Serving the Hollister Community
Robert Johnson is a San Benito County born resident and professional, working in Hollister. Robert is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, currently practicing psychotherapy with Teens and Adults with a variety of issues. He has a Masters in Counseling from Sonoma State University, and pulls from a diverse background of experience to promote mental, emotional, relational and spiritual health within the community. Experienced and trained in Depth, Psychodynamic and Jungian psychology, Robert received his post graduate training at the Community Institute for Psychotherapy in Marin County. He received much of his education and training in Marin, where he has been working in private practice for the past 2 years. Robert’s professional interests include: AEDP (Accelerated Experiential Depth Psychotherapy), Psychoanalysis, Jungian psychology, Somatic psychotherapy, Existential psychotherapy and the integration of humor in the therapeutic relationship. Robert is a dedicated therapist, a curious clinician and views himself as just another human being…working with and supporting clients to change in the direction of health and balance. Please see ABOUT for more details.
Robert’s approach to therapy is curious, compassionate and mindful. “I want to know what your subjective experience and narrative about yourself is. I feel the closer we come to knowing and accepting ourselves, the closer we are to being a more integrated and healthy person.”
455 San Benito St. Suite 31 Hollister Ca, 95023
1036 Sir Francis Drake Blvd. Kentfield, Marin County
Areas of Practice
Robert has practiced therapy with teens in a variety of settings: Junior High School, High School, private practice and within the home. Being a teenager can be one of the most existential, intense times to be alive and navigate through the world. This is where autonomy, individuality, meaning and mastery in life comes about. Teens often come to therapy and counseling when they find themselves dealing with issues such as: Identity, Family issues, Substance use, ADHD, Sexuality, Neurological issues, Grief, Relationships, Bullying, Depression/Anxiety and College expectations.
Did you know that the neurochemical effect of alcohol (alcohols physical affect on the brain) is to give rise to a psychological defense of denial? How would we know when it is an issue if we are in denial? Most commonly alcohol is part of our culture, family, friends, what we do for fun or how we cope with difficulties in life. Robert works with the individual to know what their nuanced and particular relationship to alcohol and substance use is. Drinking works for you…until it doesn’t. In his practice, he wants to know what is working for you, what you might want to change and where you see yourself in relationship with drinking/substance use.
Depression is a nuanced experience that is often misunderstood and over-simplified in our society. Those that are depressed range from a feeling of discontentment and lack of meaning to the feeling of being totally empty or full on punishment of the self. Robert’s approach to working with depression is to listen, care and really hear what type of depression you have and how you particularly feel. From science to psyche, nature to nurture and spirituality to nihilism…there are many different valuable ways to understand depression and how to work with you.
A certainty in our life will be grief from the passing of those close to us. This can be some of the most difficult times our life, giving rise to many different painful experiences. Naturally, we cope during these times the best way we know how to. Processing death is a complex endeavor that takes time, attention and resilience. How grief affects us presents differently with each individual and is not something that is ever solved, figured out and fully processed. It is an ongoing relationship and practice with grief that gives us some control over our mental, emotional and spiritual self. Through this intentional experience of working with grief, we can then feel…and grow more fully from the pain, have more depth and become more resilient. If respected and accepted, we can have more harmony and balance with life…and death.
Perhaps the most important thing in life is connection to others. Time and time again, perineal spiritual teachings and science show how important, healthy and central connection and love is for a person. Robert is a relational therapist whom works with you as a person in relationship and connection to others. Most often, disruptions in our relationships can provide insight into who we are and if our current relationships are serving us. Robert helps with intimate/romantic issues, family communication and social connection. Psychological research is quite adept and clear now about how personality types and attachment styles provide a blue print for our relational patterns. Robert works with this education while maintaining curiosity in how you relate to others and what you want to change in your relationships.
meaning and purpose
Whether you are an Atheist or Evangelist, how you construct your interpretation of the world is very important in how you comport yourself in life. Robert works well with individuals who are feeling depressed, lack meaning or purpose, and finding life colorless. Robert pulls from his background in philosophy and religious studies while working in this area with clients. Specifically, having lived and studied psychology and religion in India, he pulls from his knowledge of eastern practices, western philosophy and psychology in helping individuals find more happiness and meaning in life.
Who You Are…
This is an individual that is becoming, or now aware, that drinking has negative consequences in their life. Often this comes to surface through relationships, legal issues or health impacts. Through either the family or significant other, alcohol abuse can become apparent when loved ones bring this to your attention. This is the beginning of understanding how alcohol/substances impact your life and relationships. This client is open to investigating how alcohol has affected them, how it has served them and what type of relationship to alcohol and substances they want. The work is to be making a conscious choice when using any substance, and to not have the substance be the repetitive, unconscious choice. Therapy in this area is a matter of taking conscious control over your actions, awareness of alcohols role in your life and your relationships and knowledge of its utility for you.
This is an individual (teen or adult) whom is aware that there is an issue that needs attention, is dissatisfied with their circumstances or wanting support in having more happiness in their life. This often manifests as anxiety, depression, anger, irritability and sadness. Many times showing up in relationships and the work environment. These symptoms are signs and indicators to us that something is imbalanced, not working and needs attention. Anxiety and Depression lets us know that we want more from life. People naturally use coping strategies and defenses when feeling this way, usually presenting as alcohol/substance abuse, over eating, over working and fighting with partners. Robert focuses on working with clients that have these symptoms, abuse substances and are seeking support in finding a new way to deal with life’s challenges.
This an individual that is having difficulty in their partnership and is seeking a solution. Often, these are feelings of frustration, disconnection, loneliness, anger and confusion. It’s normal to have difficulty in processing and exploring with our partners. Therapy offers a focused and facilitated space to discuss issues such as: intimacy, communication, sexual dissatisfaction, child rearing, substance use, in-laws, excessive conflict and infidelity. As Freud said, “We are never so defenseless against suffering as when we love”. Robert believes the best opportunity to know yourself and grow as an individual comes during stressful times in our relationships. It is a real opportunity to understand yourself, your family of origin issues and how to love deeper. Love, intimacy and long term partnerships are very complicated…seeking support is only smart.
What is Therapy and is it right for me?
Therapy, counseling, psychotherapy…what is it and is it right for me? Part of human life and nature is going through tumultuous times, and this is where we advance or stay parked. We don’t overcome our struggles…we go through them. Moving through it with a guide and trained professional in a safe and focused space helps gain some control over our difficulties. Therapy increases our consciousness of issues, resilience of feelings and our authenticity in relationship to ourselves and others. Therapy is an adult, conscious choice to work on ourselves, our relationships and take seriously the responsibility of psychological and emotional health. It’s a gift and practice for the betterment of the Self.
The experience of therapy can be very different depending on the practitioner, orientation and motivation for treatment. In having therapy with Robert, he creates a safe, non-judging and comfortable space to discuss, explore and process issues. This is done by having a professional whom is trained in listening, assessing and supporting you to find the solution to your issue, bring awareness to it and aid you in building more resilience and acceptance in life. How often do we have the experience of engaging in discourse with another whom is mindfully listening and giving you their full focus in support of your health?
Robert’s approach and theoretical orientation is AEDP (Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy), Jungian and Psychodynamic. In addition, he has extensive training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Addiction and working with Teens. Anchored in Depth psychology, Robert pulls from years of trainings and education to meet the client where they are at.