Rick Nizzardini, LCSW


533A Castro Street
San Francisco, California 94114



A little about me . . .    

My Background as a Therapist

Licensed in California with the Board of Behavioral Sciences (License Number 20716) since 2002, I earned my Master’s in Social Work from Smith College School for Social Work in Northampton, Massachusetts. In 1999 through a Soros Justice Fellowship, I created the Men’s Sexual Trauma Program, a counseling and education program focusing specifically on the care of men who are survivors of sexual abuse, incest and rape.  I have worked at hospitals, mental health and health clinics, and a university counseling and psychological services center.

I have held the following positions:

  • Clinical Counselor/Faculty, San Francisco State University Counseling & Psychological Services Center and the San Francisco State University Residential Life Program
  • Director and Clinical Social Worker, Continuum Adult Day Health Program and the MediCal Waiver and Nursing Case Management Programs for Individuals Living with HIV and AIDS
  • Mental Health and Complementary Care Services Manager and Therapist, Glide Health Services
  • Coordinator and Individual and Group Therapist, San Francisco Rape Treatment Center Men’s Sexual Trauma Program 
  • Clinical Social Worker, San Francisco General Hospital Psychosocial Medicine Outpatient Mental Health Clinic, and Trauma Recovery Outpatient Program
  • Volunteer Therapist, New Leaf Outpatient Men’s Mental Health Services Program

I have several areas of expertise and work with clients facing the following challenges:

  • Stress and anxiety, including strategies for assessing stress, the warning signs of stress, coping strategies for stress, and techniques for creating stress action plans
  • Depression
  • Traumatic experiences, including verbal, emotional, sexual or physical abuse as a child, adolescent or adult; life threatening accidents; sudden death of a loved one; urban violence/mugging/ assault; relationship domestic violence or family violence; or a recent sexual assault or harassment on the job or elsewhere
  • Sexual identity concerns, including coming out as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender; relationship issues for individuals who identify as LGBT; and how to manage the conflicts between one’s different identities/roles at work and in one’s personal life
  • Sexuality concerns, including sexual functioning (for individuals and couples of all sexual orientations); religion and sexuality conflicts; and sexuality and living with a disability or chronic medical condition
  • Substance use/abuse, including exploring harm-reduction strategies for cutting back on use, treatment planning for heavy use, and educating individuals on the effects of use and resources for discontinuing use
  • Conflict in work/personal relationships, including ways to manage conflict, remove oneself from the emotional aspects of conflict in the workplace, and create relationships that can function more effectively with less conflict
  • Managing a chronic medical condition, including HIV and AIDS, and the co-occurring health, mental health, and substance use issues that can arise
  • Managing change (in one’s personal or work life), exploring the stages of change, obstacles to change, and creating a change process that you are ready to work with to achieve a specific goal
  • Grief and loss regarding the passing of a loved one or the break-up of a relationship
  • Time management, including strategies for creating behavioral changes to manage time more effectively, as well as to address procrastination habits
  • College aged young adult struggles and concerns, including anxiety; stress; depression; and roommate, family dysfunction, or student/faculty relationship issues

For more information on my therapy practice please click here.

My Consulting Background

My consulting work is an outgrowth of the variety of skills that I’ve developed over the last 20 years in my various professional roles as:

  • Attorney
  • Health and Mental Health Care Program Developer and Director
  • Clinical Social Worker
  • Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator
  • Educator/Faculty Member
  • Community Advocate
  • Grant Writer, Researcher and Fund Developer

As a consultant, I have facilitated retreats, workshops and trainings on a diverse array of topics.  I have also consulted with organizations regarding program development and management, grant management and reporting, grant writing and foundation research, and marketing and public relations. I also consult as a supervisor for individuals seeking licensure with the Board of Behavioral Sciences.  My organizational development experience has included work with universities and community colleges, state agencies, social service and health care organizations, individuals and other nonprofit organizations.  My clients have included:

  • The California State Compensation Insurance Fund
  • City College of San Francisco
  • The San Francisco Child Care Providers Association
  • The Institute on Aging
  • The San Francisco Community Living Fund
  • The Glide Foundation
  • The Lighthouse for the Blind
  • The East Bay Community Recovery Project
  • The Village Residential Services at San Francisco State University
  • The San Francisco Adult Day Services Network
  • Continuum HIV/AIDS Services   

I have also successfully consulted with organizations to raise money from the following foundations and manage programs funded by them:   The California Endowment, The United Way, The San Francisco Foundation, The Open Society Institute, The Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation, The Psychiatric Foundation of Northern California, The Richard and Rhoda Goldman Foundation, The San Francisco Office on AIDS, the San Francisco Department of Behavioral Health, and The Kohlberg Foundation.   

For more information on my consulting practice please click here.

My Teaching Background

Since 2002 I have been teaching throughout the bay area for universities and professional associations.  My teaching skills assist me in both my roles as therapist and consultant, where clear and invigorating communication is essential.  Here are some of my current and past teaching positions:

  • Clinical Counselor Faculty at the San Francisco State University Counseling & Psychological Services Center and the Residential Life Program, where part of my responsibility is training graduate counseling students in the provision of counseling services on a college campus and I also train Residential Life professional and student staff on mental health-related issues
  • Lecturer at the School of Social Welfare at the University of California, Berkeley since 2006 where I teach Human Sexuality and Social Work
  • Instructor since 2002 of the Human Sexuality Pre-Licensure continuing education courses with both the UC Berkeley Extension and the National Association of Social Workers
  • Instructor with the graduate Educational Psychology Program at California State University - East Bay, where I have taught the Human Sexuality Seminar
  • Lecturer with the graduate Counseling Department at San Francisco State University, where I taught Counseling Aspects of Human Sexuality
  • Assistant Clinical Professor (non-salaried) with the University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing’s Department of Community Health Systems, where I provided education and consultation regarding aspects of mental health assessment and treatment for nurse practitioner students at a primary care health clinic


My Legal Background

Licensed in the state of Georgia, I obtained my law degree at Vanderbilt University and practiced for several years in Washington, D.C.  While I don’t actively practice law currently, my education and experience as a lawyer have helped me understand deeply the legal and ethical dimensions of therapy practice.  The skills I developed as a lawyer also support my consulting practice tremendously in my role as supervisor, grant writer, program developer and manager, and facilitator of large consultation projects such as retreats, workshops, and public relations and public policy efforts.


My Professional Affiliations

  • California Board of Behavioral Sciences, Member #LCS 20716
  • American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors & Therapists, Member 2005 to 2010
  • California Faculty Association, San Francisco State University chapter, Executive Board Secretary, 2009 to 2010 and Faculty Rights Panel Member, 2008 to present
  • Coalition for Clinical Social Work, Task Force Member, 2009 to present
  • San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis, Community Member, 2007 to present
  • National Association of Social Workers, Member, 1998 to present
  • State Bar of Georgia, Member, December 1993 to present
  • City College of San Francisco, Trauma Certificate Program Advisory Board, 2009 to present
  • San Francisco State University, Student Success Program Advisory Board, 2009 to present


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