Written by Cathy Calvert, PsyD
It is with great sadness that I share with the Rocky Mountain Humanistic Counseling and Psychological Association (RMCHPA) community the loss of one of our members. Nicole (Nikki) Hohl, PsyD, died on Tuesday April 7, 2020. She leaves behind a husband, 8 children, and 2 grandchildren. Nikki was not only a fellow RMCHPA member and colleague, but also was a supervisee of mine. I had the good fortune to be her very first supervisor in her first practicum. She arrived in practicum as a quiet and gentle person who did not say much, but when she did speak many times what she had to say was perceptive and thoughtful. As a new trainee she provided her clients with a space for exploration in a stillness that was filled with respect and safety. She started her training with some of the more difficult clients at the clinic and would hear from her cohort how “lucky” she was and how “brave” she was to be working with some of her clients. Nikki never saw her clients as difficult or that she was “brave.” She, in a very human way, saw her clients as those who needed someone to listen and be present in their pain. Our paths crossed again during her training and I had the opportunity to be her final supervisor at the end of her Psychology Internship at UCCS. Nikki continued to have a similar presence like she had at the beginning of her training—the kind of presence that created space for her clients to see themselves in a different way, a way that could create change for them. Through a compassionate approach, her clients felt cared for and supported while they experienced change. At the end of her training, she had become more confident and less quiet. It was if she had finally found her “pou sto” – gently hold a space for another.
Nikki was a wonderful clinician and knowledgeable psychologist and yet there were parts of her that even colleagues did not know. She married young, and she and her husband, married 31 years, had 8 wonderful children. While Nikki was in graduate school getting her doctorate in psychology, she was also homeschooling all 8 children. She became a published author of a fictional novel during graduate school. Nikki had a dream to go to graduate school, get her doctorate in psychology, and work in a private practice. She completed all her coursework, post-doctoral residency, and as of March 2020, became a licensed psychologist and opened her own private practice. She reached her goal! Those that knew her personally were richer for the experience and those that she helped along the way were given a gift. I will miss Nikki and am grieving the future we would have had as colleagues. I believe our profession will miss her still, gentle spirit of healing as well.