Carol Williams-Nickelson, PsyD

Carol Williams-Nickelson, PsyD

Phone: (571) 918-9309


Dr. Williams-Nickelson is a licensed clinical psychologist (VA) with over 20+ years of clinical and leadership experience in psychology, medicine, education/training, and national nonprofit organizational settings. She enjoys working with clients from all stages across the lifespan and from diverse demographic groups to identify, diagnose, and treat the full spectrum of mental disorders and related concerns. She provides individual, group, couples, and family therapy, along with various workshops, retreats, camps, and therapy programs to help people experiencing acute, life stage, and chronic issues. Dr. Williams-Nickelson developed and runs Atlantic’s group therapy program for children and adolescents and has extensive experience working with teens and young adults with complex symptom profiles and histories.

Expertise and specific practice areas of interest include: mood disorders; emotion and behavior regulation; stress and anxiety; adjustment and life transitions; grief and loss; eating disorders; complex trauma; personality disorders; relationship concerns; adolescent identity development; LGBTQ+; ADHD; executive functioning; twice exceptionality; career development, workforce re-entry & executive leadership; and women’s issues. She uses evidenced-based assessment and treatment approaches grounded in family systems, social constructionism, solution-focused, narrative, feminist-informed, and cognitive-behavioral therapies. She has provided direct services in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, crisis and residential treatment centers for children and adolescents, psychiatric facilities, university counseling centers, community clinics, schools, the juvenile justice system, the military, and law enforcement agencies. Dr. Williams-Nickelson engages in a collaborative approach with clients and practitioners from other disciplines when needed to develop and implement comprehensive, integrated treatment plans to help her clients live healthier, happier, and more meaningful lives.

Dr. Williams-Nickelson has dedicated her career to making quality, affordable healthcare services accessible and preparing the next generation of socially-conscious psychologists and physicians to competently care for the whole person. She served as the Chief Executive of national nonprofit psychology, medicine, and social service organizations, including the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students, the American Medical Student Association and Foundation, the NCIDQ Examination and Certification, HDev Coaching and Consulting, and Support Health Services.

As a national leader, consultant, and activist, Dr. Williams-Nickelson has chaired and served on Boards of Directors for many charities, educational institutions, and healthcare nonprofits. Recently, as the Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) Chairperson and as a member of the LCPS School Counseling Services Advisory Committee, she successfully advocated for increasing mental health services and formal social/emotional learning programs in the schools. She is well-published in her field and has delivered 100 presentations at professional and scientific conferences on topics related to her research and areas of expertise, such as mentoring, developing leaders, empowering girls and women’s emotional health, the application of psychology in non-clinical settings, the education and training of psychologists and physicians, and behavioral health interventions with special clinical populations. As a member of the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Committee on Adolescent Girls, she works alongside other national experts to identify and address emerging mental health issues impacting young women from both practice and policy perspectives. She also serves as a subject matter expert for APA books and publications on doctoral training in psychology and clinical practice.

Dr. Williams-Nickelson has taught graduate and undergraduate psychology courses at the University of Notre Dame, Our Lady of the Lake University, the University of the Incarnate Word, Saint Mary’s University, the University of Texas at San Antonio, and has been an invited guest lecturer at many universities and institutions across the nation. She is the recipient of numerous awards for her leadership and contributions to advancing the fields of psychology and medicine. She earned both her master’s degree (MS) in counseling psychology with a specialization in marriage and family therapy, as well as her doctorate degree (PsyD) in psychology from Our Lady of the Lake University, and completed her APA-accredited predoctoral internship at the University of Notre Dame Counseling Center. Dr. Williams-Nickelson continues to champion the needs of underserved populations by working to eliminate mental health stigma, empower her clients, serve in national leadership roles, and make scholarly contributions to psychological science.

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