Dr. Kathy Nickerson is a board certified clinical psychologist and nationally recognized expert in the fields of marriage therapy and couples counseling. Over the past 15 years, she has presented expert marriage advice at more than 150 conferences, while authoring more than 75 professional articles and books on relationship counseling.
Born and raised in Orange County, California, Dr. Kathy holds a doctorate and master's degree in clinical psychology from Capella University. She completed her undergraduate degree in Chemistry at the University of California in Irvine. Through her early work in teaching and clinical psychology with the Orange County Health Care Agency, she discovered the importance of healthy relationships. Kathy found that strong marriages contributed greatly to the mental and physical health of her clients. From that point on, Dr Kathy dedicated her career exclusively to helping couples strengthen and repair their relationships.
After helping thousands of couples improve communication, heal from affairs, and increase intimacy, Dr. Kathy felt a shift occurring in her thinking that led her to explore offering online relationship advice and programs. “I realized that any relationship - no matter what state it's in - can dramatically improve with the right tools, information, and strategies. Instead of teaching these things to one couple at a time, I wanted to offer everything I've learned from my 16 years of marriage, 12 years of college, 15 years of clinical practice, thousands of hours of research and training to ALL couples. My hope is to help as many couples as possible save their relationships, prevent divorce, and keep their families together, " she says.
When she’s away from the office, Dr. Kathy delights in being a wife, sister, auntie and daughter. She and her husband enjoy traveling together, digging for fossils, and volunteering with Southern California Bulldog Rescue. Kathy loves to read, work in her garden, experiment in the kitchen, and make handmade gifts for friends. When she wants to relax, Kathy curls up on the couch with her dogs and a great glass of wine to watch one of her favorite shows: The Blacklist, How To Get Away with Murder, & The Profit.
California Board of Psychology
Kathleen Nickerson, PhD
Licensed Clinical Psychologist, PSY 20446
As seen on:
"From the first conversation I had with Dr. Kathy, I knew she was different. She was real. She took time to answer my questions. She was honest, straight forward, and realistic. My wife and I went to her when I thought there was no way anyone could help us. Kathy gave both of us hope that things could be better. In just a few weeks, our relationship was better than it had been in years. I know it's because of what Kathy did and asked us to do. She has the best qualities of both a friend and a counselor - she's smart, funny, real, honest, and she cares. There's no doubt that she loves what she does and she loves the people she works with. Her dedication is amazing and I am better for knowing her."
"Dr Kathy is a psychologist with the head of a scientist and the heart of a friend. You won't find a better, more compassionate guide to help you save your marriage."
Tom, San Clemente, Orange County
"Thank you so much, Dr. Kathy. Your material has been so helpful. I finally feel like we're on the road to recovery."
SE, New York, used the Best Ever Marriage Program
"It's impossible to say how much better my life is because of our time with Dr. Kathy. Without her, we wouldn't have made it and my family would be broken in two. She helped us learn how to talk to each other, how to really listen, and most importantly, how to get to the bottom of our problems. If you need to get over an affair, call Dr. K today."
CS, Laguna Beach
"Kathy, most therapists go the extra mile, you go the extra continent. Thank you."
MCH, Orange County, Former Marriage Counseling Client
"Dear Dr. K., I just wanted to tell you again how invaluable your insight, guidance and support are to me. I haven't felt this good in a long time. Your concern, counsel, wisdom & loving friendship mean more to me than I could possibly convey. Thank you so very much for everything - most of all for your compassionate understanding."
LM, Dana Point, Former Client
"Kathy, I don't think I will ever be able to thank you enough. It was so difficult in the beginning months when I was dealing with so much and then the "man above" brought you into my life (even though you were not accepting new clients - you did). Thank you for all you have done for me."
JP, Irvine, Former Client
"Thank you again for all you do & for being so great to us - but most of all for who you are - a force of nature who will go where angels fear to tread. I wonder if you have any idea how many tragic endings you've averted for couples on the edge. What a truly noble way to have spent your time and your life - what else could you have done that would have been anywhere near as important?"
HW, San Clemente
"Dear Dr. Nickerson - Thank you. You are a godsend. Yesterday was a huge breakthrough for us. It is you that is impressive. You obviously care deeply about your clients & helping them heal their relationships. You are also clearly very skilled in the EFT therapy approach, and I believe it when you say that you "specialize" in tough cases - some of which probably elude others. I completely trust you already or I wouldn't have been able to express myself deeply. I could never do what you do - go to work in a combat zone every day and help people navigate these troubling issues. I admire your talent, training and compassion so much."
LM, Laguna Beach, Former Client
"Dear Kathy - In 6-months with you we have come further than in the last 5 years! I don't know how to thank you!!!"
MO, Newport Beach, Former Client
"Thought I'd let you know... and thank you at the same time... (Major THANKS!!) that Matt is now awaiting the UC responses. So far, UCSB has said YES to the fall for Matthew!!! And just a few short years ago we were in your office to keep him in High School!"
JS, Corona del Mar, Former Client
"Kathy, thank you so much. We really valued working with you and the whole experience. You really haleped our family and our daughter and it was such a great experience. I was really able to trust you and let go. Things are so much better now, thanks to you."
NC, Newport Beach, Former Client
"I am really really happy and was just thinking how much you helped me along this path and wanted to thank you. You were great and inspirational and believed in me when I didn't believe in myself. I came into your office a complete wreck thinking that my life wasn't going anywhere and you helped me realize things that I wouldn't have ever realized on my own. I want you to know that you were a great help in my path of wanting to become a physician. Thank you again for helping me realize that I have the potential to become a great and successful doctor and get into a medical school. Thank you for all of you help."
MM, Irvine, Former Client
"I cannot speak highly enough about Dr. Nickerson; I truly feel blessed to have had counseling with her. She has a very warm and caring personality and from our initial session made me feel comfortable sharing my concerns with her. Her approach, while direct, is that of a very sympathtic person. She was quickly able to help me identify areas that were adversely affecting me and gave me tools to jump-start the healing process. I directly attribute her kind manner and caring attitude to helping me achieve my goals."
JB, Aliso Viejo, Former Client
"Kathy, I wish you could get in my head and heart. You are a gifted, insightful therapist. I am a better person today because of the influence you have in my life. I mean that. Thank you."
CW, Laguna Niguel, Former Client
"Thanks so much, you have been so great." -ET, Irvine, Former Client
"Thank you for all of your work with my daughters. What a difference!" -LH, Laguna Niguel, Former Client
"If you are looking for someone to understand you, provide empathy and support, but also needing someone to be honest and able to offer solutions to your situation, Dr. Nickerson is this person. She is warm and engaging and able to be candid about sensitive issues. I have known her for the past 5 years and she is professional and ethical and being a counselor myself would not hesitate to refer clients, friends or family members to her. She is wonderful!" -SM, San Juan Capistrano, Former Client
"I always thought that people who were in therapy were in it for years and years. After speaking with Dr. Nickerson I knew that wouldn't happen because I immediately felt better. She understood my issues right off the bat and explained some techniques I could experiment with when I got home after my first visit. All in all, I spent six months in therapy with Dr. Nickerson and the experience was invaluable. It's great to know that if I need to go back, I can. She's there to help." -CS, Irvine, Former Client
"I hesitated entering therapy. I saw it as resigning myself to the fact that I had lost control of my life. It was upon my wife's insistance that I saw Dr. Nickerson, and it was one of the best decisions I've made. I was tremendously relieved when Dr. Nickerson told me, "We're going to fix this, you just need some new tools so you can change your response." That in itself started our relationship off on the right foot. She made me feel like I'm the same as anyone else, and everyone needs help once in a while. By helping me see that there was nothing "wrong" with me, Dr. Nickerson reinforced habits in me that were already "right" and re-structured the way I communicated." -KS, Newport Beach, Former Client
"Dr. Kathy truly listens and feels what I'm feeling. I have tried therapy before, and have never felt like they truly got to know me or cared about my problems. From the moment we met, I could sense that Dr. Kathy genuinely wanted me to feel better, not just vent without any progress in sight. I think that it's her realness that kept me working on myself - not some talking head with a clipboard. You want to trust the person you're telling certain things to, and she always made me feel comfortable." -RW, Huntington Beach, Former Client
"This was such a valuable experience, I wish everyone would go through it." -TJN, Former Client
"I spent 10 years in therapy with someone else, after 6 months with you, my life has completely changed." -KL, Former Client
What Colleagues Have Said...
"She is an excellent psychologist with a calm and reassuring demeanor. She is respected by both peers and patients. Kathy is an excellent role model, as well as a true asset to all she works with. You'll be in excellent hands with Dr. Kathy."
-Dr. Bahareh Khavarian, MD
"This really is her passion and it shows. Kathy is a tremendously skilled and caring couples therapist."
-Dr. Gloria Sklansky, PhD
"I have known Kathleen for over fifteen years, and know her to be honest, intelligent and very responsible. In my twenty years as a practicing clinical psychologist I have rarely known an individual I can so enthusiastically endorse as a colleague." - Dr. Gloria Sklansky, PhD
"I have known Dr. Kathleen Nickerson for about ten years. What makes her a truly valuable psychologist is that she combines her impeccable psychological skills with an intuition that allows her to relate to and empathize with her patients, regardless of age or problem. I honestly feel that Dr. Nickerson would be as comfortable in dealing with a depressed older individual as with a troubled adolescent." - Dr. Regina Velarde, MD
"She can relate to patients of all ages and is a caring compassionate individual. I would not hesitate to refer any of my patients to her." - Dr. Piotr Biegun, MD
"As a person, Kathy is one of the most compassionate, competent, knowledgeable, empathetic, and motivated individuals I know. Her broad experience and skills will provide you with an accomplished therapist." - Dr. Jerry Weichman, PhD
"During the past two years, I have grown to know Dr. Nickerson on both a personal and professional level. She is an excellent psychologist with a calm and reassuring demeanor. She is respected by her peers and patients and I feel she's an excellent role model, as well as a true asset to all she works with." - Dr. Bahareh Khavarian, MD
Please note: In keeping with the American Psychological Association's ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct, none of these opinions or testimonials were obtained from current therapy clients or other persons, who because of their particular circumstances, are vulnerable to undue influence. Also, these testimonials represent individual experiences, your experience will be your own and these testimonials are not intended to guarantee or imply a guarantee of treatment outcome.