Frequently Asked Questions
Read on to find answers to some of the questions prospective clients often ask before signing up.
Where are you located?
Dr. Nicholson is based in Greeneville, Tennessee, but he meets exclusively via an online, virtual-based platform. He does not have a conventional storefront office, and he does not advertise his physical address.
What is your service area?
Legally speaking, Dr. Nicholson can meet with anyone living in the state of Tennessee for virtual-based telehealth sessions. However, he only advertises in northeast Tennessee due to the fact that having a knowledge of the area his clients live in is helpful in doing counseling and talk therapy. Dr. Nicholson lives in Greeneville and has traveled extensively throughout northeast Tennessee. He went to school in Morristown and Johnson City, he once pastored a church in Maryville, and he considers himself familiar with the counties surrounding and to the northeast of Knoxville. Because of this, his ideal service area includes all of the following counties and communities in northeast Tennessee:
Blount County--Including Maryville, Alcoa, and Louisville.
Carter County--Including Elizabethton, Watauga, and Hampton.
Claiborne County--Including Harrogate and Cumberland Gap.
Cocke County--Including Newport, Cosby, and Parrotsville.
Grainger County--Including Rutledge, Blaine, and Bean Station.
Greene County--Including Greeneville, Tusculum, Baileyton, and Mosheim.
Hamblen County--Including Morristown, Whitesburg, Russellville, and Talbott.
Hancock County--Including Sneedville and surrounding communities.
Hawkins County--Including Rogersville, Sugoinsville, and Church Hill.
Jefferson County--Including Jefferson City, Dandridge, and White Pine.
Johnson County--Including Mountain City and Butler.
Sevier County--Including Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, and Kodak.
Sullivan County--Including Kingsport, Bristol, Blountville, and Colonial Heights.
Unicoi County--Including Erwin and Unicoi.
Washington County--Including Johnson City, Jonesborough, Boones Creek, Fall Branch, Limestone, and Gray.
Due to the complexity of cross-state licensing laws, Dr. Nicholson does not see clients living outside the state of Tennessee at this time.
Can you see me for in person therapy?
Dr. Nicholson does not meet with clients for in-person therapy at this time. During the Covid-19 pandemic he made the decision to move his practice to a 100% online, virtual-based platform. For a variety of reasons, he has made the decision to stay virtual for now. He does not have a conventional office space where he is able to meet with clients for in person therapy, and he can only offer virtual based counseling.
What if I don't have a computer?
If you have a smart phone, like an iPhone or an Android device, you should be able to use your phone for telehealth sessions with Dr. Nicholson. On rare occasions Dr. Nicholson will agree to meet with clients via a traditional phone call for voice-to-voice therapy sessions. This option can work for clients in need of assistance who do not own a computer and have no other option for therapy. In these cases, Dr. Nicholson will work to address the challenges of phone therapy in your free initial consultation. Clients will always be given the option to be referred out to another practitioner if they feel that phone therapy is not a good option.
I have a question I'd like to ask by phone before our session.
Because Dr. Nicholson's practice is designed for an online-only model, he does not usually speak with clients via phone prior to sessions. His system is designed to give you most of the information you would need to know either here on the website or in the registration documents you will sign prior to your free initial consultation. He will answer any and all questions you may have in your free 90-minute consultation. If you have a question that cannot wait until the free consultation, you'll be able to send Dr. Nicholson a secure message once you've created an account in his client portal. Click through to the Schedule Appointment page to create your account.
Why do I have to fill out paperwork before my free consultation session?
Dr. Nicholson is a clinical practitioner. He operates his practice much like a medical physician's office. This means that prior to meeting you have to fill out paperwork so that he knows several things about your medical history, and so that you have a clear understanding of your rights and responsibilities in becoming a client.
Is Dr. Nicholson licensed?
Dr. Nicholson is not licensed, but he is pursuing licensure as a Licensed Clinical Pastoral Therapist (LCPT) in the State of Tennessee. The LCPT licensure process requires Dr. Nicholson to accumulate 1400 client contact hours while also conducting 270 hours of clinical supervision under a licensed practitioner. He is practicing under supervision of a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Heather Gow of Greeneville, Tennessee. He previously completed 120 supervision hours with the now-retired Dr. Ron Johnson, LCPT, of Bartlett, Tennessee. All this is standard practice for someone pursuing LCPT licensure in Tennessee, and some refer to people in this stage of the licensure process as "Pre-Licensed Professionals".
Is Dr. Nicholson trained in counseling?
Dr. Nicholson graduated with his Doctor of Ministry degree from Memphis Theological Seminary in 2020, and specialized in pastoral counseling in that degree program. His doctoral dissertation focused on the integration of pastoral counseling (counseling from a religious practitioner) with strategies and techniques used in secular counseling theory. His coursework included units on general counseling theory, psychological disorders and diagnosis, human development, child therapy, family systems theory, addiction therapy, and multicultural sensitivity. In his post-doctoral supervision work he has undertaken additional study of trauma and PTSD therapy, grief therapy, couples therapy, personality theory, and he has continued to become more familiar with strategies for the treatment of a variety of psychological disorders such as anxiety, depression, personality disorders, and bipolar disorder. He is a student member of the Tennessee Association of Pastoral Therapists (TNAPT), and a practitioner member of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE).
What if I need to be referred out to another practitioner?
Part of your free initial consultation session will be determining whether you need to be referred out to another practitioner. Sometimes Dr. Nicholson will refer clients out to another counselor if it seems obvious that the client is not a good fit, if your problem is outside Dr. Nicholson's scope of practice, or if there is a conflict of interest. You may also be referred out to a medical doctor if you need to be evaluated for a psychiatric medication. Who you are referred out to will depend on your location and your specific needs. If you have reviewed Dr. Nicholson's website and you feel that you need to find another practitioner, he recommends you contact your insurance company for help finding a practitioner in your network. A list of counselors in your area can also be accessed at psychologytoday.com.