Ros Johnson, LICSW

Ros Johnson

Licensed Clinical Social Worker, LICSW

Not accepting new clients; find available Pawtucket therapists here



Young adults / college students (18 - 24)
Seniors (65+)

Specialties & expertise

  • LGBTQIA+ and gender identity issues

  • Relationship challenges

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Loss and grief

  • Trauma

  • ADD / ADHD

  • Anger management

  • Compulsive behaviors

  • Creative blocks

  • Dissociative disorders

  • Binge eating disorder

  • Existential challenges

Professional statement

Ros Johnson is a licensed clinical social worker who has worked in the greater Providence area with over 40 years of experience in family service, mental health, and private settings. She primarily works with young adults and college students, adults, couples, and seniors, and, as an out lesbian therapist, has always shown particular interest in the concerns of the LBTQIA+ community. 

Ros uses psychodynamic, support, solution-focused, and process-oriented approaches in her practice, and most often works with clients struggling with anxiety, depression, LGBTQIA+ and gender identity issues, loss and grief, and trauma. She also has experience with ADHD, anger management issues, couples counseling, creative blocks, dissociative disorders, binge eating disorder, OCD, and sexual abuse and assault. 

Ros has been working in the field since receiving her Master's of Clinical Social Work from the University of Louisville in 1978. She has been in private practice since 1988. 


Anxiety – OCD, panic attacks
Depression – Sleep and energy disruption, overall mood disturbance, inability to enjoy yourself, and difficulty being motivated, amongst many other symptoms
LGBTQIA+ and gender identity issues– Includes coming out, relating to others, identifying and communicating needs, relationships, and family issues
Loss and grief – Processing the loss of a loved one, any form of grief; processing he emotional aspects of personal illness or the illness of a loved one
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
Trauma – Dealing with past sexual abuse and assault, domestic violence, PTSD

General expertise

ADD / ADHD (Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) – Managing ADHD and its effects on decision making, studies, relationships, and work; helping with organizational challenges
Anger management – Managing anger and its impact on personal and work relationships
Compulsive behaviors – Compulsive overeating, compulsive spending
Creative blocks – Accessing inner creativity; becoming "unstuck"
Dissociative disorders – Managing disruptions in thought, perception, memory, and identity, primarily as related to traumatic events
Eating disorders – Binge eating
Existential challenges / crises – Questioning purpose, spirituality, existence; finding one’s path and voice, especially when it differs from society's expectations


  • Aetna

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield

  • Brown University Student Health Insurance

  • Coventry

  • First Health

  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Care

  • Johnson & Wales University

  • Neighborhood Health Plan

  • PacifiCare

  • Providence College

  • Tufts

  • United Health

  • RISD Student Insurance

  • URI / University of Rhode Island Student Insurance

Out-of-pocket fees

  • Individual sessions: $125/session (50min)

  • Couples sessions: $125/session (50min)

Message to clients

"I look forward to you contacting me regarding whatever's on your mind. Whether it's something you want to address in a few sessions--or even just one!--or it's issues you need to examine longer-term and in more depth, I'm interested. My aim is to provide a safe and nonjudgmental space in which you can talk about anything at all and in which I can help you focus on your strengths and the possibilities for change. With over 40 years of experience with a diverse population, I'm able to address a wide variety of issues with the individuals and couples who see me."

Treatment approaches

Possibility therapyPossibility therapy is usually brief, and emphasizes both a respectful relationship between therapist and client and obtaining the client's desired result in a short period of time. Possibility therapy is guided by validating the client's experiences, shifting perceptions of the problem, and utlizing their inner strengths in order to find the solution and determine the course of therapy. (learn more)
Psychodynamic therapyThe aim of psychodynamic therapy is to bring the unconscious mind into consciousness - helping individuals unravel, experience and understand their true, deep-rooted feelings in order to resolve them. It takes the view that our unconscious holds onto painful feelings and memories, and that the defenses we develop to ensure these difficult memories do not surface from our unconscious often do more harm than good. (learn more)
Solution-focused therapySolution focused therapy is a goal-directed collaborative approach to psychotherapeutic change that is conducted through direct observation of clients' responses to a series of precisely constructed questions. (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, 1988 - Present
Community Counseling Center, Therapist/Clinical Social Worker, 1984 - 1988
Petersburg Counseling Services, Therapist/Clinical Social Worker, 1983 - 1984
Cranston Mental Health Center, Therapist/Clinical Social Worker, 1980-1983
Family Service of Rhode Island, Clinical Social Worker, 1979 - 1980

University of Louisville, Master's, Clinical Social Work, 1978
Albright College, BA, Social Work, 1974



Client testimonials

Over the course of the year that I have utilized Ros’s counseling services, I feel as though I have fundamentally changed as a person. This is in large part due to Ros’s abilities. When I initially sought her services I was in a tumultuous relationship, lacked self confidence, feared being alone, coped with feelings of hurt by demonstrating anger, was unsure of how to express my feeling in a meaningful way and felt very confused about the direction my relationships always headed in.

Ros has always demonstrated compassion, honesty, and practical solutions to solve difficult problems. I appreciate Ros’s ability to tell me when I need to rethink of something from a different perspective. I enjoy Ros’s use of humor to make light of situations. I am amazed by her in depth knowledge of wide ranging issues.
Ros has helped me recognize and learn so much about myself and my relationships. I have accomplished so much personal growth thanks to her guidance. Her services are transformative and I would and do recommend Ros to anyone.
— Young professional (2016)
Ros Johnson is a wonderful therapist. I have been her client for the past two years, she has helped me with my life immensely. Ros is a therapist who will tell you what she thinks, not just agree with you. I have been to a few therapists in my life and I am so happy I found Ros to help me with my life challenges. I would highly recommend her; you will be pleased.
— Anonymous client (2016)
For me, the most important qualities in a therapist are trust, genuineness, compassion and sense of humor. Ros Johnson possesses all of these qualities, and she has helped me with various issues over a number of years.
— Middle aged woman (2016)
Great listener! Provides good constructive feedback.
— Female, 40's, professional (2016)

Professional endorsements

Ros is an excellent psychotherapist who specializes in time-limited focused psychotherapy as well as working with LGBT clients. She is warm, down to earth and knowledgeable.

What topic(s) would you refer clients to this therapist for? Anxiety, depression, relationships, sexuality
— Henri Flikier, LICSW, private practice (2016)
Ros and I have consulted on some cases and attended conferences together. I greatly respect her clinical judgement. She has an impressive depth and breadth of knowledge related to her practice. She is kind, thoughtful, and very client centered.

What topic(s) would you refer clients to this therapist for? Adult anxiety, depression, PTSD, LGBTQQ issues, couples therapy
— Cathy Lewis, LICSW (2016)
How do you know this therapist? I have known Ros for about thirty years. We met when I attended a workshop she gave on working with clients who were coming out as gay. I believe she was the first in Rhode Island to conduct such a workshop. I learned great deal, and as a result, we became colleagues. I have consulted on numerous cases with her over the years.

Why would you recommend this therapist? What makes them especially qualified? Ros is scrupulous about helping clients get what they want out of therapy. She is flexible and does both long and short term therapy. Her degree of empathy is very high, and her willingness to engage deeply with her clients is a real gift.

What topic(s) would you refer clients to this therapist for? Depression, anxiety, trauma, relationship difficulties, gay and lesbian clients
— Lee Miriam Whitman-Raymond, PhD, LICSW, Independent practice (2016)