Nancy Nguyen, Ph.D.

I am a native of Southern California, specifically Orange County California. I am the daughter of two Vietnamese immigrants, my father arriving here after the fall of Saigon in 1975, while my mother is a Vietnamese boat person. I consider myself bicultural, being fluent in both English and Vietnamese and balancing my Vietnamese heritage with growing up in the United States. As an example of the bicultural influence, I grew up eating my spaghetti with chopsticks.

I graduated from CSU Fullerton with a B.S. in Human Services and a minor in Criminal Justice with Magna Cum Laude honors. I followed my undergraduate studies with an M.S. in Counseling at CSU Fullerton and earned my PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision at Pennsylvania State University.

My clinical experiences ranged from working with children and their families in school and community mental health clinics to a variety of individual needs of college students and adults, including depression, anxiety, trauma, PTSD, eating disorders, and substance abuse/dependence. I completed clinical work in different settings, including the Orange County (OC) HeadStart preschool program, Western Youth Services community mental health clinic, CEDAR clinic at Penn State University, OC HealthCare Agency Adult Mental Health services, and ChildNet Youth and family services. All included individual, family, and group counseling.

The aforementioned experiences have built on my training in evidenced-based practices, which encompass Functional Family Therapy (FFT), Integrative Complex Trauma Treatment, and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT). As a practitioner, I specialize in working with the Vietnamese American population and have a passion for practitioner-based research and counseling services within this underserved population. I have also pioneered culturally responsive modifications to Parent-Child Interaction Therapy with Vietnamese American families while training other clinicians. In addition, I created a supervision group for a Vietnamese American group of interns, psychologists, and clinicians to provide ethnic specific services, program development, and peer mentoring.

While at Penn State, I was also part of an international collaboration called “Counseling without Borders” with Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey to provide a cultural exchange on counselor education. I was honored to come back to CSU Fullerton to teach courses in the Human Services and Counseling programs from which I graduated in 2012.

Using my experience, I built my practice from the ground-up in Orange County. My practice, which started in 2015, focuses on providing culturally responsive therapy to Asian Americans.

My future research includes a focus on children’s mental health, diversifying counselor education, and international aspects of counselor education. My passion is to focus research on improving access and outreach to underserved populations in counseling and underrepresented populations in counselor education, along with fostering curiosity and passion in my students on their research interests. This research includes my dissertation on Vietnamese American family’s perceptions of children’s mental health, how culture impacts utilization of mental health services using a case study approach with phenomenological aspects that incorporated participant narratives.

Degrees Earned

  • Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision – (CACREP- Accredited) – The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA.
  • M.S. in Counseling – (CACREP- Accredited) – California State University Fullerton, Fullerton, CA.
  • B.S. in Human Services, Minor in Criminal Justice –  California State University Fullerton, Fullerton, CA.