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 dissertation research grants from Sigma Xi and the Graduate School and a research fellowship from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). In addition to teaching and research assistantships, her graduate employment included the following: Clinical Assistant at the USC Psychological Services Center; full-time summer trainee at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Augusta, GA; therapy consultant to 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 post-doctoral lecturer responsible for developing an Anxiety Disorders Clinic. After one year she was promoted to Assistant Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry.
Dr. Davis 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 cognitive therapists.
Dr. Davis moved to Nashville in 1988 and has practiced clinical psychology in this community ever since. She was affiliated with the Vanderbilt University Department of Psychiatry Mood Disorders Clinic for six years before establishing her independent private practice. Since 1992, she has served as the part-time Assistant Director of Training in Clinical Science for the Vanderbilt University Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Science. In this role, she teaches core courses in professional ethics, theories of psychotherapy and supervises the practicum training of the doctoral students in clinical psychology. For more information, see Vanderbilt University Department of Psychology.
Dr. Davis continues to be an active Fellow of Dr. Beck's Academy of Cognitive Therapy. She is also a member in good standing with the American Psychological Association, the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy (formerly AABT), and the Tennessee Psychological Association. She is a past-president of the Indiana Psychological Association, and was a Grassroots Legislative Network Coordinator for the Tennessee Psychological Association. Most recently, she served on the Tennessee State Board of Examiners in Psychology (2002-2005), which is the Board that oversees licensure of psychologists in this state. She continues as a consultant to this Board.
Dr. Davis has provided numerous community service lectures as well as continuing education workshops for professional psychologists. She has published more than 25 scholarly articles and book chapters. She was a founding Editor of the widely circulated professional journal, Cognitive and Behavioral Practice (Volumes 1-4) which is one of two journals published by the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. She has served as a book reviewer for several major publishers, including John Wiley, Jason Aronson and New Harbinger Press. She was co-author and project manager for the recent book Cognitive Therapy of Personality Disorders 2nd Edition (2004) by Aaron Beck, Arthur Freeman, Denise Davis & Associates. Her book titled Terminating Therapy: A Professional Guide For Ending On A Positive Note was published by John Wiley and Sons in early 2008 as well as her new book with Arthur Freeman and Stephanie H. Felgoise titled Clinical Psychology: Integrating Science and Practice.