About Us


The foundation of our practice is layered. In order to effectively work together, we believe that it is important to understand your past, as it informs your present. We believe that much of our resilience stems from our interactions with attachment figures—It is necessary to consider the context of your life in order to guide you toward finding peace and ease in the moment. Basically, your past matters, but it does not have to define you.

Our attachment to others goes hand-in-hand with how we view and interact with the whole of ourselves. At Simply Being we can help you to recognize and accept your psychological and neurophysiological responses to disappointments and all forms of trauma. All of this will allow you to build capacity to hold and resolve your pain. In this practice, all practitioners incorporate knowledge of the brain and body, using both “talk” therapy and somatic approaches.

Simply Being was established to be a safe and therapeutic space and community for survivors of trauma and those experiencing attachment wounding and chronic stress. At Simply Being, we offer individual and group services as well as a variety of events to enhance community. 

“Who looks outside, dreams, who looks inside, awakes.” C. Jung

Dr. Barbie Hessel & Christi Sidwell

Although we are trauma specialists, we can effectively work with you on any of the issues listed below:

  • Trauma / PTSD
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Sexuality
  • Sexual Assault / Abuse
  • Attachment Wounds
  • OCD
  • Trans generational Trauma
  • Shame Resilience
  • Family / Relationship Issues
  • Women’s Issues
  • Gender Issues and  LGBTQ+
  • Adolescence
  • Dissociative Disorders
  • Ritual Abuse
  • Spiritual Abuse
  • Toxic Stress
  • Chronic Pain
  • Work or School-Related Issues
  • Group Therapy
  • Performance Anxiety
  • Inner Child Wounding
Dr. Barbie Hessel

Dr. Barbie Hessel, LCSW, SEP, RSP

Somatic Psychotherapist and Owner
Registered Jungian Sandplay Therapist
Certified Hypnotherapist
Sound Practitioner

My astrological signs are Scorpio rising, Libra sun, and Pisces moon.


As a Tennessee Licensed Clinical Therapist and Somatic Experiencing Practitioner®, I specialize in trauma, and have worked extensively with survivors of sexual assault as well as folks struggling with depression and anxiety. I am passionate about helping teens and adults reclaim their hearts, minds, and bodies. I practice from an attachment and holistic perspective, honoring your thoughts, feelings, and visceral responses to trauma, while acknowledging an individual’s environment and context.

A native of Miami, Florida, I moved to Nashville over 10 years ago with my family. Prior to moving, I earned a Doctorate in Child and Youth Services and Development, with an emphasis in voice and self-authorization in young women. I worked in education and development coaching, along with professional training. Through this work, I honed my passion for working one-on-one with adults and teens. Once in Nashville, I earned an MSSW from the University of Tennessee with a focus on trauma treatment and have dedicated myself to working with trauma survivors and their loved ones. I have advanced training and certifications in Somatic Experiencing® and Jungian Sandplay Therapy. I also have extensive training in a variety of therapeutic modalities, including EMDR (Level II), IFS,  Psychotherapeutic Yoga, Sound Healing, Mindfulness Practice, T-FCBT, and ACT.
As a certified Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, I also offer personal sessions for credit towards certification for students enrolled in SE trainings. 
I find that with varied experience and training, I am better able to develop personalized therapeutic plans to meet your needs.
Christi Sidwell

Christi Sidwell, LMSW

Somatic Psychotherapist
Certified Hypnotherapist
Reiki Practitioner
Sound Practitioner
Intern Supervisor 

My astrological signs are Libra rising, Cancer sun, and Aquarius moon.


I am a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) and my therapeutic approach is rooted in experiential and integrative practices.  As an intuitive therapist, I blend energetic modalities and therapeutic modalities into a holistic approach to support the clients’ desire for realignment and repair. Through my training and experience, I deeply believe that as humans we are wired for healing; we just have to learn how to access it.  Learning how to reconnect to our body is at the heart of personal transformation. I am passionate about partnering with teens and adults as they bravely seek the life they desire.  

I specialize in trauma and have extensive experience working with those who have experinced sexual violence as I worked at the Sexual Assault Center (SAC) for 5 years. Additionally, in my practice, I focus on helping professionals and athletes break down barriers to access optimal performance. I have learned that trauma and challenges to optimal performance may appear very unrelated on the surface, but are actually deeply connected from a nervous system perspective. As a practitioner, I see the importance of a body-based approach to therapy and enjoy being able to bring this vital perspective to a variety of individuals. I work closely with folks who experience trauma, high stress environments, attachment wounds, performance anxiety, depression, anxiety, and inner child wounding. 

Since obtaining my MSSW from the University of Tennessee, I have continued to advance my knowledge and skill through specialized training including: EMDR (level 2), Comprehensive Resource Model (CRM), Trauma Sensitive and Therapeutic yoga, Somatic Experiencing (Completed my first year and am in the second year), Mindfulness Practice, and Attachment Regulation Competency (ARC).  Varied training allows me to navigate a therapeutic approach to healing that is holistic and tailored to each client’s needs and desires. 

In my down time, I try to spend as much time as I can outside whether that is walking, hiking, camping or a favorite, laying in grass. I enjoy learning how to garden and keep houseplants alive, which can be a hit or miss for me.

Nicole Nelson

Nicole Nelson, LPC-MHSP (temp)

Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

My astrological signs are Aquarius rising, Leo sun, and Sagittarius moon.


As a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC-MHSP temp), I believe the things we consider our biggest flaws are, in fact, creative survival tactics that once saved us. When we find safety within our own bodies, we can replace these coping skills that are no longer serving us. To me, the resilience required to survive trauma defines the extremes of human strength; creating a safe space where clients can explore these strengths along with their personal goals and desires is an important part of therapy.

Trauma happens in the body, but so does healing. As a somatic psychotherapist, I work with clients to find safety in their own bodies. Using gentle, body-based interventions, we can complete the trauma cycle within your nervous system, opening your path to healing.

Trauma happens in relationships, but so does healing.  Within the therapeutic relationship, we can find ways of building intimacy and trust with each other and translating that trust into other safe relationships, designing a healthy life you love and enjoy.

I have a special interest and training in treating clients with anxiety, depression, complex trauma, religious trauma, OCD, and dissociative disorders. I love using humor to help clients find relief during challenging moments and my greatest joy is walking with clients as they follow their body’s natural capabilities for healing.

Molly Porter

Molly Porter, BSW

Intern Clinical Therapist

EMDR Trained

My astrological signs are Gemini rising, Sagittarius sun, and Aries moon.


Originally from a northern suburb of Chicago, I relocated to Nashville to obtain my Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Belmont University. There, I discovered a passion for working with those who have experienced trauma and the use of somatic interventions. This led me to the University of Tennessee where I am currently finishing up my MSSW with a specialization in Trauma Treatment.

I have experience working with those who experience trauma, attachment wounds, depression, anxiety, life transitions, LGBTQ+ wounding, spiritual abuse, and inner child wounding. I am EMDR trained and believe that trauma is an in-body experience that requires an in-body approach. When working with clients, I focus on the nervous system and somatic perspectives to gain a deeper understanding as to why clients may be experiencing certain symptoms. I believe that we all have complex and unique stories that require a similar treatment plan – honoring a person within their environment. 

As a social worker, I value the dignity and worth of all people. It is my desire to foster and facilitate a safe and authentic environment where clients can feel seen, accepted, and valued as their true selves. I am passionate about partnering with those from any and all walks of life as they navigate life and pursue healing. I believe that we all have an innate capability for healing, and I am honored to be able to walk alongside my clients as they search for meaning and self-discovery.


What is therapy?

Therapy is both a process and a relationship. In session, you talk with a therapist in order to heal or relieve symptoms. Therapists also incorporate researched-based practices in order to best serve your needs. During your time, your therapist will hold space for you and validate your experience through empathy and compassion. Therapists at Simply Being are trained to help clients struggling with many different concerns.

What modalities do you use in session?

Our therapists are all specialized in trauma and chronic stress, and work from an attachment lens. We are trained in Somatic Experiencing, EMDR, Jungian Sandplay, Mindfulness, and other practices.

What populations do you serve?

At Simply Being, we believe in the fundamental truth that all individuals, regardless of race, cultural background, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, nationality, abilities, or belief systems are worthy of respect and care. We offer services to all individuals, ages 15+.

What can I expect?

The therapeutic relationship is what is most important to us. It can be extremely difficult to meet with a therapist for the first time; we understand that and our therapists are sensitive to each client in order to follow their pacing. We understand that trust takes time to build and it is our intention to always provide a safe and comfortable space for folks. At Simply Being, we consider each client’s nervous system and use a very titrated process, so as to not overwhelm the system. We are very careful to work with you in a manner that is nurturing and one that does not leave you feeling drained at the end of our session. Our ultimate goal is to build an alliance with each client, and help you access what is already within you to heal.

How do I choose a therapist?

Choosing a therapist can feel difficult at first. We suggest that you select a therapist based on your needs and, most importantly, on whether they are a good fit for you. The therapeutic relationship is at the core of healing. At Simply Being, we invite you to chat with the therapists to see what works for you.

How do I make an appointment?

If you would like to schedule an appointment, please fill out the form under Getting Started or reach out to an individual therapist. 

We currently see clients on weekdays and online. Once scheduled, you will receive access to our Client Portal.

Do you offer virtual sessions?

Yes, we offer Telehealth sessions. Virtual therapy is an effective method that works well for many individuals. Most of our treatment approaches, such as Somatic Experiencing and EMDR are possible via Telehealth, and our therapists are skilled in meeting your individual needs while incorporating these effective approaches virtually. At Simply Being, you have the option of choosing from in-person, online, or phone sessions. We also offer a hybrid experience, for those individuals wanting to have options week to week. Telehealth is offered through a confidential, HIPAA-compliant platform called Simple Practice. You can access the online portal through any mobile device, such as your personal computer, cell phone, or tablet. Your therapist will provide you with further information around Telehealth to ensure that you have the most comfortable virtual experience.

What are your rates?

Each practitioner at Simply Being has their own rate. Currently, rates range between $195-$60. We ask that you include a credit card on our secure portal to hold appointments. We accept major credit cards, Venmo, or cash at the start of each appointment.

Do you have any lower-cost services?
We understand that mental health services can be costly and that this is often frustrating. At Simply Being, we believe in offering a range of services in order to meet the needs of as many clients as possible. Individual session fees reflect the high cost of graduate education and advanced training and certifications. That said, we are committed to reserving sliding scale spots with each therapist
and have graduate clinical interns that can offer affordable rates. We also offer a range of additional services including in-person and online therapy groups and group sound baths. We are constantly striving to create as many integrative and holistic offerings for clients in order to meet the needs of the whole person. 
What is your cancellation policy?

There is such a need for therapy in our world today. For this reason, appointment times are held for you; if you are unable to attend session, others could benefit from the time. We ask that cancellations be made, via email and directly with your therapist, at least 24 hours in advance. Without such notice, clients are responsible for the full session fee. This includes cancellations and no-shows due to emergencies, with exception to personal medical emergencies that also prevent you from having an alternative virtual session. Please review our COVID practices for further guidance.

Because sessions are in such high demand, clients will receive a reminder via text or email in advance. In order to hold an appointment, a credit card is needed and can be entered in our secure client portal.

How long are sessions?

Sessions are 50 minutes in duration. Your therapist uses the additional ten minutes to write notes and plan for your care. If you arrive late to a session, your appointment time will not be extended. If you are joining a virtual session and are more than 15 minutes late, your therapist will log off and the session will be considered a late cancellation or no-show. 

What if I am late?

If you arrive late to session (in person or online), you will be granted a 15-minute grace period. Your session time will be impacted by late arrival.

What precautions are you taking for COVID-19?

The last few years have been an incredibly difficult and isolating time for many of us. We are currently grateful to be able to serve clients wanting to have an in-person connection as well as those preferring virtual sessions. That said, we do ask that you do not attend an in-person session if you are experiencing any COVID symptoms, or if you have cold and flu-like symptoms and have not tested negative for COVID. If you are experiencing symptoms, please provide us with notice and we will send you a link for a virtual session. We rely on your transparency around any possible sickness or exposure. 

Currently, we are not requiring masks. If you feel more comfortable wearing a mask, we respect that choice and are always happy to wear a mask if asked. In order to further increase safety, our therapists are vaccinated and we continue to be intentional when wiping down furniture. 

We understand that, as a community, we each have to do our part to help with the safety of ourselves and others. If you have questions or concerns, please speak with your therapist.

Where are you located? What is your office like?

We are located in the Berry Hill community, at 2822 Erica Place, in a small, charming house intended to feel like home; our community is known for offering a variety of holistic services in the area, so you can plan a day for self care when you visit (not to mention plan for an amazing meal at one of our diverse, neighboring restaurants). We ask that clients use the front entrance, and your therapist will provide you with a door code prior to your first appointment. We offer sufficient parking at the front of the house as well as overflow parking, so that it is convenient and easy for clients. 

We strive to curate an experience for clients from the moment the enter our practice. Our space is thoughtfully designed to help you feel safe and nurtured. We invite our clients to help themselves to a variety of teas (including our branded, bespoke blend in collaboration with The Tea Huntress) as well as sparkling or still water. Healthy snacks are also available. We strive to ensure that your needs are met, so that you can feel present and centered during our session.

For those who prefer to be out in nature, Simply Being also offers an outdoor patio experience, including a private space enveloped by lush greens and a outdoor bench swing facing our forthcoming community gardens. We also are just a couple of moments away from a lovely playground that we often use with clients, to help cater to the inner child in each of us.

Is therapy confidential?

You have a legal right to expect confidentiality from your therapist. You can explore the limitations of confidentiality in our intake paperwork.

Do you offer groups or other services?

Simply Being was created to help nurture community. We offer groups and workshops in our group space and online. Some of our more popular offerings include our Find Your Wild weekend workshop, our  Body Talk group, our Family Constellations groups, and monthly group Sound Baths.

Upon request, our therapists are available to offer professional training around trauma to local companies and school districts, as well as women and men circles.

We also offer Somatic Experiencing students, personal sessions for credit towards their full certification in SE.

What modalities do you use in session?

Our therapists are all specialized in trauma and chronic stress, and work from an attachment lens. We are trained in Somatic Experiencing, EMDR, Jungian Sandplay, Mindfulness, Hypnotherapy, DBT, and other trauma focused and holistic practices.

What modalities do you use in session?

Our therapists are all specialized in trauma and chronic stress, and work from an attachment lens. We are trained in Somatic Experiencing, EMDR, Jungian Sandplay, Mindfulness, Hypnotherapy, DBT, and other trauma focused and holistic practices.

Do you work with corporate or organizational teams?

At Simply Being we understand the importance of workplace wellness on individuals. If you would like further information on our offerings, please review the Workplace Wellness section under Services and Fees. 

Getting Started

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