Heather Rickels, Ph.D.


UCS Master of Social Work Trainee

  • 2017 – Ph.D. in Ed Measurement and Statistics, University of Iowa
  • 2008 - 2011 – Doctoral training in Counseling Psychology
  • 2000 – B.A. Psychology and Pre-Med, Grinnell College

Clinical/counseling interests

I primarily approach counseling from a strengths-based lens. I utilize an integrative approach incorporating elements from acceptance and commitment therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy. I seek to empower clients by aiding them in identifying their strengths and values, learning new tools, and taking actions to create the life they envision. I hope to co-create a safe, non-judgmental space where clients feel supported. I also hope clients gain hope and self-compassion as they carry these skills outside our sessions.

My clinical interests include adjustment/life transitions, relationship concerns, career exploration, exploring gender identities, sexuality, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and trauma. I am also interested in case management and connecting students to resources in our community. I enjoy working with undergraduates, graduate students, couples/relationships, students who are parents, and international students.

Multicultural interests

I work to create an inclusive space for all individuals. In doing so, I work to support and validate individual experiences and to also recognize how systems of oppression may have impacted clients on both the individual and systems levels.

Heather Rickels