Dr. Davis entered Florida State University as a rising high school senior on early admission status. After one year, she was awarded her high school diploma, inducted into Phi Eta Sigma, a National Honor Society for college freshmen, and awarded a full tuition scholarship. She completed her B.S. degree at FSU, graduating Magna Cum Laude with Honors in Psychology, and membership in the Phi Beta Kappa Society and Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology.

Dr. Davis earned her doctorate in Clinical-Community Psychology from the University of South Carolina in 1982. At the University of South Carolina (USC), she received research grants from Sigma Xi and the Graduate School and a research fellowship from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). During her graduate training, Dr. Davis worked as a teaching assistant, research assistant, clinic assistant at the USC Psychological Services Center, trainee at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Augusta, GA, therapy consultant at the Springdale School in Camden, SC, a boarding and day school for children and teens with learning disabilities, psychology instructor at the USC evening school and branch campus at Fort Jackson, and executive assistant to the South Carolina Board of Examiners in Psychology.

Dr. Davis completed her pre-doctoral internship at the Indiana University School of Medicine Psychology Internship Consortium. She remained at IUMC as a Lecturer and Assistant Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry, where she developed an Anxiety Disorders Clinic focused on clinical service, research and training, provided clinical supervision to psychology interns and psychiatry residents, and taught Human Sexuality at IUPUI.

Dr. Davis has practiced clinical psychology in Nashville since relocating to Tennessee in 1988. She was affiliated with the Vanderbilt University Department of Psychiatry Mood Disorders Clinic for six years before establishing her independent private practice.


Dr. Davis and Dr. Aaron Beck

Dr. Davis acquired specialized cognitive therapy training when she completed an intensive one-year extramural post-doctoral fellowship under the direction of Dr. Aaron T. Beck at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Cognitive Therapy in 1984. As an early participant in this highly influential movement, Dr. Davis has been acknowledged as a Founding Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy, the organization established by Dr. Beck to certify the competency of cognitive therapists.

In addition to being a Founding Fellow, Dr. Davis is certified by the Academy of Cognitive Therapy as a CBT Diplomate, Trainer and Consultant. She has also been named a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA), and a Fellow of the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy (ABCT). She served on the Tennessee State Board of Examiners in Psychology (2002-2005), which is the Board that monitors the practice of psychology in Tennessee, and continues to serve as an ethics consultant to this Board.


Dr. Davis at a Beck Institute Training Program on Teaching and Supervising CBT in 2013

Since 1992, Dr. Davis has served as Associate Director of Training in Clinical Science for the Vanderbilt University Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Science. In this teaching role where she was recently promoted to Associate Professor of the Practice of Psychology, she provides core graduate courses in professional ethics, theories of psychotherapy and supervises the practicum training of the doctoral students in clinical psychology. Dr. Davis delights in keeping up with her many former students who are now working as psychologists throughout the country, from New Hampshire to Hawaii and all points in between, including the Nashville community. For more information, see Dr. Davis's Vanderbilt Bio.


Dr. Davis, co-instructor Dr. Joe McLaughlin and graduate students preparing for internship interviews

Beyond the university setting, Dr. Davis develops educational resources and experiences for mental health professionals. As a Certified CBT Trainer, she has lectured and taught professional workshops at national and international conferences.


Dr. Davis discusses cognitive therapy at an international conference

Dr. Davis has published more than 25 scholarly articles and book chapters, and her work has been translated into more than 10 different languages. She was a founding Editor of the widely circulated professional journal, Cognitive and Behavioral Practice (Volumes 1-4) and has served on several editorial boards. She is a book reviewer for several major publishers, including John Wiley, Sage, Jason Aronson and New Harbinger Press. She was co-author and editor of the recent book Cognitive Therapy of Personality Disorders, Third Edition 3rd Edition (2015) by Aaron Beck, Denise Davis and Arthur Freeman.


Dr. Davis with co-authors at a convention book party

Her book titled Terminating Therapy: A Professional Guide For Ending On A Positive Note was published by John Wiley and Sons in 2008, as was as her textbook with Arthur Freeman and Stephanie H. Felgoise titled Clinical Psychology: Integrating Science and Practice.

Dr. Davis considers ongoing learning as essential in providing the best, most refined clinical services to those seeking care. She is committed to her own continuing education and to helping others provide treatment that works.