Therapy with Nicole Irving, LPC

Nicole Irving is a Licensed Professional Counselor located in Virginia. She specializes in working with individuals and couples on topics related to sexual health & dysfunction, infidelity, communication issues, and LGBTQ-related topics. Nicole has received training in various sex therapy interventions, in addition to relationship interventions such as the Gottman Method and Attachment Therapy. She is dedicated to providing clients with helpful resources they can apply to dramatically improve the quality of their relationships and rebuild intimacy.

We asked Nicole more about her work with clients and her guiding philosophies on therapy.

Nicole’s background and personal life

What was your previous work before going into private practice?

Before private practice, I worked in a group practice setting seeing adults individually, couples, and ethically non-monogamous relationships.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

In my free time, I love reading, running outdoors, spending time with my family, and enjoying restaurants and local wineries.

What do you find most rewarding about your work?

I feel privileged to help individuals and couples work through incredibly distressing issues. When people start experiencing sex or relationship stressors it can feel completely overwhelming. I have watched my clients go from intense struggles to finding strategies and solutions that help them start having the life, sex, and relationships they want.

Nicole’s specialties and therapy philosophies

What guiding principles inform your work?

In my practice I value normalizing sexual and relationship concerns and creating a non-judgemental space where sensitive issues can be addressed. I am a strong believer in finding solutions in order to help my clients improve and heal from sex and relationship difficulties.

What clientele do you work with most frequently?

I work with adults and couples from various backgrounds. I am an inclusive therapist and welcome all identities, orientations, and backgrounds.

Can you tell us more about your areas of specialty?

I commonly work with individuals and couples/relationships struggling with sexual dysfunction, desire discrepancy, sexual pain, issues with communication, high conflict, difficulty with life changes, attachment issues, and rebuilding intimacy.

I also work with individuals and couples experiencing betrayal from infidelity. Together we find ways to navigate how to move forward in order to best heal.

Therapy sessions with Nicole

What will our first session together be like? What happens in ongoing sessions?

In our first session together I want to get to know about you, your life, and the issues that are bringing you to therapy, in order to understand how I can best help. In the sessions after that, we will be addressing the issues that are causing you distress and find strategies, solutions, and skills to start using to help you start feeling relief.

How long do clients typically see you for?

We usually start off meeting weekly. Once progress starts happening we decrease sessions up until you're ready to manage on your own. Length of time in therapy typically depends on the severity of the issue bringing you in. While some clients see me for 6-8 sessions and say they feel their issues are resolved, more serious issues require longer treatment.

Are there any books you often recommend to clients?

Books that I love recommending to clients are:

Do you assign “homework” between sessions?

Homework is always optional! I know that life is busy and that you don't need another "to do" on your ever growing list. But the homework I do suggest is always practical to the issue your going through, not time consuming, and is aimed at improving whatever stressors you're going through.

How do you help ensure I'm making progress in therapy?

Very simple, I ask you! You are by far the best judge if something is working for you or not. If something's not working and you're not making progress I want to know and then see if we can find something that does. My goal is to always work myself out of a job and get you to having the life and relationships you want.

How do I know that it’s time to start seeking therapy?

When the things you've been trying already haven't been working it's time to seek professional help. If you find yourself feeling defeated, down, and lacking hope for yourself or your relationships, therapy can be the change you need to help.

How can I prepare for our first session?

For our first session it is always helpful to be as open as you can with me. The more I know about what you're going through, the more I can help.

How will I know it’s time to end my time in therapy with you or reduce session frequency?

A very good indicator of when it's time to say goodbye to your therapist or reduce frequency is when you have nothing to talk about or work on that's distressing you. When you start feeling good and that your life is in a good and stable place, sessions can be reduced to check ins. Then if everything looks good in the check ins, it's usually time to end treatment.

Why should I seek therapy, rather than turning to my partner, friends, or other loved ones?

Therapists are specifically trained in the issues and feelings your facing. While we always need friends and loved ones as a support system, having a professional work through these issues with you will provide tools and resources that in incredibly beneficial and necessary to healing.

What advice would you share with therapy seekers?

There is always a reason to not do something. But unless we take action things will remain the same. Don't feel like you have to struggle alone. Get help to overcome whatever it is that's distressing you.

Visit Nicole’s profile to read more about her and book an initial call!