Jay Tift, Ph.D., LPC-MHSP

Licensed Professional Counselor

After spending eight years in the field of team building, group dynamics, and leadership training, I realized that the parts of my work that I was truly passionate about were the times that I was able to connect in a real way with individuals or small groups about the things going on in their lives. As we explored obstacles to health and happiness, relationships, dreams, insecurities, joys, and fears, I realized that this was the way that I could best have a positive impact on the lives of others.

In 2010, I left the corporate training and development firm I had started with a couple of business partners in order to pursue a clinical career in mental health counseling. Every day since that day has been an affirmation that I made the right decision. I am routinely honored by the gift of being allowed to share in the lives of others as they journey, sometimes through the muck, toward living the life they want and deserve. I am also thoroughly humbled by the resilience, strength, and determination of people as they overcome adversity in their lives and come out on the other side with a stronger sense of self and direction. I love what I do.

I earned my Ph.D. in counselor education and supervision from Lindsey Wilson College, my Master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from Vanderbilt University, and completed a two-year post-graduate residency at the Vanderbilt University Psychological & Counseling Center. In addition to my clinical work I am an adjunct faculty member in the mental health counseling Master's program at Vanderbilt University and I routinely engage professionally in the field of counseling through teaching, supervision of graduate students, presentations at state and national conferences, and advocacy for mental health.

Approach to Counseling
I view counseling as a collaborative process based on the establishment of a safe and trusting relationship between counselor and client. From this foundation, we are able to explore social, emotional, and behavioral patterns so as to better understand the obstacles that are holding you back from living a full and meaningful life. I see it as my job to provide you with both support and challenge as you engage in the task of facing and addressing those obstacles.

Services Provided

  • Individual Therapy
  • Group Therapy

Client Groups Served

  • Adolescents (16-18)
  • Emerging Adults (19-25)
  • Adults

Practice Areas

  • Anxiety/Stress
  • Depression
  • Identity Development
  • Life Transitions
  • Men's Issues
  • Relationship Problems
  • Anger Management
  • Grief and Loss
  • Trauma/PTSD

License & Certification



Professional Leadership

  • Tennessee Counseling Association, President, 2023/24
  • Tennessee Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, President, 2019/20
  • Nashville Psychotherapy Institute, Board C0-chair, 2016/17

Personal Information

  • I live in Brentwood with my wife Mary Beth, daughter Nora and Josie, son Charlie, and goldendoodle Penny
  • I love family time, reading, running, Japanese martial arts, dogs, and movies
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