Matters of the Heart Counseling

243 Old Shackle Island Road

Hendersonville, TN 37075

ABOUT US 

WHY MATTERS OF THE HEART ? 

 

When considering the things that matter the most, the relationships that we hold closest to us can offer the greatest amount of support and comfort. Likewise, they can offer the greatest amount of frustration, hurt, and wounding. Friendships, significant others, children, parents, siblings, and others that most closely surround our world have the most significant impact on our emotional health.

For that reason, our focus is on healing the from that core wound that often hides underneath the more obvious issues…. “communication,” “disconnect,” “sex issues,” “anger,” “bitterness” or any other myriad of issues that you think is a primary concern.  We hear your concerns and address them within the context of what is a step deeper… feelings of rejection, belonging, disappointment, shame, value, etc.

So ultimately, if it matters to your heart, it matters to ours.   

With our ultimate goal of greater emotional health for you and working ourselves out of a job,

our ability to attune our focus with the deepest issues that plague you is crucial! 

Here's a little about each of us to help you see who you think would be a good fit for working with.

Use the RED link under each bio to email us directly. 

Joanna Dixon, LMFT
Founder 
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, and AAMFT Clinical Supervisor Candidate

AREAS of FOCUS:

  • Couples in Crisis

  • Enneagram Expert/Coach

  • Marital/Couples Counseling

  • Trauma, EMDR fully trained

  • Musicians/Artists/Public Figures issues

  • Military/First Responders & their loved ones

  • Depression/Anxiety

  • Religious Wounding/Oppression

  • Adolescents/Young Adults

E M A I L  J O A N N A

I founded Matters of the Heart Counseling Services after obtaining my degree in 2010 from Trevecca Nazarene University.  My goal for Matters of the Heart, was to create a team environment that was cohesive, and non-competitive for greater success of our client's leading to greater success as a practice. A graduated client is the goal for us all as we join you in pursuit of health!

While general talk therapy is a need at times in the counseling office, I find that by jumping in and working alongside my clients is a more efficient way to see some quick successes in the therapeutic process.  Some of my strengths include working with couples, intensive couples counseling- even when one party is resistant to treatment. To me, the “joining” process in therapy is imperative to the provider/client relationship, and I commit a lot of my energy to getting to know you, not just at a client level, but at a personal level. 

 

Each individual must feel safe to be seen and heard in a space that is safe and free of judgement or condemnation, and I strive to provide that to all who walk through my door. In addition to couples, working with families and  individuals who feel stuck or in need of a fresh direction for their journey is a strength. I seek to empower my clients to live the healthiest life they can, and challenge them to work diligently towards their goals for treatment.

 

Prior to graduate school at Trevecca Nazarene University, I obtained my bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University in Special Education, minoring in Psychology.  I later pursued becoming fully trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) for the treatment of trauma.  I also am certified to administer the Prepare/Enrich Marital Assessment for Pre-Engagement, Pre-Marital, and Marital Enrichment counseling, and I spent several years becoming an expert of the Enneagram  and incorporate the work of the Enneagram with all of my clients.

 

My therapeutic approach, much like most therapists, is a blend of several therapeutic models that have proven highly effective in the work that I do.  Interweaving the knowledge of the Enneagram (personality assessment,  http://www.enneagraminstitute.com), Emotionally Focused Therapy, Experiential therapy and EMDR,  I cautiously navigate the intense and vulnerable journey of therapy with my clients so they are able to remain engaged, hopeful, empowered, and increasingly healthy.

In addition to counseling services, this is a site for interns completing their master’s in counseling and will receive weekly supervision from me as an AAMFT (American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists) approved supervisor in training (under the Supervision of AAMFT approved supervisor Dr. Julie Barnes).  I also offer supervision to counselors who have completed their master’s course work and are in pursuit of their license, post-graduation.  As a counselor, site supervisor, and licensure supervisor, I take an interactive, engaging, and directive approach with those I work with.

Nicole Heckel,
MFT Pre-Licensed Counselor

AREAS of FOCUS:

  • Family Counseling

  • Teens/Adolescents

  • Women's Issues

  • Couples /Marital/Pre-Marital Counseling

  • Life Skills/Social Support

  • Addiction/Recovery

  • Codependency

  • Depression/Anxiety

E M A I L  N I C O L E

Nicole graduated from Bellarmine University in Louisville Kentucky with an undergraduate degree in psychology. After getting her undergraduate degree she worked in a residential setting with children and then worked in an outpatient substance abuse treatment facility. Nicole completed her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Liberty University In Lynchburg Virginia and has been working in outpatient mental health treatment.

 

Nicole has several years of experience working with individuals with mental illness in an outpatient setting. This setting has allowed for Nicole to assist with crisis intervention and provide support to individuals with severe and persistent mental illness while they identify and develop treatment goals to cope with depression, anxiety, and trauma.

 

Nicole also has several years of experience working with adults with substance abuse issues in residential and outpatient treatment programs. Through groups and individual treatment Nicole has offered support while working with individuals on boundary setting, communication, and relapse prevention. Nicole has also provided education to family members, conflict resolution, and assisting family members wanting to provide support to loved ones who struggle with addiction. 

 

Nicole is able to provide compassion and a safe space while helping you identify and work toward your goals in a therapeutic setting.

Jonathon Nixon,
Capella University MFT Intern

AREAS of FOCUS:

  • Couples Issues

  • Addiction/Recovery

  • Autism/Family Structure

  • Parenting/Families

  • Children/Play Therapy

  • Depression/Anxiety

  • Parenting Support

  • Military

E M A I L  J O N A T H A N 

Jonathon is one of our Marriage and Family therapist interns, completing his master’s degree at Capella University.  As a training counselor, Jonathon would describe his approach as “theory informed” rather than “theory driven.” What that means is that he utilizes an integrative approach to counseling that emphasizes the importance of developing rapport with each client in order to create a therapeutic space that promotes safety and vulnerability where clients can script their own meaningful narratives.

Before pursuing his masters, Jonathon received his Bachelor's degree in Social Psychology from Southern New Hampshire University.  While completing his Bachelors he worked as a behavior interventionist with both children and adults diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).  One of his focal points when working with those with ASD, were the unique ways families organize themselves around pervasive conditions and challenges, as well as the conflicts that result from this diagnosis.

Jonathon later moved to Las Vegas, NV where he worked as a youth counselor with victimized foster children for St Jude's Children's Ranch in Boulder City, NV.  It was from this experience that he was able to work extensively with crisis intervention, management, and the practice of de-escalation when supervising visits from family and guardians.

In 2016, Jonathon and his family moved from Las Vegas, NV to Gallatin, TN where he began working as a substance abuse counselor in a correctional facility.  He currently works alongside a team of committed professionals dedicated to reducing the reoffending rates that continue to inhibit the opportunity for families to reestablish those vital relationships that are impacted through one's choice to participate in criminal related activity. Because of his diverse professional background that encounters different levels of crisis, he is drawn towards the details that underline the interactional patterns that lead people through their decision making and the consequences they encounter that ultimately shape their experiences in life.      

Keiara Marsh, MS
Counselor of Marriage & Family Therapy, Pre-licensed

AREAS of FOCUS:

  • Middle & High School Youth

  • Parents/Family of Teens

  • Young Adults

  • Depression/Anxiety

  • Couples/Relationship issues

  • Life Transitions/Adjustment

E M A I L  K E I A R A

Keiara graduated from the University of Kentucky with her Masters in Counseling, specializing in Marriage and Family counseling. Keiara has a passion for working with teens and emerging adults, and takes a special interest in walking with this population through the troubles this generation faces day to day. Her experience as a school based counselor has provided her with intrinsic skills for working not just with this population, but also the families and friends supporting them.  

Keiara also works with couples experiencing trouble with communication, resolving conflict, and feeling disconnected. She specializes in the anxiety that often comes with cohabitating, as well as couples who are married. 

Depression, Anxiety, Stress management, Addiction, Grief, family structure, and many other problem areas that are regularly addressed and treated in therapy with Keiara.  Her ability to connect, empathize, and challenge rigid thoughts and patterns are what allow for the success in her clients with making changes and meeting goals they set for themselves. Email her TODAY to schedule an appointment.

Loren Jahner
North Central University,
MFT Senior Intern

AREAS of FOCUS:

  • Women's Issues

  • Couples Counseling

  • PreMarital/Marital Enrichment

  • Family Counseling

  • Teens/Adolescents

  • Addiction/Recovery

  • Codependency

  • Depression/Anxiety

E M A I L  L O R E N 

Loren is our Senior Marriage and Family Therapist intern finishing her masters at Northcentral University. She works with individuals, couples, and families on a multitude of issues such as relational, professional, and personal development. Her approach is integrative, utilizing several therapy models and techniques to better tailor the therapeutic experience for each client’s specific areas of need. This allows her to assist them in navigating the different issues they may be facing. Loren believes that in order to solve the problems that life can throw at us, we need to look at it from all possible angles to help find the best solution. Also, that YOU, as the client, already have those tools needed to solve the issue, and her job is to help you discover the best ways to access them.

 

Before working on her masters, Loren received a bachelor’s degree in Developmental Psychology with a minor in Addiction Studies from the University of Detroit Mercy. After college, she then moved from Michigan to Tennessee to be with family and has resided in Nashville ever since.

 

She currently works at an outpatient clinic outside of downtown Nashville that treats opioid addiction through medication-assisted treatment. Although the addiction field can be quite challenging, she enjoys working with individuals to help them overcome their battles with addiction. She also has ample experience in working with adolescents, individuals battling anxiety and couples wanting to grow or repair their relationship for it to be stronger than before.

 

“Self-care is extremely important to me and one thing that I will always impress on my clients is that if you cannot take care of yourself, then you cannot take care of anything or anyone else!”

Becky Kimbrough,
Trevecca Nazarene University Graduate Intern

AREAS of FOCUS:

  • Couples/Families

  • Marital/Pre-Marital

  • Women's Issues

  • Addiction/Recovery

  • GRIEF/Grief Recovery

  • Maternal Loss

  • Aging Parents & End of Life Care

  • Codependency

  • Depression/Anxiety

  • Trauma

 

E M A I L   B E C K Y

Becky is in her final year at Trevecca Nazarene University in the Marriage and Family Counseling program. She is a Tennessee native, has a growing young family, and has found that her life experiences give her a great leg up as a therapist in training. 

 

Whether it be caring for your aging parents, estate planning and support, addiction and recovery work, codependency, trauma, or individual needs, Becky has the fantastic ability to be present with you, right where you are, and support you as you prepare for change. She helps you identify your goals, and gently guides you through the process of change and growth. Filled with empathy, compassion, and wisdom from her own journeys, Becky has the capacity to provide you with the care you need as you move forward. 

Kelly Hall
Liberty University Graduate Intern

 

AREAS of FOCUS:

  • Couples/Families

  • Women's Issues

  • Trauma

  • Anxiety

  • Parenting Support

  • Teens/Adolescents

  • GRIEF/Grief Recovery

E M A I L   K E L L Y

Kelly is in her final year at Liberty University, and is completing her internship, focusing on Marriage, Family, Grief, Anxiety & Trauma care. Kelly is a connector at heart and focuses on the counselor/client relationship as a primary objective to success in the treatment process. 

With her own personal story, she is able to pull from 20+ years of marriage and raising grown children to better empathize and connect with her client's right where they are. Kelly's faith, compassion, and family connection is the driving force behind her approach to working with clients, in effort to leave them feeling encouraged, hopeful, and capable to move the mountains they often feel they are up against.

With a specific passion for trauma, marital conflict, families, young adult issues, anxiety, and depression, she brings life wisdom, academic excellence, and experience to you in a way that is easy to sit with, while still challenging stuck patterns.

Zak Shrock,  
APSU Counseling Intern

AREAS of FOCUS:

  • Mens Issues

  • Addiction/Recovery

  • Codependency

  • Depression/Anxiety

  • Trauma History

  • Military 

 

E M A I L   Z A K

Zak is in his final semester of Graduate school at Austin Peay State University where he is obtaining his masters in counseling. He has many personal and professional strengths that afford him the ability to empathize with his clients and their needs they present with.

 

Zak  has significant experience in mentoring and working with men, fathers-to-be, couples who have been wounded by the pains of addiction as well as who are personally battling addiction or codependecy and on their journey to recovery.

 

Prior to pursuing his graduate degree, Zak worked in contracting, building, remodeling, and sales.  As dad, husband, and provider- he is familiar with the daily struggles that life can bring and how easily, those struggles can overtake you if you are unable to find your balance. 

 

For the person who is cautious of the counseling realm and unsure of where to go or who to seek out, Zak offers a safe, practical and approachable manner. By connecting with clients right where they are, in language they can understand and relate to- Zak is able to connect with those new to the concept of counseling in a natural and organically effortless way.

This Could Be You...
Graduate Students

If you are a graduate student looking for a great opportunity to have your internship or practicum experience in private practice, give us a call! As an adjunct teacher at Union University as well as an AAMFT Supervisor in Training, the teaching experience is highly energizing for me. Offering support, and learning opportunities that include co-therapy, in-session/live data observation, group case staffing, and individual supervision, your learning will never get boring!  Email me here!

***Currently accepting new internships for FALL 2020**