Welcome!

to the clinical psychology practice of Dr. Patrick Johnson.

If you have come to this site in order to simply learn a bit more about me and the kind of services I offer, I warmly invite you to have a look around.  If you would like to schedule an appointment, or if you have questions or would like to give me feedback about anything you see here, please contact me at your convenience. My contact information is at the bottom of this page.


 

 If you're here because you are considering starting therapy or you think it may be useful for you and I to meet, please read on:

Useful, effective therapy – the kind that really produces beneficial changes in peoples' lives – is hard work.  It starts by forging a relationship with a therapist with whom you feel some affinity or compatibility.  And then both of you work together to build a space in which most anything can be examined or discussed, in safety and in a spirit of non-judgmental curiosity.

It's possible that the driver for starting such work is your acknowledgement that important parts of your life have not turned out the way you planned or the way you anticipated.  Maybe events or circumstances have left you feeling sad, or pissed off, or confused and disoriented, or all of the above. 

My belief is that this kind of thing happens to literally everyone at one time or another.  We tend to vary greatly though in terms of how we manage life's disruptions, be they hiccups or train wrecks.  Perhaps you're at a point of trying to figure out what to do with the mess in front of you.

It's also possible that you've been given some kind of diagnosis:  depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, OCD or something else.  And maybe now you're looking for help in learning how to manage the symptoms which define the diagnosis you've been given.  I happen to think that our ability to make such diagnoses is quite useful; they let us know that we are not alone in our suffering, and they give us some sense of direction in terms of how to proceed with treatment. At the same time though, you are not your diagnosis and the whole point of therapy is to reduce symptoms, so that your thoughts, feelings and behaviors more accurately reflect who you really are.

 

Unsure about psychotherapy?

I suspect that most people who pursue therapy do so with at least some ambivalence.  On the one hand, you know that you're not happy with things as they are and that what you've been doing up to this point hasn't been working.  On the other hand though, as noted above, the emotional work we have to do at some point tends to be a big undertaking. 

So, if you find yourself on the fence about getting started, I take that to mean that you're paying attention to your current thoughts and feelings, and that you are being honest with yourself about the hard work you have before you. It also means you're in very good company, and sometimes, setting up an initial appointment just to talk about the ambivalence can be a good starting point.