About Nancy Nunes
I am a therapist, mother, meditator, friend, traveler, student of the mind, and someone who always longed to help others.
I’ve always been in search of meaning in life and I cannot imagine—especially after decades of working as a therapist—doing anything that doesn’t help others. As a long time buddhist meditation practitioner, I believe that compassion—for self and others—is at the root of all healing. I also believe that at our essence, we all deeply long to give love and be loved. We are wired to be in connection with others. In our heart of hearts we are good, kind, wise and strong. However, being human can be a messy process, and we all experience challenges that can create feelings of shame, blame and guilt and cause us to question our self-worth. Whether due to trauma, anxiety, depression, grief, a particularly challenging life transition, or the desire to simply feel more ease, there are times when we could use some support and help bringing our most authentic, joyful and brilliant selves back into the world.
I grew up in military family. We moved often and lived all over the US and world. From this I learned to appreciate cultural differences and similarities, and the ability to connect with people quickly, openly and with caring.
My parents started a family when they were very young and, as the oldest child, I learned early to cope with change, read and help others. Changing schools, experiencing different cultures and constantly meeting new people in new environments helped me learn self reliance and adaptability. These early life experiences also sparked my life-long love affair with traveling and my desire to continually learn more about people, how we live, and what influences how we feel about ourselves.
It took me awhile to figure out my career path. It wasn’t until I happened upon a job in a residential treatment center for troubled teens that I knew what I wanted to do with my life. It was the first job I had ever truly loved, and I was deeply inspired to help teens and their families. After a few more similar jobs, I finally felt purpose and direction. I returned to college after being in and out and experimenting with a plethora of majors, including Women’s Studies, African Studies, Economics, Psychology and Special Ed. I quickly finished my Bachelor’s degree and went on to earn a Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work.
Soon after graduate school I discovered buddhism. I realized that I had been looking for another lens through which to understand how mind works. I immediately gravitated to and began studying and practicing mindfulness and meditation, both of which inform my life and therapy practice to this day. I am an authorized meditation instructor and teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition.
I am a big believer in the mind-body-spirit connection. This coupled with my training in social work, which looks deeply at how economics, environment, culture and biology impact how we feel about ourselves and show up in the world, inform how I work with clients. Coming from this holistic perspective, I’m passionate about helping my clients self-explore, increase their capacity for awareness and compassion and tap into their innate brilliance.
I have worked in several residential treatment centers as staff, supervisor and director, been a family therapist in a wonderful psychiatric hospital that no longer exists, worked as a school based therapist, been a traveling parent coach and family therapist, among other things.
Today, I work with children, teenagers and families, couples and adults. I focus primarily on treating and helping people cope with depression, anxiety, trauma/PTSD, life transitions and interpersonal relationship issues, all of which are so prevalent in our society. In addition to Mindfulness and other evidence-based forms of therapy, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Somatic Therapy, I also offer clients Low Energy Neurofeedback System (LENS) Therapy. I came across LENS Therapy almost accidentally when a good friend suggested I try it during a particularly challenging time in my life. I experienced extraordinary results and knew immediately that I wanted to train in this gentle form of neurofeedback and offer this remarkable treatment to my clients.
I’m told that I’m compassionate, easy to connect with, see the brilliance in others and have a warm sense of humor. I also have an adventurous side, which I no doubt inherited from my parents. I love to travel and have spent much of my life exploring different parts of the world. I see life as a daily adventure, especially when it’s viewed through a curious lens. I am passionate about learning and am often thinking about how I can deepen my work in the healing arts and help people in the best ways possible.
Much of my insight has developed through my own life experience, having personally faced many of the transitions and challenges of my clients. I have navigated the terrains of marriage and divorce, adoption and mothering, caring for elderly parents, parenting a teen, and balancing it all with a professional career.
If you, your family or your teenager are struggling right now, please know that you are not alone. Having personally gone through divorce, adopting a child, parenting a teen and providing end of life care for my elderly parents, I know firsthand some of the challenges that are an inevitable part of life. I also know both personally and professionally that healing is possible. There are times when having extra guidance and support can make a big difference in our ability to grow, learn, experience relief and move forward with more ease, grace and joy.
One of my life’s greatest adventures, challenges, and accomplishments was adopting a baby from Vietnam in 1998. She is now a thriving college student who has overcome many challenges, including big illnesses, losing her hearing and, of course, losing her birth mother. Before this journey I thought I knew something about families and parenting. Ha! I never would have made it through these challenges without the support of many and my trainings in meditation and psychology. Becoming a parent and working with these challenges have made me a better therapist and person.
Recently I accepted a part time Social Work position with The Boulder Hospice. It is an honor to work with patients and their families at life's final stage.
If you’re in Boulder Colorado or the surrounding area, I invite you to contact me at 303-579-8572 to schedule a free, in-person half hour consultation to see if we’d be a good fit. I’m happy to discuss your specific needs and answer any questions you have about counseling, LENS therapy and my practice.
Nancy Nunes, LCSW earned her B.A. in Human Services Administration from the University of Massachusetts and her M.S.W. from the University of Connecticut School of Social Work. Nancy has engaged in advanced trainings, such as Somatic Experiencing, Active Parenting of Teens and Diversity Training and is an ongoing student of American Sign Language. Nancy also earned her Hospice Volunteer and Bereavement Counselor Certification, Prevention Generalist Certification and Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Certification. Outside of her practice, she also serves as a Pro Bono Psychotherapist for Boulder County Aids Project and serves on the board of the Interface Program which sponsors monthly presentations on the interface between spirituality and psychology.