I received an Artistic Community Engagement Grant from the Rema Hort Mann Foundation in 2016, and I have collaborated and shown work internationally in Europe, Africa, Australia, Asia, South America, and North America (specifically the US, Canada, Mexico and Cuba).
Before returning to school in 2018 to pursue therapy as a career, I worked as an art teacher in the community and at the university level; taught EFL in France, Spain, Argentina, and Chile; worked in communications and arts programming administration; all alongside my career as an artist.
I am a compassionate and experienced Therapist utilizing both art and psycho-therapeutic techniques to help my clients improve their physical, cognitive, and emotional well-being. I am empathetic and creative, encouraging my clients to reflect their experiences building coping skills enabling them to deal with challenging and traumatic experiences–working to thrive.
Listen to me on AdopteesOn Podcast
What my supervisors have said
Associate therapists must work under the supervision of a licensed therapist. This means that as my client, you receive the benefit of the experience and knowledge of both me as a pre-licensed therapist, as well as a licensed therapist that provides weekly supervision. Below are what past supervisors have said about me:
Nicole is a wonderful clinician and very creative. She has been very flexible, proactive and patient. She is supportive of her peers, and she is dedicated to doing art with clients. I would strongly recommend her as a therapist.
Christine Sartiaguda, Ed. D, LMFT
Nicole has a natural ability to build trust and positive relationships with her clients. She draws on her creativity, knowledge, and experience to adapt different approaches that meet clients' diverse needs and facilitate their use of the art therapy process.
Genia Young, ATR-BC, LMFT
Nicole is a dedicated, sincere, and thoughtful clinician. Her clients feel supported and “heard” due to her kind, non-judgmental, and engaged therapeutic style. She approaches the work with compassion, creativity, and a sense of humor. She will be an asset to you on your therapy journey.
Michelle Schafer, LMFT