Jennifer Avila, LCSW
Hi, I’m Jenny. You can call me a therapist, counselor, social worker or whatever resonates with you. To describe my role more accurately, I would use the following words: listener, advocate, coach, companion on the path, objective third party, fellow human being.
And you? You are a also a human being, facing the inevitable complexities, changes, pain and just downright difficulties of life. You might be here, considering counseling, because you are feeling overwhelmed, unstable, devastated, disillusioned or hopeless.
I also know this about you- you are hopeful. You might not believe me, but you are at least a little hopeful- because you are taking the courageous and powerful step to ask for help. You are willing to reflect on your thoughts, feelings and behaviors and consider that there might be a different way. Avoiding it all is easier, but you know that isn’t working any more, and you’re ready to heal and grow. I admire that about you.
I see my job as working together to grow that hope, until it is an unquenchable fire within you, bringing you a vibrant life, meaningful relationships and a sense of purpose about the unique person that you are.
I provide expertise in counseling for new parents, professionals/entrepreneurs and folks looking for an integration of Christian spiritual practice into their journey toward emotional wellness. My work is driven by my passion for helping others to live courageous lives and to reach their full potential. It is my mission to help you feel comfortable, heard and supported as you explore those unique challenges that may be getting in your way. My practice is located in Brentwood, TN- in Cool Springs, with easy access to Brentwood, Nashville and Franklin.
Because my approach to helping is individualized to each specific client and situation, I draw from a range of treatment modalities as needed to offer the most powerful tools for change. I most often utilize components of the following therapy approaches in which I am specifically trained (you can click through these links if you’d like to learn more about the approaches): Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), mindfulness-based interventions, trauma-informed treatment and coaching. In addition to many years of training and supervised experience with the above approaches, I have also completed specialized training in perinatal mood and anxiety disorders; Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR); and Gottman Method Couples Therapy.
People that thrive working with me ready to tackle goals and are looking for the opportunity to put new experiences and skills discussed in therapy to work out in the "real world" in between sessions. My clients appreciate my direct approach that welcomes humor into the therapy room. They most often describe me as motivational, warm, empathic, gently challenging and creative. I am especially passionate about helping people who might be new to counseling feel comfortable and experience the benefits of having a neutral third party to relate to about life's challenges.
When I’m not working with clients, I can be found hanging out with my two young children, enjoying the outdoors (biking, hiking and/or basking in the sunshine) or absorbed in a great book.
Education and Credentials
Masters in clinical social work, University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration
Bachelors in philosophy, University of California, Santa Barbara
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (149.017.483), State of Illinois
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (6866), State of Tennessee
Certificate in Perinatal Mood Disorders, Postpartum Support International
EMDR Training Levels 1 & 2, EMDRIA (EMDR International Association)