top of page
Tanya Johnson, PhD, LMHC, NCC, BC-TMH
06162013Tanya_Willson176.JPG

Education:

Bachelor of Science in Psychology - University of Utah 2006

Master of Arts in Counseling - Liberty University 2010 

Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling, Specialization in Marital/Family Therapy
Barry University 2018

Dissertation: Minority Counselors' Demonstration of Multicultural Counseling Skills in a Clinical Setting


Licenses:
Florida LMHC No. 11793
Qualified Supervisor for MHC and MFT

Washington LMHC No. 60936427 

Utah LCMHC No. 12345277-6004

Certifications:
National Certified Counselor No. 320289

Board-Certified Telemental Health Provider No. 772

Dirty Laundry: 
My parents divorced when I was 10, which was unthinkable in my neighborhood in Salt Lake City, Utah. My mom is a Cuban immigrant who learned English in New York. It took me a while to realize most people around us struggled to understand her accent. We only spoke English at home. When my mom spoke on the phone with her mother, mi abuela, the rapid Spanish only registered when I heard my name. Mom said I couldn't invite friends over for dinner on nights she cooked picadillo because they wouldn't like it, which was very confusing because my mom's picadillo is amazing. 

I was a very faithful Mormon, doing temple work on Saturdays with friends, attending early morning seminary, and prioritizing marriage over my career ambitions. I got married at 21 in the Jordan River Temple like a good Mormon girl. I went through a faith transition and left the church around the same time I finished my master's degree in counseling, which I completed by interning at BYU-Hawaii's Student Counseling Center. 

Directly resulting from my faith crisis, I felt compelled to explore my Cuban heritage, which led to Miami, Florida. I started my PhD at Barry University, then started a private counseling practice, discovered feminism, then got divorced. Miami was the background of my post-Mormon adolescence, including my first post-Mormon tinder profile, joint, and tattoo. As soon as I accepted a job offer in Seattle, WA and was cleared for graduation, I met my partner; my orange sock. We have maintained a happy long-distance relationship for a few years now. 


Baggage: 
I first saw a therapist when I was 13. I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and started on anti-depressants when I was 16. I stopped taking them for about 10 years, but started again when I kept having to run to the bathroom at work to cry. I take Cymbalta right now. But Wellbutrin and Lexapro were good too. Effexor headaches are worse than migraines. My marriage was abusive, and I protected my abuser for a long time, internalizing put-downs and excusing the inexcusable. I felt like a failure going through divorce, which expressed itself when I had to take an incomplete in a class that semester, and bawled uncontrollably in the dean's office.

I have had chronic migraines since I was a child. They are disabling and I have already tried everything, yes even that thing your friend tried, the thing you saw online once, and more alternative medicines than I care to admit. (The most effective thing I have found is actually a neuroscience app that folds really well into my approach to counseling and mental health, Curable.) My migraines peaked during my dissertation/first year as a full-time faculty member while flying across the country on the regular. I found my body's limit to obeying my mind's commands for productivity. After the first extended vacation in my adult life, I am starting to be able to be realistic with how much I agree to do at once. 

Post-Traumatic Growth:
Faith transitions are perspective-shifting emotional roller coasters that affect every aspect of one's being. For me, that shift has fractured and scattered my sense of identity. I was taught to ascend, and if I wasn't steadfast, with my shoulder to the wheel, and constantly vigilant about the state of my soul, I may fall short of the mandate "be ye therefore perfect," and fail to earn my promotion from "dust of the earth" to celestial queen. Like many women raised in fundamentalist faiths, these teachings offered love, acceptance, and salvation conditionally based on gracious self-sacrifice, obedience to patriarchal authority, and performance of a Madonna-esque pure virgin personality, void of independent desire or opinion. Women in the celestial kingdom must achieve the patriarchal female ideal: silent, obedient, and ornamental. This is not the heaven for me.

 

Gloria Anzaldúa, a queer Chicana scholar, wrote in alternating English and Spanish, a woven metaphor of the balancing between worlds I often feel. She wrote about a cycle of perpetual falling apart and reconstituting oneself, based on the story of Aztec moon goddess Coyolxauhqui, who was literally torn apart by her own brother. This process of nepantla, as Anzaldúa describes, parallels the cycle of the moon, repeating destruction and regeneration. She writes, "The Coyolxauhqui imperative is an ongoing process of making and unmaking. There is never any resolution, just the process of healing." This wisdom grounds me as I lean into the rhythm of my own nepantla, navigating an endless taking apart and rebuilding of how I understand myself as a woman who was raised by a political refugee and rocket scientist in a hyper-patriarchal capitalist-imperialist culture bubble within a larger white-supremacist capitalist-imperialist culture at the cusp of the digital revolution and impending catastrophic climate change. From the way I notice and interpret my own body sensations and thought patterns to the way I approach relationships and make life decisions, I will always be deconstructing, examining, evaluating, and healing myself.

 

My Work: 

As a full-time counselor educator, my first priority is educating and supervising the next generation of mental health counselors. I thrive on variety, and find my clinical practice and teaching complement each other. Right now, I take a limited number of clients for individual counseling, clinical consulting, or clinical supervision via telemental health only.

 

If you're looking for a therapist, I take new clients intermittently. Please request a "Clinical Consultation" when you request an appointment below to see my availability. I find myself most energized and effective working with women in the rebuilding phase of post-fundamentalist religious life. I am passionate about helping women find, listen to, and learn to trust their inner wisdom, and create a life built around personalized, fluid, and equitable values and priorities, rather than assigned or prescribes values and priorities.

I also offer clinical consultation and supervision to practicing psychotherapists who are interested in telemental health practice, or working with clients in the process of leaving American fundamentalist religious organizations such as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormons), Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh-day Adventists, Southern Baptists, or other Evangelical organizations with high levels of control and patriarchal hierarchies, which are particularly psychologically damaging for women, people of color, and the LGBTQ+ community. 

If you'd like to work with me, please use the link below to schedule an appointment. If you are a registered intern in Florida

 

Rate: $185 per hour

Contact: tanya@evolvecounselingcenter.com

bottom of page