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

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
  • 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, LCSW, SEP, RSP

Somatic Psychotherapist and Owner

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, Yoga, 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, LMSW

Somatic Psychotherapist
Reiki Practitioner

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.


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 13+.

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 contact us at [email protected] or [email protected]

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 $175-$135. 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.

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, directly with your therapist, at least 24 hours in advance. Without such notice, clients are responsible for the full session fee.

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.

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?

This has been an incredibly difficult and isolating time for many of us. We are grateful to be able to offer you virtual session, if that feels safest to you at this time. For those clients wanting to have an in-person connection, we ask that you wear masks during sessions. In order to further increase safety, our therapists are fully vaccinated and we are 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 side 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, so that it is convenient and easy for clients.

Our space is thoughtfully designed to help you feel safe and nurtured. We invite our clients to help themselves to a variety of teas and 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.

Simply Being also offers an outdoor patio experience, if you prefer to be out in nature. We also are just a couple of minutes 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 Body Talk group and attachment workshops.

Upon request, our therapists are available to offer professional training around trauma to local companies and school districts.

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

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