1) Providence office
184 Waterman St. Providence, RI 02906
2) Barrington office
237 New Meadow Rd. Barrington, RI 02806
Older adults (65+)
Specialties & expertise
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Cultural and identity issues
College mental health
Trauma and PTSD
Aleta Johnson is Licensed Clinical Social Worker with offices in Providence and Barrington, Rhode Island. She specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, cultural and identity struggles, academic concerns, post-traumatic-stress-disorder, and relationship issues. Her areas of particular clinical interest are racial and ethnic experience and identity as it impacts mental health, and she enjoys working with individuals of color, including Asians and Asian-Americans. Aleta has over 30 years of experience, 25 of which were in college mental health at Brown University's Counseling and Psychological Services.
She earned a BA in religious studies and social work at Gordon College and a Master of Social Work at Boston University, and has worked in refugee resettlement and community mental health as well.
Aleta centers on helping clients transform their daily-challenges into opportunities for strength and healing. She aims to help individuals find strength and build identity, not despite what has happened to them, but because of what has happened to them, and integrate this into a growing sense of meaning and purpose in their lives. She incorporates practices such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Family Systems, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, mindfulness practices, and supportive therapy to give her clients a comprehensive approach to mental health.
Anxiety – Generalized anxiety, social anxiety, panic attacks
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – Using exposure and response prevention to help clients confront OCD, e.g. concern with and/or fear of germs and becoming 'contaminated'
Trauma – Including dealing with past sexual assault, childhood trauma, environmental trauma (e.g. witnessing/experiencing violence), PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)
Cultural adjustment – Transitioning from another country, state, or city; adjusting as an international student or out-of-state student
Identity development – Including within the unique context of one's race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, class, and cultural background; resolving trauma and internalized oppression related to stigma
Depression – Sleep and energy disruption, overall mood disturbance, inability to enjoy yourself, and difficulty being motivated, amongst many other symptoms
Academic issues – Adjusting to college; managing developmental and emotional challenges in school; balancing schoolwork and personal life
ADD / ADHD (Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) – Managing ADHD and its effects on decision making, studies, relationships, and work; helping with organizational challenges
Impulse control issues – Including hair pulling, nail biting, skin picking
Existential challenges / crises – Questioning purpose, spirituality, existence; finding one’s path and voice, especially when it differs from society's expectations
Relationships – Feeling unsatisfied in your partnership; communication challenges; addressing issues of power and voice; contemplation of separation; questioning one’s place in the relationship; breakups, friendships, dating
United Student Health Plan
Brown University Student Insurance
Johnson & Wales University
RISD Student Insurance
URI / University of Rhode Island Student Insurance
Initial/Ongoing sessions: $150/session (60min)
Therapist's note: Aleta Johnson can provide you with paperwork for reimbursement from your insurance company if you are seeking out-of-network sessions.
Message to clients
"I am a fairly active therapist who gives supportive, compassionate feedback, useful strategies for symptom relief, with your goals for wellness at the center of our work. Together we will work to integrate your challenges and losses into a stronger sense of resolution, identity, balance, resilience, and equanimity, finding many of your strengths along the way."
Treatment approachesAcceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy that uses mindfulness and behavioral activation to help people learn strategies to live life more in the present, more focused on important values and goals, and less focused on painful thoughts, feelings and experiences. (learn more)
Existential Therapy Existential therapy is a therapy approach that both embraces human potential and recognizes human limitation. The breadth of existential theory falls into four major themes, which it sees as the root of most psychological problems: 1) Death, 2) Freedom (& Responsibility), 3) Isolation, and 4) Meaninglessness. (learn more)
Family SystemsFamily systems theory views the family as an emotional unit and uses systems thinking to describe the complex interactions in the unit. Family system therapy may be used to address conflict stemming from the family unit by working on a client's ability to maintain individuality while maintaining emotional contact with the group. (learn more)
Mindfulness Based Stress ReductionMindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBCR) brings together the healing benefits of meditation and yoga to reduce stress, anxiety, and autonomic responses. (learn more)
Mindfulness PracticesMindfulness practices include but are not limited to developing awareness, attention, and remembering. In mindfulness-informed therapy, clients develop tools to become aware of what is occurring within and around them, so they can begin to untangle from mental preoccupations and difficult emotions. Self-acceptance and compassion are also core elements of mindfulness-informed therapy. (learn more)
Supportive TherapySupportive psychotherapy is used primarily to reinforce a patient’s ability to cope with stressors by giving clients the opportunity to express their feelings and thoughts about the issues. Clinicians help patients learn how to move forward and make decisions or changes that may be necessary to adapt, either to an acute change, such as the loss of a loved one or severe disappointment, or to a chronic situation, such as an ongoing illness. (learn more)
Education and work experience
Private Practice, 1989–present
Brown University Counseling and Psychological Services, Therapist, 1994–present
Refugee Resettlement, 1981–1984
Community Mental Health, Practitioner, 1986–1989
Boston University, Masters of Social Work, 1986