• Master's degree in Counseling (Lenior-Rhyne University)
  • Bachelor's degree in Psychology (Lenoir-Rhyne University)
  • Licensed Professional Counselor #9896 (State of NC)
  • National Certified Counselor
  • Certified Clinical Military Counselor
  • Certified in Trauma, PTSD & Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Certified in Cinema Therapy
  • Experienced Social Media Community Manager



In both her coaching and counseling styles, Nicole is very accepting and non-judgmental. She enjoys instilling hope, direction, and purpose in her clients.  Her counseling techniques vary based on each client's needs but her foundation is rooted in the humanistic theory of existential therapy.  This form of therapy focuses more on the present and future rather than the past and on finding meaning and purpose in life.

specialties & client populations

Nicole has helped people who vary in their ages, cultures, ethnicities, genders, sexual identities and personalities.  She is highly skilled in assisting people with transition, relationship problems, family conflict, life purpose, anxiety, depression and trauma.



Having spent years living abroad, Nicole understands the challenges of adapting to a new environment.  The ups and downs are normal.  However, being constantly unhappy or isolating yourself are signs you could use some help.  She is available to assist those having difficulties adjusting to a different culture or lifestyle.

Leading an active sports lifestyle, Nicole believes in the influence of getting involved at an early age in sports/interests/hobbies.  She also understands the demands of excelling within the extreme sports world and enjoys helping athletes find their balance while encouraging them to discover their highest potential.  


Not sure about what you want or where life is taking you? Feel like you are wandering around without a clear path of what to do or who you are? Let Nicole help you discover your dreams.  Whether you are feeling stuck or just flat out know you need a change, she can help you find your way.  After all, "not all who wander are lost."- J. R. R. Tolkien


Nicole is a Certified Clinical Military Counselor with over 8 years of documented individual research and training. She takes pride in being able to effectively help veterans, active-duty soldiers and their families throughout every stage; pre-deployment, deployment, post-deployment, re-deployment and transitioning back to civilian life.

other opportunities




Nicole has given public presentations ranging from military mental health, Q & A sessions with teens in schools on popular mental health diagnoses, to utilizing personality typing in the classroom to better communication between teachers and students. She is always happy to spread awareness and help to tear down the stigma of seeking help. 

Nicole is able to provide psychological insights to various business concerns including; the application or research of particular psychological/sociological aspects of a business, facilitating team building exercises or conflict mediation and social media management--where she has proven to be adept in producing a positive online community.

PROFESSIONAL recommendations

"Nicole's work can best be characterized by diligence, efficiency and dependability. Clinically, she was talented and confident.  She showed judgement and skill much beyond her years and utilized clinical supervision in a thoughtful manner.  She always conducted herself in a highly ethical manner."
-Dr. Don Patterson, Psychologist and former clinical supervisor
"Nicole is an experienced clinician working with clients from all walks of life.  Nicole exudes a warm and caring demeanor and is very skilled with Existential and Rogerian methods.  Additionally, Nicole has experience working with a broad spectrum of different diagnoses, all the way from psychosis to adjustment disorders (life changes, stress, divorce, etc). I would feel confident in referring clients to Nicole."    
-Maddie Decker, Outpatient Therapist at the Mood Treatment Center
"Davie County Schools received a grant that allowed us to have a mental health therapist working with students in the school.  Ms. Gaines was chosen for our therapist.  She was amazing with our students and was able to quickly establish a good rapport and gain their confidence through her skills and abilities.  She was always on time, organized and followed through with our parents.  Even after the job ended, I have contacted her to ask her opinion on resources for the students."
-Janice Weakland, M.Ed., JCPC Case Manager
"Nicole conducted an in-depth empirical investigation in 2006 into concerns of confidentiality in Veterans who needed to engage in counseling services.  Though her desire to assist military families, soldiers and veterans remains, she has broadened her expertise over the years.  I would rate her proven ability to make a difference through application, both in research and counseling, as superior."
-Dr. Jay Dill, Psychology Professor at Lenoir-Rhyne University