Robert Johnson, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
My approach is curious, compassionate and mindful. My background is in Depth psychology and evidence-based practices.
You know what the #1 predictor of successful therapy is? It's not a specific orientation or intervention...it's the relationship between therapist and client.
I want to know your subjective experience and what your narrative about yourself is. I feel the closer we come to knowing and accepting ourselves, the closer we are to being a fully integrated and healthy person.
Specifically, I have found that I work well with depressive men and women, substance abuse and personality disruptions such as narcissism and borderline traits.
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken"
- Oscar Wilde
Psychodynamic- We have unconscious impulses that motivate our thinking and behavior. We are pattern recognizing and information storing machines, placing experience in the unconscious to help navigate living. We have mental algorithms that organize our response to everything, which is efficient, but blinds us from novelty and everyday wonder. Without making the unconscious, conscious…we are bound to repeat the same patterns.
Jungian- Each of us has a deep lineage and history, both genetically and culturally, which conform to archetypes that influence our story about who we are.
Somatic- The body is wise, and often is more telling then the everyday thinking, linear, goal oriented pre-frontal cortex. Listen to what is stored in the body.
Existential- Why are we here? What do I want from life? What gives me meaning and purpose in life…if anything? One can be an atheist or evangelist…we need some structure to make sense out of the chaos of life.
Humanistic- I value what it means to be you; I want to honor your subjectivity and the inherent beauty in the fact that you are a conscious, sentient being.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy- I have years of experience leading CBT groups and helping people refine and gain control over thoughts and behaviors that perpetuate suffering.
EDUCATION & TRAINING
Masters of Arts in Counseling from Sonoma State University
Post graduate school at the Community Institute of Psychotherapy
Some Training over the years that inform my work:
Post traumatic stress disorder and the body Neurobiology of attachment Reichian character analysis Sand play therapy Working with borderline personality disorder Crisis intervention/Harm reduction Breathing and mindfulness in therapy Working with dreams Therapy with children and parents via attachment Gestalt psychotherapy Psychodynamic therapy in a medical model Application of object relations theory Resilience and therapy Self psychology- clinical applications Clinical field theory- issues of shame Existential analytical approaches to psychotherapy Vulnerability of the therapist Cultural competency Trauma work in psychotherapy Addiction and comorbid disorders Internal family systems LGBTIQQ and therapy Family assessment Working with trauma - assessment and intervention Control mastery theory Medication and compliance issues Psychopharmacology Transference/countertransference- attachment based Sexuality Working with adolescents Balance theory and not knowing Working with Anxiety Somatic therapy in working with emotions Working with defenses during therapy Psychodynamic theory in working with Depression Shame in therapeutic relationships Family therapy
Area of Focus
Teens - Relationships - Grief - Spirituality - Substance Abuse - Depression
I offer individual psychotherapy for clients who are looking for additional support in their lives to foster positive changes. In doing individual work, I come from a depth psychology framework and am constantly using my training, education and experience to meet you in the spots where movement can happen. Some issues you might be going through:
Lack of meaning in life
Sexual and intimate issues
Substance use and abuse
In addition, I feel practical, clear and tangible exchanges create honesty and simple, but important truths to understand about yourself. Sometimes we need psychotherapy and sometimes we just need to see things for what they are, and I work with the individual in making this possible.
I have practiced therapy with teens in a variety of settings: Junior High School, High School, private and in home. In my practice, I have learned that counseling teens through this time period is the most existential, intense times to be alive and navigate through the world. Teens often come to therapy and counseling when they find themselves dealing with issues such as:
Depression & Anxiety
"We are never so defenseless against suffering as when we love"
"Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength"
My work in couples therapy is rooted in attachment theory and informed by training in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFTC) and the Gottman Method . Couples often come to therapy for a variety of reasons, such as:
Loss of attraction and affection
Sex and porn addiction
Along with love, inherent in the nature of relationships is conflict. The trick is the ability to learn how to have respect and effectively engage in communication with one another when problems arise.