Nicole Heilbron, PhD

Co-Chief, Division of Child and Family Mental Health & Developmental Neuroscience; Director, Integrated Pediatric Mental Health Clinical Practice Unit

I am a licensed psychologist trained in child, adolescent, and adult assessment and treatment. My practice is informed by psychological approaches and techniques that are based on scientific evidence, including cognitive-behavioral therapy. I work with individuals, couples, and families with a particular focus on the treatment of anxiety, depression, and emotional/behavioral difficulties. I started my career in teaching and became interested in how to most effectively help children who are coping with trauma and adversity. After several years of working in education and for several community-based agencies, I moved to Chapel Hill from Toronto to pursue advanced training in clinical psychology. I joined the faculty at Duke in 2010 and have been involved in clinical practice, as well as a variety of research and teaching activities. I live in Chapel Hill with my husband and dog. In my spare time, I enjoy hockey, traveling, and visiting my family in the Great White North.


PhD, Clinical Psychology, University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, 2007


Child Trauma Specialization, Duke University Medical Center, 2006-2007


Psychology (Research), University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, 2007-2010

Clinical Interests

Child clinical psychology, child/adolescent trauma and maltreatment, nonsuicidal self-injury, suicidality, child/adolescent mood, anxiety disorders

Research Interests

Child clinical psychology, child and adolescent trauma and maltreatment, nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI), suicide-related thoughts and behaviors, mood and anxiety disorders, couples therapy, parent training

Representative Publications

Sapyta, J; Goldston, DB; Erkanli, A; Daniel, SS; Heilbron, N; Mayfield, A; Treadway, SL. Evaluating the predictive validity of suicidal intent and medical lethality in youth. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 2012;80:222-231.

Franklin, JC; Hessel, ET; Aaron, RV; Arthur, MS; Heilbron, N; Prinstein, MJ. The functions of nonsuicidal self-injury: support for cognitive-affective regulation and opponent processes from a novel psychophysiological paradigm. Journal of Abnormal Psychology. 2010;119:850-862.

Heilbron, N; Compton, JS; Daniel, SS; Goldston, DB. The Problematic Label of Suicide Gesture: Alternatives for Clinical Research and Practice. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. 2010;41:221-227.

Heilbron, N; Prinstein, MJ. A review and reconceptualization of social aggression: adaptive and maladaptive correlates. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review. 2008;11:176-217.