Welcome to my practice

My name is Richard Nikla. I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Addiction Specialist. West Coast Behavioral Therapy is a therapeutic counseling practice located in Sarasota and New Port Richey Florida. My practice gives therapeutic services to children, families, and individuals. West Coast Behavioral Therapy treats life challenges as stress, anxiety, mental health, as well as substance abuse issues. 

Please look at my website. Also, there is an additional site at the bottom of each page entitled View Mental Health, Behavioral, and Addiction Videos. This site is organized by a prologue and table of contents. On that site you will see various stress, anxiety, mental health, and addiction videos with an analysis of each issue as well as coping techniques. 

Due to emergency times, Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic, I am offering telehealth therapy, through Doxy.me, for admission to my practice as well as ongoing therapy sessions.Doxy.me is easy to use, safe, and HIPAA complaint. Forms can be filled out and returned by Adobe Acrobat. All email transmission will be encrypted.

Mission Statement

Therapy is both an Art and a Science . The most important part of therapy is to establish and maintain a positive relationship between the therapist and the client. The therapist also needs to keep in mind how the environment as well as the client’s medical and physical issues affect their thoughts and behavior. In my practice, I strive to establish and maintain a positive relationship with all clients to help them achieve their goals. While achieving their goals, it may be necessary for a client to discuss how past issues, that have happened in their live, affect their past and current decisions as well as future expectations. I will endeavor to help all people that I work with achieve their goals and to encourage them to develop a positive coherence between their way of life, their health and their environment.


Make an appointment

If you are expressing feelings of depression, anger, anxiety or stress in your daily life situations, and are not sure how to cope with these situations, or if you find yourself over indulging in substance abuse, eating or other habits you may benefit from seeking therapy to understand how you can live a happier and more productive life. Often, we cannot see these habits forming in ourselves but friends or family may be the first to point them out to us. I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor that deals in trauma, substance abuse, mood and anxiety disorders, co-occurring disorders as well as other stress related disorders. If you are experiencing these symptoms or feel that you need to discuss feelings of depression, changing moods, anxiety, stress or other abnormal thought patterns please don’t hesitate to contact me. Click on the Services and Fees page read about the services, billing and what to bring to the first meeting.

My Professional organizational affiliations include:
  • Florida Alcoholic and Drug Addiction Association
  • Tampa Bay Psychoanalytic Society
  • Suncoast Mental Health Counselors Association
  • Bio Feedback Society of Florida
My Background

I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Addiction Professional with a practice in New Port Richey and Sarasota, Florida. My experience involves substance abuse, depression, mood disorders, co-occurring disorders, anxiety disorders as well as psychotic disorders. I also assist in guiding people to reduce stress and live a more fulfilling way of life.

After attending school in Sarasota in the 1950’s and early 1960’s, I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps from 1966 to 1970. Upon completing my military service I attended college in Florida, and graduated with a degree in Business/Accounting. I was in business in Sarasota for 25 years before I began working in the healthcare field in 1999. In 2001 I enrolled in Argosy/Sarasota, graduating with Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling in 2005.

While attending Argosy, I began my Practicum at Kelly Hall in Punta Gorda, which was a level 6 residential Juvenile offenders program. Most of the clients there had been extensively involved in substance abuse as well as criminal behavior. I have also worked with The Intensive Delinquency Diversion Program in Charlotte County, working with children and their families that have been involved with juvenile delinquency. In addition, I have worked with children and their families through the Pinellas County School System and with adults having substance abuse issues, depression, mood and anxiety disorders, as well as co-occurring and psychotic disorders. My past experiences has also included working with the homeless in various lifestyle situations including addiction problems as well as other diagnoses that have complicated their lives. I started West Coast Behavioral Therapy, a private practice, in New Port Richey, Florida in 2012 moving that practice to Sarasota in October of 2016.

What is important in therapy?

The most important part of therapy is for the therapist and the client to form a positive relationship. The purpose of therapy is for the therapist to understand the individual person or family, as a whole entity, that may be separate from his or her presenting symptoms. The dynamics in which a person lives is as much a part of who the person is as how they represent themselves. I endeavor to show deep respect and understanding to people and their presenting situations. I encourage guidance for the individual to understand themselves and how their perception and interactions affect their dynamics, moods, habits and motivation.