The Team

James L Nicolaus BA, MBA, MACP, LMHCA, MHP

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  • Hopeful Hands, INC was started on July 9th, 2005 by founder and President James L Nicolaus. He has worked in the field with children and adolescents with mental health, autism, and problem behaviors in the classroom, group homes, Hospital inpatient, and private homes for the past 23 years. 


  • Working with challenging dangerous aggressive behaviors within the community.  James also worked at Children's Administration as a Social Worker 3 for the State of Washington doing investigations, providing community resources and helping families.  


  • James values customer service, the art of counseling, positive behavior, patience, and the science of education. Obtaining two bachelor’s degrees in Anthropology and Sociology and two master’s degrees in Master’s in Business Administration and Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology to provide Mental Health Therapy services to the community. 

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Behavioral Health

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

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About Us

Ph. D., and Board Certified Behavior Analyst Team

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 Hopeful Hands will work with any child and teen and help support families with challenging needs. We promote individualized care, clearly involving parents in deciding on and participating in the process as a team. 

About Craig Jensen, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA

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  In addition to being a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Dr. Jensen brings the added perspectives of a Licensed Psychologist and a background in behavior genetics to his analysis and treatment of challenging behavior. He is a Past President of Northwestern Association for Behavior Analysis. Dr. Jensen has extensive consulting experience, having worked with over 50 agencies in Washington and nationally, including over 20 school districts in the Seattle area. He has provided over 400 in-home consultations and has provided ABA and psychological services to seven group homes.  

About Tore Lydersen, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA

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  Tore Lydersen has a Ph.D. in psychology and specialized in behavior analysis. He is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D) and a Licensed Behavior Analyst (LBA). Tore has extensive experience in behavior analysis in both academic and applied settings. He has published research in applied and experimental analysis of behavior and has presented this work at various conferences. Tore has worked for more than three decades with children and adults who exhibit challenging behaviors. Currently, his focus has been on helping children who are having difficulties benefiting from educational experiences in school.

Dr. Vanessa Tucker, Ph.D, BCBA-D, LBA

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Dr. Tucker is  a licensed teacher and behavior analyst from WA State who has been in Special Education for 25 years. Dr. Tucker began her career after graduating with a dual teaching endorsement (Special and General Ed) in 1995 and worked primarily in Resource and Self-Contained Classrooms before getting her M.Ed. in Low Incidence Disabilities in 2003 

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Generate excitement

  Dr. Tucker  then focused on coordinating Autism programs and school-based special education programs in a large urban school district while obtaining her Ph.D. in Autism and Behavior Analysis at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA (2009). She is now an Associate Professor of Special Education at Pacific Lutheran University in 

Parkland, WA

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Small things done with great love can change the world.

 Dr. Tucker also has a clinical practice focused exclusively on providing behavior analytic interventions and supports to schools. Her research and teaching areas include program and classroom management, students with low incidence disabilities, behavior analysis in schools and trauma informed education.