About Me

Welcome!  I am Dr. Eric Nicely, a San Francisco-based Clinical Psychologist.

I have been in full-time, independent practice as a psychologist since 2003, after years of training and working with individuals and couples since 1991.

This page is designed for you to get to know me and my style, in the hopes that it will help you make a decision about your therapy.

If you are looking for general information about psychotherapy, or for tips on how to find a good therapist, go here.

Personal Philosophy

Although my personal philosophy grows and changes over time, there are some useful descriptors that can give you a general idea of who you will find when working with me:

bullet I believe in the dignity and worth of all individuals and work to affirm it;
bullet I believe in both 'seeing is believing' and 'believing is seeing';
bullet I stand for compassion, dignity, and transformation in working with others;
bullet I help people bring possibility into reality;
bullet I know we all struggle at times, and that the process can be as important as the result;
bullet My approach to life is goal-oriented and achievement-focused at times;
bullet I ascribe to and practice the ethical principles of the American Psychological Association;
bullet I believe that the more we learn, the less we know, and we're better off for it because we're more flexible;
bullet I believe spirituality is as important as authenticity;
bullet I believe in the power of therapy to help people change;
bullet I believe education is as important as life experience, and that both complement each other.
My Approach to Therapy

My approach to therapy is client-centered and humanistic. I affirm the dignity and worth of all people, regardless of any specific attribute they possess.

My approach to therapy is best described as caring, compassionate, and nonjudgmental. I believe in the potential of all individuals to grow, become fulfilled, and live satisfying lives.

My goal is to provide you with caring, compassionate, and skilled therapy. Finding the right therapist is critical to your success.

When you contact me for an appointment, we'll schedule an initial consultation to determine whether we could work well together. If your needs fall outside of my scope of practice, or if there is not a good "fit" between you and I, I'll provide you with appropriate referrals to other qualified providers.

I practice both cognitive-behavioral therapy and brief, solution-focused therapy. Below is a description of each approach:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

CBT begins with a careful and thorough assessment of your particular problem and is highly goal directed in nature. Specific remedies are developed for specific problems. Problems are improved by altering maladaptive thoughts and behaviors.

The present context is emphasized, rather than your past history. The goal of CBT is to prevent the recurrence of problematic thoughts and behaviors, allowing you new choices and different responses to life.

Brief, Solution-Focused Therapy

The basic premise of solution-focused therapy is to increase what is working and decrease what isn't working. Therapy usually focuses on the present situation, and only uses information from your past when it bears on your present problem.

One assumption in solution-focused therapy is that you bring a lot of personal strengths to coping in your life. The goal of solution-focused therapy is to increase and build on these strengths. The focus of therapy is on building workable solutions for the challenges you face.
Long-Term and Dynamic Psychotherapy

Longer-term psychotherapy has many variations. For people who wish to explore deeper levels of understanding and gain increased insight into their behavior and inner world, long-term therapy is an option.

My emphasis is psychodynamic and relational, which means that we explore early relationships, childhood and other significant life experiences, and your experience of how you relate to yourself and to me in the therapy room. I generally provide long-term therapy only for clients who have completed a course of brief or cognitive-behavioral therapy, or for clients who have a problem best treated by this method.

The goal of long-term therapy is to resolve early conflicts and develop a healthier relationship to yourself and others. This is achieved through an exploration of those conflicts, emotions, and relationships that have formed your world. Successful psychotherapy results in new psychological insight, additional choices, better expression and experience of feelings, positive behavior change, and improved satisfaction in relationships.



License – California Psychologist #PSY18892 – 2003-present, California Board of Psychology.

Doctor of Psychology, California School of Professional Psychology, Alameda, CA.

Master of Arts in Psychology, California School of Professional Psychology, San Diego, CA.

Bachelor of Arts, Psychology and Sociology, The American University, Washington, D.C.

Positions & Memberships

Curriculum Vitae