About Us

Helping You Find Peace & Calm When Life Becomes Too Much

Our Story

Connection First Counseling, founded by Melissa Burton, was created to offer a place of healing for adults of all ages. Our philosophy is that we start with connection first. We seek to see you, hear you, and accept you for who you are as you are first. You are not a problem to be fixed and your journey to healing can only start when you feel accepted and loved. Understanding leads to compassion and we believe you are more than the mistakes you have made or the struggles you are facing. We are committed to walking with you on your journey to healing through connection first.


Melissa Burton, LCSW, CMC

$135 for a 50-minute session - $160 for an 80-minute session

Melissa Burton is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 9 years of experience in both the clinical and facility setting. With her expertise in gerontology, she has worked with hundreds of families as they navigate the complications of aging, life transitions and loss. Her unique expertise in helping clients adjust to change has given her an understanding and compassion for clients struggling with life’s setbacks and disappointments. Her guidance has helped individuals and families heal broken relationships, reconnect with their purpose, cope with the guilt and stress of caregiving and find peace in an ever-changing world. Melissa’s areas of clinical focus are anxiety, depression, trauma, grief and loss, life transitions and challenges associated with aging.

Melissa is an avid reader and loves spending time with her husband and her dog, Pepper. She is experimenting with a backyard garden and enjoys being outdoors during the hot Tennessee summers. During the cold months, she is hibernating with a good book.

“We are beautiful, complicated, messy beings, and we have such an incredible capacity to love and live life, but sometimes life gets off track for us. Our dreams evolve and sometimes dissolve into reality and we find ourselves disconnected from who we are, where we are and what we want to become. I love helping my clients find their way back to their inner dreamer. Healing is possible, and I want to help you to reconnect to your heart and soul all over again.” - Melissa

Education and Credits

  • Masters of Science in Social Work from the University of Tennessee in Nashville
  • Certificate of Gerontology from the University of Tennessee of Nashville
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Tennessee
  • Certified Care Manager
  • EMDR trained

Michelle Nagy, M. Ed.

$125 per 50-minute session

Michelle Nagy received her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Vanderbilt University. Originally from Michigan, she attended Denison University in Ohio for her undergraduate degree, where she majored in Psychology and minored in Education and Spanish.

Michelle has worked in a non-profit counseling center serving with a wide range of clients from ages 11-60 years-old. She excels in counseling women and also enjoys working with men, couples, and groups. In addition to counseling, Michelle has nine years of experience working with students in multiple settings including teaching, leadership mentoring, and helping at-risk students with learning interventions.

Michelle has found the driving force in her life to be seeking and understanding the human connection. With this, she believes that everyone deserves to be heard and feel loved. Michelle’s number one goal in counseling is to create a space where each client feels accepted and understood. From there she works with individuals, couples, and families to cope with past, present and future stressors that are keeping them from living their most fulfilling life.

Using a client-centered, relational approach Michelle sees each client as unique and adapts to each person’s needs. Michelle is passionate about working as a team with her clients as they gain a better understanding of themselves and approaches for attaining their goals.

When approaching couples counseling, Michelle believes it can be valuable at any stage in the relationship. This can be if a couple is dating and experiencing speed bumps, engaged and seeking premarital counseling or married and going through a difficult season. Michelle works with each couples unique needs to help them enhance connection, and understanding of one another,

In her spare time, Michelle enjoys hiking, canoeing, playing tennis and spending time with friends and family.

Feedback & Reviews​

” Finding Melissa has been such a gift. Her natural ability to connect with others combines with her education/expertise... she's a heck of a find in a counselor. I highly recommend meeting with her to see if she's a good fit! “

TS (Nashville)

” Connection First Counseling has helped me navigate some of the most difficult situations of my life. Finding the right connection with the right counselor has made all of the difference for me and I have grown more in my short time with Melissa than the years I spent working with other therapists. “

JR (Nashville)

” Melissa is a very caring counselor and I would recommend her to anyone who is going through a transition or tough time in life. She is compassionate and easy to connect with! “

TG (Franklin)

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