My name is Crystal Nichols-Peterson and my life's mission is to help women through pregnancy, birth, parenthood, and all the transitions of life. I am a former PhD student and researcher who was once told by a professor in graduate school that I was "too passionate" about helping mothers and women. I disagreed strongly and chose to focus on helping them precisely because of that passion. For the last 18 years, I have engaged in helping women as a volunteer and as a career. From tutoring single Moms to help them get their GED to supporting working Moms as a nanny to engaging in activism as both a march planner and participator to training as a birth doula to working as a psychotherapist with women in inpatient, outpatient, and group settings...this journey has prepared me to serve women in my community through individual and group therapy.
It is my belief that motherhood is challenging and too many women are suffering in silence when the challenges become too great. I have spent the past two years researching, talking to women, brainstorming, and figuring out how we can do a better job preparing women/parents and supporting them. My experience has revealed that sometimes as women especially, we are so busy rushing around and giving of ourselves to others that we become disconnected from who we are deep within, appreciating our miraculous bodies, acknowledging our dreams and fears, and finding what lights our souls on fire. I don't expect to light that fire for you, but I would love to help you find a match. :)
My graduate education was in Clinical Psychology with a focus on trauma, women's mental health across the lifespan, postpartum depression, mental health of primary caregivers, and self-compassion. As a therapist, I have helped adults in outpatient mental health clinics, inpatient behavioral health hospitals, integrated health offices which delivered both physical and mental health services, conducting neuropsychological testing, and as a facilitator of women's therapy groups. My doula training is through DONA International and my trainer Penny Lyon continues to be my mentor, supporting me as I find new ways to support women and help other birth doulas learn about maternal mental health.
In addition to my academic and scientific background, I have cultivated a longtime meditation practice and have studied the world's wisdom and spiritual traditions academically and personally for over 20 years. An openness to truth, compassion, and ability to be still within ourselves has proven profoundly helpful to me personally and as a therapist. I love supporting others in finding their truths and callings, in whatever forms they find meaningful or simply helping those who know there is something greater for them that they haven't found yet.