Tabitha Nicolaysen is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Iowa. She earned her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Seattle Pacific University. Her training focused on the complex systems and relational webs that encompass each person’s identity and shape their lives and experiences. Her personal focus was on Narrative Therapy which emphasizes the therapist’s role in helping people discover the life-giving and hope-filled story lines that may have gone unnoticed or feel inaccessible. In addition to her academic training, Tabitha’s background working as a Child and Family Therapist for five years in a community mental health setting provided her with a broad spectrum of clinical work experience. Beyond the professional realm, she brings a history of leadership experience in church settings.
Tabitha’s desire for individuals she meets with is movement from a life in which past wounds and destructive habits obstruct growth and relationships, towards a life that is rooted in grace and driven by hope. With compassion, curiosity and care, she accompanies women and men seeking a trained companion as they move towards a life of inner-peace, deep rooted joy, and empowering purpose. With couples, Tabitha holds hope for movement towards a relationship that would be best characterized by the posture of embrace. An embrace calls forth trust, vulnerability, and love. The fabric of relationships is threatened by myriad factors, both personal and cultural, and it’s often overwhelming to navigate these threats alone. Tabitha brings a conviction that healing and restoration are always possible, and a training that positions her to help couples discover these paths and begin walking them. Finally, for families Tabitha sees a thriving ecosystem as a helpful metaphor for her intended direction in therapy. Therapy is like the garden in which the family can plant itself for a season as each one discovers themselves in relationship to the others, and the ways each member is an integral part to the sustaining life of the whole. Also like ecosystems, families are not ‘perfect’ and every one is unique, thus inviting attention to the challenges and possibilities each family holds. Having tended the soil and the relationships well, families can graduate from therapy to the wilds of their lives not merely to function but to flourish.
For those who desire an integration of prayer and spiritual discernment into the therapeutic process, Tabitha incorporates contemplative practices rooted in Trinitarian theology and traditions that have withstood generations of faithful living. What is the Father doing? What is Jesus saying? What is the Spirit revealing? Affirming the work of the ever-present Spirit, prayer and discernment can grow our awareness of how God may be leading, as well nourish more mindful ways of living.
Tabitha’s areas of professional interest include
- Marriage and parenting issues
- Narrative therapy
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Healthy and holistic living
- ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy)
- Healthy sexual development and vitality throughout one’s life
- Spiritual formation and integrating client’s faith and values in the therapeutic work
- Prepare/Enrich program for premarital and married couples
If the weather is good and I’m out to play, you’ll find me hiking, running, or biking, preferably with some camping. I start the mornings with coffee that’s freshly roasted and freshly ground, thanks to my home-roasting hubby. One nourishing tradition I keep is gathering fruits and veggies at the farmers market. I thoroughly enjoy reading a novel while drinking tea and on occasion, navigating a new food adventure. I’m always eager for a delicious meal with friends or family while engaging in rich and brave conversations. After being introduced to essential oils fifteen years ago, I’ve discovered a whole new world in which to be creative and care for myself and those I love. My three littles, ages 7, 4, and 1, keep my days full and my heart glad.