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Linda Copel, PhD - Villanova University. Villanova, PA, US

Linda Copel, PhD

Professor | M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing | Villanova University


Dr. Copel, PhD, RN, CNS, BC, CNE, NCC, FAPA has extensive experience providing counseling in situations of familial and domestic violence.



Linda Copel, PhD Publication Linda Copel, PhD Publication



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Areas of Expertise (7)


Domestic Violence

Family Dynamics

Mental Health

Partner Abuse




Dr. Copel has extensive experience providing counseling to individuals, couples, and families, especially those affected by family violence. She has studied partner abuse in both disabled and non-disabled women, focusing on verbal abuse, physical injuries, and the process of extrication from abusive situations. Additionally, she has researched the educational needs of nurses regarding partner abuse and how nurses can be of assistance to women experiencing abuse. She is nationally certified as a clinical specialist in adult psychiatric nursing, a group psychotherapist, a certified nurse educator, a family life educator and a bereavement counselor.

Education (4)

Texas Woman's University: PhD

Texas Woman's University: MSMFT

University of Texas at Arlington: MSN

University of Delaware: BSN

Select Accomplishments (2)

Inducted into National League for Nursing Academy of Nursing Education (professional)


Awarded Villanova College of Nursing Medallion (professional)


Affiliations (10)

  • Fellow in Psychotherapy in the American Psychotherapy Association
  • Fellow in Psychological Specialties and Trauma/PTSD in the American Academy of Forensic Examiners
  • American Nurses Association
  • National Certified Counselor from the National Board for Certified Counselors
  • National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists
  • National Council of Family Relations
  • American Psychiatric Nurses Association Charter Member
  • American Psychotherapy Association
  • American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
  • American Group Psychotherapy Association

Select Media Appearances (8)

What should we do with our anger right now?

The Philadelphia Inquirer  online


Each day I find myself becoming angrier and angrier. We’re in a pandemic that has killed 200,000 Americans, a pandemic that the president admitted to Bob Woodward in February that he knew was deadly. Forest fires on the West Coast are blazing out of control. Allegations arose that women have been given unwanted hysterectomies while in ICE custody. There is a lot to be hot about. The last six months have brought a range of emotions. We have been shocked, scared and depresssed.

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Domestic violence an increasing concern in Philadelphia area because of COVID-19, study suggests

The Philadelphia Inquirer  online


Domestic violence against women is a steadily increasing concern among experts in the Philadelphia area due to the ongoing pandemic, according to a recent report by researchers at the Ortner Center on Violence and Abuse at the University of Pennsylvania. Researchers looked at the effects of Pennsylvania’s declaration of emergency, school closures, and stay-at-home orders on calls to 911 and hotlines for domestic violence, rape, and assault. They found that calls to hotlines regarding domestic violence — which women typically make to seek resources and support — dropped when schools first closed, but have gradually increased.

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We have to go back into the world again. Here are steps for how to deal with that

The Philadelphia Inquirer  online


Jennifer Merves Robbins never really considered herself an anxious person. She even — for the most part — didn’t find it too stressful to shelter-in-place when she started working from home, helping her two kids transition to online school, and cooking dinner every night. She adjusted. But the idea of transitioning back into society as COVID-19 is still sickening and killing Americans has Robbins wound up tighter than she’s ever been.

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Missing touch in your life? So are we. Here's what to do about it.

The Philadelphia Inquirer  online


During the first week of social distancing, Lisa Bien found herself in line at a Mount Laurel Shop Rite chatting it up with a shopper behind her. “We were just laughing and talking and having a great time," said Bien a motivational speaker, television host, and author and self-described hugger. “And then I reached out … and we caught ourselves. We just stopped and I immediately felt sad. Because even though she was a stranger, we had connected and the next logical step was to hug her or shake her hand, or something.”

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What you can do if you’re laid off or furloughed during the coronavirus pandemic?

The Philadelphia Inquirer  online


The coronavirus has disrupted everything we took for granted: our loved ones, our mortality, and yes, our jobs. And it’s becoming clear that even before it’s safe for us to hug our parents and grandparents again, our finances could be in serious trouble. Nearly 284,000 Pennsylvanians filed initial unemployment claims last week, Inquirer reporter Andrew Maykuth reported Monday. That brings the state’s total unemployment claims to nearly 1.1 million through three weeks, or 16.3% of the state’s workforce, according to preliminary statistics posted by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. Losing a job is always stressful, but these furloughs and layoffs are even more daunting because they are happening during an economy that’s effectively been stopped. And we really have no idea when it will start up again or how long it will take to regain steam. It’s no wonder we’re having trouble sleeping, concentrating, and living in peace. How will we take care of the people who are depending on us? How will we take care of ourselves? “This is a time of shock, disbelief, and numbness,” said Linda Copel, a professor at the Fitzpatrick College of Nursing at Villanova University and a marriage and family therapist. “This kind of shock stays with people for a while and can cause anxiety and depression. People can get stuck, and the fear and anxiety of what comes next can make it hard for people to move on. But there are ways to get through it and help prevent that."

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Domestic violence victims need crucial support during the coronavirus | Opinion

The Philadelphia Inquirer  online


Intimate partner violence is a broad problem. An estimated one in four women (24%) and one in seven men (14%) aged 18 and older in the United States have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner. Current stay-at-home restrictions preventing the spread of COVID-19 may drastically increase these incidents.

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How to help military families at the holidays

Reuters  online


“Over the years I’ve worked with a psychiatric service dog and the response of patients who were grieving, depressed, or struggling with severe anxiety, especially PTSD, markedly improved,” says Villanova University College of Nursing Professor Linda Copel, a licensed psychotherapist who works with military families and is a PTSD expert. “There’s a huge need for training psychiatric and other types of service dogs for soldiers with disabilities.”

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Organizations attempt to dispel myths of mental health issues in wake of Arizona shooting

Delaware County Daily Times  online


Linda Copel, a nursing professor at Villanova University and mental health expert, said people often turn toward the news media for prevention tips following a tragedy. But she added that the media can contribute to the stigma of mental health. "The public stigma can lead to personal stigma where people relabel themselves," Copel said. "It can damage the recovery model, where we encourage people ... to reach out for support."

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Research Grants (3)

The Lived Experience of Partner Abuse in Physically Disabled Women

Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation 

Research Grant

Patterns of Abuse in Physically Disabled Women

Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation 

Research Grant

An Investigation of the Occurrence of Situational Couple Violence in Women with Disabilities

College of Nursing Center for Nursing Research 

Research Grant

Select Academic Articles (5)

Compassion satisfaction: A concept analysis in nursing

Nursing Forum

Tara L. Sacco, Linda Carman Copel


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The Concept of Self-Stigma: A Clinical Investigation

Sigma Theta Tau

Linda Carman Copel, Khamis Al-Mamari


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Invisible Bruises: The Experience of Verbal Abuse for Women With Disabilities

Clinical Nurse Specialist

Linda Carman Copel


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The lived experience of women in abusive relationships who sought spiritual guidance

Issues in Mental Health Nursing

Linda Carman Copel


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Partner abuse in physically disabled women: a proposed model for understanding intimate partner violence

Perspectives in Psychiatric Care

Linda Carman Copel


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