Payton Lindner, MMFT

Partner + Director of Administration & Office Operations


Yo! I’m Payton, I’m an openly queer + nonbinary human and my pronoun are they/she! Of the many things that I love, my two very large puppies, expressive art, my wonderful partner, and exploring nature are at the top of that list. I have burning passions for advocacy, authenticity, creativity, inclusivity, and breaking all of the norms. (Lucky for us, this – in my opinion – is the perfect combination for constructing a beautifully customized path towards your growth and healing!)

My philosophy as an Identity Doula + Healing Practitioner takes into consideration that every human and every situation is different, thus unique tools and approaches are required for unique people and things. Sessions with me will go beyond standard talk therapy, as it is my personal and professional opinion that humans often heal with art, movement, visuals, embodiment, activities, and music better than they do with standard talk therapy alone. (Try to think of this as fun and exciting, not scary or awkward!) I’m also trained as a scientist/researcher first, so expect lots of psychoeducation, biological/psychological/physiological explanations, and research- backed types of healing. Who or whatever you are, you are welcome. I’m stoked you’re here.



I think that humans are the coolest. Life is really hard, and yet we still get back up and keep trying. Whether we believe it or not, humans are practicing resilience every second of everyday by simply continuing to exist. I see you. I see your resilience.

I want you to be in charge of your life and I advocate for my clients in this regard. I practice with the understanding that most of our lives are not the heteronormative, prescriptive path that Western culture would like us to abide by and I welcome that. Come as you are and we will help you to feel the most fulfilled and satisfied with the life you want to live.

For the past three years, I have been seeing clients as a Marriage and Family Therapist and pursuing licensure. After taking a hefty dose of my own medicine and showing up for myself in the same way as I show up for my clients, I made the tough (but incredibly exciting) decision to close that chapter and no longer pursue licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist. Logistically, this changes nothing about the ways that I show up with clients, but changes everything about the ways that I can help my clients (all for the better)! My new role as a Identity Doula + Healing Practitioner, provides me (and my clients) with the safety and security to not only show up as my most authentic self as a clinician, but also legally allows me to treat any human with any identity/identities at any age, namely gender-affirming care to minors and adults.

I always bring my whole self to sessions and I ask that my clients do the same. I don’t pretend to be a professional robot and, because of this, you will most likely see me cry, cringe, laugh, and feel your feelings right along beside you. Together we will find a balance between push and pull back – challenging the problematic pieces, while tending to the vulnerable ones. We will hold space for all feelings, sit with them, and care for them appropriately. If there is something that isn’t working or sticking in our work, we will find an alternate or appropriate modification to allow for your continued, unique growth and thriving. I want you to get comfortable with change and leave sessions feeling like growth is inevitably tough, but achievable and worth it. The work will be sticky at times, but we will find the appropriate balance and regularly check in with your system about the pace and results. Healing is different for everyone, and we want to find the right vibe for you and your system!



I attended undergrad at the University of Wisconsin – Madison where I triple majored in Biology, Classical Humanities, and Gender & Women Studies (I include this in here because it has proven to be instrumental in the work that I do with clients.) In my undergrad coursework, I was preparing for Medical School – thus, I took all of the appropriate coursed to help me understand how the human body works and spent most of my time in the medical system, caring for those in need and paying specific attention to vulnerable populations. I also spent many years in a Perinatal Immunology Lab studying the Maternal Fetal Interface, providing me with the skills necessary to not only understand what the world of research does well, but also to understand how world of research falls short for many populations.

I received a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Lipscomb University
where focused much of my energy on advocating for quality care for LGBTQ+ clients and their specific needs. I completed trainings in Experiential/Play Therapy while at Lipscomb, which allow me to create and execute experiential interventions with clients of all ages, including children. I have completed the Phase 1 Brainspotting training through BSP Training Canada which offers me helpful skills for treating complex trauma and PTSD and aids clients in accessing their unconscious brain. Additionally, I have done training on the integration of Brainspotting and IFS (Internal Family Systems) work (now called Partspotting). I have completed level one IMAGO training and the Gottman Institute Coursework which provides tools for relational healing and (re)connection. I recently started integrating principles of Internal Family Systems Theory (IFS) Somatic Experiencing Theory (SE) and Polyvagal Theory (picked up from continued self study) into my sessions and have been blown away by the change being made in the lives of my clients. I have completed trainings on Creating Transgender-Affirming Therapeutic Environments through the Nashville Psychotherapy Institute which have reinforced the necessary skills and attitudes when working with transgender clients. I have done extensive learning and research on the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community, in addition to personally identifying with the community, and am kink- and poly-aware/affirming.


Tennessee Alliance for Sexual Health (TNASH)
American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT)
Secular Therapist Project

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