I am a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Nashville, TN. I earned a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degree from Florida Institute of Technology in 1987.  Previously, I earned a master’s degree from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC (1985) and a bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC (1981).  My practice consists of individual adult psychotherapy, couples’ therapy, grief counseling, teaching mindfulness, and the clinical use of the Enneagram. 

My hobbies include writing poetry, playing guitar, and recording music.  I enjoy working with musicians and people who work in Nashville’s music industry. 

At an early age, I was drawn to the subject of suffering.  I noticed that even though I lived a comfortable, middle-class life, in a pleasant, middle-class neighborhood, suffering was part of my life and the life of those around me.  I vividly remember the friends who worried every night about their father, who was a soldier fighting in Viet Nam, the kind neighbor who had to be hospitalized several times for depression, and the friend who lost his sister to a chronic illness.  Later, my awareness of suffering led to an interest in psychology, with its modern treatments for depression and other forms of suffering, and an interest in Buddhism, an ancient religion and philosophy that attempts to solve the problem of suffering.   I went on to become a psychologist, and to study Buddhism, mindfulness, and meditation.  I have since immersed myself in both psychology and Buddhism.  I have attended more than twenty-five lengthy mindfulness meditation retreats in the last twenty years and have had a daily meditation practice for much longer.  I can personally testify to the value of mindfulness and meditation from my own experience; they have transformed my life. 

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One of my chief interests is in helping people who are suffering.  I find it deeply meaningful and satisfying work.  If you would like more information, or if you would like to schedule an appointment, please feel free to contact me by phone or email. 

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Professional Presentations

Integrating EMDR And Psychodynamic Psychotherapy. Presentation At The 2002 Tennessee Psychological Association Convention,11/9/2002. Three Hours.

Clinical Implications Of Personality Structure: Applications From Nancy Mcwilliams’ Psychoanalytic Diagnosis.  Presented October 3,1997 To The Nashville Psychotherapy Institute. One Hour.

Special Training Earned by Tom Neilson

EMDR training

  • EMDR Level I Workshop, Kay Werk, LISW, 4/28-4/30/2000.
  • EMDR level II Workshop, Gerald Puk, Ph.D., 10/20-10/22/2000.
  • The strategic developmental model for EMDR, Maureen Kitchur, MSW, RS, 10/12-10/14/2001.
  • Integrating resource installation strategies into your EMDR practice, Roy Kiessling, LISW, 10/12-10/12/2002.

Mindfulness and Psychotherapy Training

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: A Promising Approach for Those of Us Who Suffer, Laurie Greco, Ph.D., Tennessee  Psychological Association Convention,11/3/2005. {3Hours).
  • Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, Ronald Siegel, Psy.D., Harvard University. October/November 2006. (24 hours}. APA approved online training program from the National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine.
  • Using Dialectical Behavior Therapy with Teenage Cutters, Pamela T. Fishel-Ingram, Tennessee Psychological Association Convention, 11/3/2005. {1.5 hours).
  • Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, Daniel F. O’Connell, Ph.D. 5/14/2009. (6 hours).  PEST Workshop
  • An Introduction to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), J.T. Blackledge, Ph.D. (6 hours). Sponsored by Kentucky Psychological Association.
  • Brain Fitness: Mindsight Skills Training and the Brain.  Dan Siegel, M.D. Mindsight Institute, May-June 2010.  (8 hours).

Personal Mindfulness and Meditation Training

2003-present. Mindfulness retreats. Attended more than 25 mindfulness meditation retreats (each lasting 5-7 days) taught by Jeff Collins, LSCW and Gisela Conrad at the Southern Dharma Retreat Center in Hot Springs, NC, and Light on the Hill Retreat Center in Van Etten, NY.

Fully certified Realization Process meditation teacher. Realization Process is an approach to meditation created by Judith Blackstone,ph.d. that consists of “a direct path to embodied nondual awakening” and psychological healing.  See www.realizationprocess.org

Enneagram training

  • The Enneagram of the Virtues: The Awakened Heart. Russ Hudson, July 2012.*
  • The Essential Qualities of the Enneagram. Russ Hudson, July 2013.*
  • The Enneagram And Relationships. Russ Hudson, November 2013.*
  • The Enneagram For Therapists And Coaches. Michael Naylor, March 2014.  *
  • Journey Of Growth (Enneagram Levels Of Development). Judy Cardoza And Liz Blackford, September 2017.*
  • The Three Instincts {Subtypes) of the Enneagram. Anne Geary, June 2018.*
  • The Inner Critic {Psychic Structures) Workshop. Russ Hudson, June 2018. *
  • The Wisdom of the Enneagram. Judy Cardoza, October 2018. *
  • Fundamentals of the Enneagram (Teacher Training Part 1). Russ Hudson, June 2019.*
  • The Dynamic Enneagram Certification Training. Tom Condon, July 2019.
  • Individual Enneagram Work By Phone With Judy Cardoza, Every 1-2 Weeks, October 2017 to Present.

*Designates Enneagram Institute Authorized Workshops And Training


Psy.d. Florida Institute Of Technology, Melbourne, Florida August 1987 • Clinical Psychology GPA 3.86

M.A. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC December 1985 • Clinical Psychology GPA  3.97

B.A. Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC August 1981• Psychology


Licensed Clinical  Psychologist, State of Tennessee•. License issued January 4, 1988. License Number p1256.

Professional Affiliations

Tennessee Psychological Association Nashville Psychotherapy Institute (current member, former member, board of directors}

Professional Experience

February 1997 to present. private practice, Nashville, TN.  Adult individual, couples, and group psychotherapy, specializing in the treatment of depression, trauma, anxiety disorders, axis ii disorders, and transpersonal issues. Integrative theoretical perspective that includes mindfulness-based approaches to treatment, psychodynamic,cognitive-behavioral, experiential psychotherapy, and EMDR.

June 1988 to June 2016. State of Tennessee department of human services, disability determination services and division of vocational rehabilitation, Nashville, Tennessee. Psychological consultant.  Reviewed social security disability applications, consultation with staff, trained newly hired psychologists.

September 1997 to May 2001.  Vanderbilt University Psychological And Counseling Center, Nashville, TN. Supervising psychologist. Individual and group supervision of interns, staff, postdoctoral students, and practicum students.

September 1988 to August 1997.  Luton Mental Health Center/ Cumberland Psychology Internship Consortium (Now Centerstone Community Mental Health Centers}. Director of training, APA  accredited predoctoral internship in clinical psychology, senior psychologist in adult outpatient services.

September 1987 to September 1988.  Luton Community Mental Health Center. Psychologist in adult outpatient services.

Pre-Doctoral Internship

September 1986 To August 1987.  Cumberland Psychology Internship Consortium. APA accredited internship in clinical psychology.  Rotations in adult outpatient services, acute inpatient treatment program, forensic inpatient program.  Performed intake interviews, individual and group psychotherapy, psychological and neuropsychological evaluation, crisis intervention. Supervisors: Mary  Lee Montgomery,Ph.D., Les Hutchinson, Ph.D., Warren Webb, Ph.D., Sam Craddock, Ph.D., K.N. Anchor, Ph.D.