Last night, as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that a spring was breaking
out in my heart
I said: Along which secret aqueduct,
Oh water, are you coming to me,
water of a new life
that I have never drunk?

–Antonio Machado

During this temporary time of national crisis stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, I am conducting all of my therapy sessions using Teletherapy.  I use, a HIPPA-compliant video platform that protects your privacy.  

I am Tom Neilson, a licensed clinical psychologist practicing in Nashville. I earned my Psy. D. from the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne Florida in 1987 and my licensure from the State of Tennessee the following year.

My approach to therapy is unique in that it prioritizes the importance of developing self-compassion and a larger, more spacious perspective on life. I enjoy working with spiritual and existential issues in people of all faiths. I have been practicing psychotherapy for more than 30 years.

I frequently use a personality system called the Enneagram to clarify client strengths and issues, and to facilitate the process of therapy. I also encourage clients to develop mindfulness, a greater awareness of the present moment. 

I specialize in treating grief and have received advanced training from The Center for Complicated Grief at Columbia University. My expertise in mindfulness includes a personal meditation practice for more than 30 years and attendance of over 25 mindfulness retreats.

More generally, my typical clients are experiencing depression, anxiety disorders, stress, difficult transitions, and adjustment problems.  I work with adults and older adults who are experiencing both mild and severe problems.  I do not work with children and adolescents.  I do not usually work with individuals who are having alcohol or drug problems, or psychotic disorders. 

My approach to psychological healing is holistic, mixing psychodynamic, mind/body, transpersonal, mindfulness, and cognitive-behavioral approaches to psychotherapy. My philosophy of therapy stresses respect for the client and an acknowledgment of the importance of meeting the client where he or she is. Therapy often involves the exploration of family of origin issues and the impact of old conditioning on current functioning. I also emphasize the importance of developing existing personal strengths and resources.

My office is located at 1410 17th Avenue South Nashville, TN  37212. However, I also do teletherapy, using, a HIPPA-compliant video platform that protects your privacy.  Please call me at (615) 828-1054 to make an appointment

The Services We Offer

Individual Therapy

Most of my work consists of one-on-one individual therapy. I find the Enneagram of Personality useful in psychotherapy to both of understand more fully, quickly, and completely. more…


Mindfulness is both a type of meditation and a way of living. Mindfulness emphasizes living in the present moment with awareness and compassion. more…

Marriage Counseling and Couples Therapy

For most of us, marriage and intimate relationships are both deeply rewarding and challenging.  Marriage is an essential part of life for most, and it may be difficult to imagine life without one’s spouse more…

The Enneagram of Personality

The Enneagram’s purpose is to help us uncover the traps that keep us from living fully and freely as our True Self so that we will use our unique, authentic gifts for the good of others and the world.
–Richard Rohr more…

Grief Counseling

Letting go can be so difficult. Unfortunately, our Western culture often underestimates how difficult grieving can be.  Losing a dearly loved one can be one of life’s greatest challenges. Often people are able to move through grief on their own.  Sometimes, however, grief is too intense for this. more..

The Therapeutic Use of Poetry

At their best, great poets discover and articulate profound truth in a way that grabs the attention of the reader, bypasses defenses and sometimes facilitates change.  I make use of the work of great poets when it seems a good fit for the client. more…

Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy

Traumatic experiences sometimes create neurological patterns that can be hard to change. Some professionals use Ketamines to break through these roadblocks, but the patient often does much of the “work” on their own, with little assistance. I work with a prescribing physician and provide you with personal therapy sessions. more..

EMDR Therapy

Trauma, be it from military combat, childhood abuse, or even an automobile accident or assault, can create PTSD symptoms and a difficult life for the folks around us that we love. Conventional wisdom suggests that it take years to heal from such pains. However, many patients recover substantially in 3-6 sessions. more..