Nikole Barnes, LICSW

Nikole Barnes

Licensed Clinical Social Worker, LICSW

Not accepting new clients; find therapists who are accepting here


255 Hope Street 2F
Providence, RI 02906

Offers remote video sessions.



Young adults / college students (18 - 24)

Specialties & expertise

  • LGBTQ community

  • Graduate students

  • International students

  • Intimate partner violence

  • Trauma

  • Sexual assault

  • Multicultural counseling

  • People of color

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Crisis intervention

  • Life transitions

  • Transgender topics

Professional statement

Nikole Barnes is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Providence, RI specializing in seeing young adults, members of the LGBTQ community, people of color, undergraduate, graduate and international students, and individuals experiencing phase of life changes. She has specialized training and focus in the areas of sexual assault, intimate partner violence, trauma, multicultural counseling, anxiety issues, depression and crisis intervention.

In addition to her private practice, Nikole works as RISD's Assistant Director of Counseling and Psychological Service and the Director of Training and Supervision. She previously worked at Brown University's Counseling and Psychological Services, in addition to New York University's Counseling and Wellness Services, where she provided supportive short-term counseling and emergency and crisis response services for all NYU students with a focus on those majoring in STEM fields.

Nikole earned her BA at Purchase College with a focus on women of color in cinema, and received her MSW from Columbia University.


LGBQ and sexuality topics – Includes coming out, relating to others, identifying and communicating needs, relationships, and family issues
Graduate students – Navigating any blockage or challenges in dissertation writing, research, writing blocks, career exploration
International students – Transitioning from another country, state, or city; adjusting as an international student or out-of-state student
Intimate partner violence
Trauma / Sexual assault
– Including dealing with past sexual assault, childhood trauma, environmental trauma (e.g. witnessing/experiencing violence), PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)
Multicultural counseling
People of color

General expertise

Anxiety – Generalized anxiety, social anxiety, panic attacks
Depression – Sleep and energy disruption, overall mood disturbance, inability to enjoy yourself, and difficulty being motivated, amongst many other symptoms
Crisis intervention
Life transitions – Adjusting to college, new relationships, career transitions and direction; mid-life existential, relationship, and career challenges; losing one’s drive or burn out; learning self-care
Transgender topics – Provides therapeutic support before, during, and after transition


  • Brown University Student Health Insurance

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield

Out-of-pocket fees

  • Individual sessions: $175/session (50min)

Sliding scale: Nikole offers a sliding scale of $60 - $175 for those with financial concerns. Please do not hesitate to discuss this option with her.

Therapist's note: Nikole can assist in completing paperwork for clients to be directly reimbursed by their insurance for an out-of-network provider.

Message to clients

"One thing that I hold most dear is to try to relate to individuals in a humanistic and relational way, to make clients feel safe, comfortable, and supported, while also incorporating humor into our work."

Treatment approaches

Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT/Tapping)Emotional Freedom Techniques (also known as "EFT" or "Tapping") targets energy imbalances that may be causing painful physical or emotional symptoms through a series of gentle tapping with the fingertips. EFT is used for a broad spectrum of challenges that have an underlying emotional cuase, and aims to heal the root ailment by increasing energy flow throughout the body. (learn more)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)EMDR is a form of trauma treatment that helps process distressing memories and restore the brain's natural healing abilities, reducing the memories' lasting effects and allowing the person to develop more adaptive coping mechanisms. (learn more)
Psychodynamic TherapyThe aim of psychodynamic therapy is to bring the unconscious mind into consciousness - helping individuals unravel, experience and understand their true, deep-rooted feelings in order to resolve them. It takes the view that our unconscious holds onto painful feelings and memories, and that the defenses we develop to ensure these difficult memories do not surface from our unconscious often do more harm than good. (learn more)
Solution-focused therapySolution focused therapy is a goal-directed collaborative approach to psychotherapeutic change that is conducted through direct observation of clients' responses to a series of precisely constructed questions. (learn more)
Mindfulness PracticesMindfulness practices include but are not limited to developing awareness, attention, and remembering. In mindfulness-informed therapy, clients develop tools to become aware of what is occurring within and around them, so they can begin to untangle from mental preoccupations and difficult emotions. Self-acceptance and compassion are also core elements of mindfulness-informed therapy. (learn more)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)In cognitive behavioral therapy, you work with a therapist in a structured way, attending a limited number of sessions. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps you become aware of inaccurate or negative thinking, so you can view challenging situations more clearly and respond to them in a more effective way. (learn more)
Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) is a time-limited psychotherapy that focuses on interpersonal issues, which are understood to be a factor in the genesis and maintenance of psychological distress. The targets of IPT are symptom resolution, improved interpersonal functioning, and increased social support. (learn more)

Education and work experience

Private practice, Psychotherapist, 2017 - Present
Rhode Island School of Design, Assistant Director of Counseling & Psychological Services and Director of Training and Supervision, 2018 - Present
Brown University, Psychotherapist, Jan 2016 – 2018
New York University, Polytechnic School of Engineering, 2010 - 2015
New York University, Wellness Crisis Response Counselor, 2007 - 2010
Kings County District Attorneys Office, Domestic Violence Counselor, 2005 - 2007
Long Island College Hospital, Clinical Social Work Intern for the Rape Crisis Intervention and Victims of Violence Program, Sep 2004 – Jun 2005

EMDR Certification, 2018
Columbia University in the City of New York, MSW, 2005
Purchase College, SUNY, Sociology with a minor in Anthropology, 2003



Client testimonials

Nikole helped me so much with my anxiety and general coping mechanisms in life. I worked with her through my PhD work and (simultaneously) my first pregnancy - while living in NYC, so there were plenty of stressors. She was a comforting presence, providing welcome insight and guidance without ever pressuring me of making me feel guilty about my emotions. In fact, she was incredibly reassuring and enlightening when it came to identifying, untangling, and normalizing what I was feeling - all with a sense of humor! I cannot overstate how grateful I am that I was able to work with Nikole - she is wonderfully skilled and incredibly approachable.
— NYU PhD '17 (2017)

Professional endorsements

Over the past year, Nikole and I have talked at length about various complicated therapy patients and I’ve been consistently struck with her knowledge base, her dedication to patients, and her ability to meet diverse clients where they are in terms of developing their own identity. She is compassionate, non-judgmental and open. I would trust her with the most complex cases and issues.

What topic(s) would you refer clients to this therapist for? Anxiety, depression, issues surrounding identity, culture, race and intersectionality.
— Stephanie Hartselle, MD (2017)