Nikki Watkins, PsyD, LMFT
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
LMFT #89120

Phone: 619-858-3105 x 132

Chula Vista Office

Dr. Nikki Watkins is the Associate Director at the Cohen Veterans Network at Veterans Village of San Diego. In this position, her primary roles are: Providing psychotherapy services to post 9/11 veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan; Oversight of clinical staff; and Providing clinical supervision to AMFT/ACSW/APCC students.

During her career in the field of mental health, Dr. Watkins has worked in a variety of roles. Her first role was as a practicum student at the San Diego Rescue Mission (SDRM), where she reluctantly agreed to work with the homeless population. After just a few short weeks, her heart opened up to the residents of the homeless shelter and a passion to help the marginalized was born. In an effort to understand the full experience of the residents, Dr. Watkins joined the programmatic side and served as a Case Manager, Social Worker, and Program Director.

After leaving for six months to work in community mental health, Dr. Watkins returned to SDRM as the Vice President of Clinical Programs. In this role she oversaw three residential programs, an emergency shelter, a pre-school for homeless children, an outpatient mental health clinic, and a program servicing homeless recovering from medical procedures. While in this role, Dr. Watkins was able to foster a partnership between SDRM with Family Health Centers and San Diego Continuing Education. After leaving SDRM, she continued her passion of providing mental health services to those that are often forgotten about by working with parolees/probationers.

Dr. Watkins specializes in providing therapeutic services to individuals and families who have experienced the loss of a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, pre-mature birth, or illness. Having experienced infant loss herself, she understands the need to have a caring professional walk with the family on the grief journey.

She is also experienced in providing therapy in the following areas:

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • PostPartum

  • PTSD

  • Grief

Dr. Watkins is an adjunct professor in the Behavioral Sciences Department at Southern California Seminary. She is also active at her church by serving on the prayer team, facilitating GriefShare, co-leading a growth group.


  • BA Journalism (Minor in Psychology) – San Diego State University, 1993

  • MA Counseling Psychology – Southern California Seminary, 2008

  • MA Religious Studies – Southern California Seminary, 2009

  • PsyD Clinical Psychology – Southern California Seminary, 2015

Professional Experience:

  • Various Roles at the San Diego Rescue Mission (Therapist, Case Manager, Social Worker, Program Director, and VP of Clinical Programs)

  • Full oversight of three outpatient mental health clinics servicing the parole and probation populations

  • Assistant Program Director over a 700-patient outpatient mental health clinic in the South Bay

  • Adjunct Professor at Southern California Seminary


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