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Quality Care You Can Count On

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My life’s mission has been to work as a partner with people experiencing depression, anxiety, confusion, loss, trauma, and deep disappointment.  I appreciate helping those who need to set new life goals or want an improved optimism and energy for their lives.

I am a kind and encouraging person, comfortable with people of widely differing life experiences and aspirations, and particularly skilled at meeting people where they are and helping them discern what they want in life. I then help them decide the approach necessary to accomplish their goals.

My decades of training have helped me address all aspects of emotional, thought, personality development disorders, and issues resulting from the legacy of trauma. The decades have included training in work with individuals, families, and couples.  Some of the treatment modalities I use are cognitive behavioral health therapy, trauma-informed care, insight-oriented psychotherapy, coaching in symptom management, amelioration of grief and loss, and improving communication skills.  I also have substantial training and experience in counseling and family therapy with children and adolescents and their families.

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"More than any therapist I've ever worked with, David displays such calm and compassion.  It was the first time I ever really felt fully understood and heard in a setting like this, and it made it much easier to relax and to take in the exercises and skills that David shared.  He is a life-saver." 

"Dr. Johnson is a pro-active therapist. His insights lead to practical steps that provide a healthy sense of forward movement."

"David shows immense empathy but doesn't avoid addressing the hard truths.  His deep caring and insights helped our family progress from a dark year in ways we couldn't even imagine.  We are so grateful for his work with us and for the hope and skills we've acquired." 

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In person and online sessions available


Calm Woman

I work with individuals to help them be clear about what they want for the future; to understand how past experiences can cloud or discourage those hopes; to resolve issues and grow confidence in their aspirations; and to coach and encourage the steps needed to achieve desired goals.  I have extensive experience helping people find great capacity for resilience even after the most discouraging life experiences have made that seem impossible.

Issues people often bring at the beginning of therapy include:

  • depression,

  • anxiety,

  • relationship frustrations,

  • parenting issues,

  • disappointment in work and career possibilities,

  • grief in the diminishment or loss of a relationship, and

  • despair and even suicidal thoughts.

"David is both kind and disciplined. Even as he provides comfort, he never loses sight of the issues that must be faced."

 "With the pandemic and what seemed like chaos all around, David is a sea of calm and reason. Our sessions are a sanctuary where anything can be said, without judgment.  His intelligence and decades of experience come shining through." 

"He seems to quickly grasp what you’re saying. He listens well, and always leaves time and space for clarification and elaboration."

"My adult son's depression was one of the most trying experiences I have ever been through.  I was scared, isolated during the pandemic, and needed so much help to save my son.  I can't tell you how much of a difference Dr. Johnson made to help me navigate my own feelings so that I could get the best help for my son.  I could not have done it without him." 


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Through the decades I have worked with all sorts of couples and families, resolving many conflicts in: age, backgrounds, aspirations, the legacy of trauma, stressors from developing children and adolescents and adult children, and the changing needs and dreams that come with aging.

Sometimes a first step is to get very clear about how the couple or family relates and next, how each person wants to relate. This may lead to coaching in how to expand people’s repertoire in ensuring that needs get adequately met and how dreams are encouraged.

Sometimes couples’ counseling leads to a candid examination about the future viability of continuing as a couple, and dealing with necessary next steps.

Throughout my work with couples and families, I have been successful maintaining a hope-filled stance, coaching in new ways of relating and developing the partners’ deeper understanding of each other.  Practical skills, good humor, compassion, and empathy all help move the progress forward.

Issues couples and families bring at the beginning of therapy include:

  • conflict resolution skills that don’t achieve the needed results,

  • misaligned goals and coping skills,

  • communication problems,

  • drifting apart after the inevitable differences emerge in how people grow through the years,

  • differences in expectations of children (underage as well as adult children) and the need for help in understanding and accommodating the various stages of parenthood, and

  • questions about how to transition to ever-evolving phases of the relationships.

"Sometimes in our family, it was so difficult just to talk without it leading to hurt feelings or anger.  The safety of family therapy with David and the understanding that he showed us was amazing.  We learned how to talk and listen to each other in constructive ways that brought us resolution and peace.  Best of all, we can apply what we've learned from here forward. David’s help was indispensable to us.  I really don't know what we would have done without him." 

"In our family therapy, Dr. Johnson’s fair-minded, inclusive approach has dramatically expanded the sense of safety we all need to speak honestly and productively."

"We have benefited enormously from David’s help. Our family conversations, our boundaries, our mutual respect and affection – they’ve all been lifted by his expertise and healing spirit."

"Parenting is pretty stressful in the best of times, but when things get complicated, couples really need to pull together. Dr. Johnson has such a keen understanding of interpersonal dynamics.  He helped us build a bridge when we needed it most." 


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I have been a guest lecturer, public speaker, and frequent interviewee in the media.  I have served on numerous task forces and workgroups to refine both targeted mental health treatment modalities and whole systems. 

I work with organizations, elected officials, university programs, technology innovators, and multiple-partner-initiative organizers to promote collaboration and synergy among individuals, organizations, and alliances to stimulate better solutions to growing challenges and to strengthen public policy that helps vulnerable populations.  

My work is acknowledged for inspiring groups to foster clinical innovation and promote client empowerment. I have been a frequent speaker on topics that address the intersection of transformational aspirations with pragmatic interventions.

I was the CEO of Navos, a large organization with behavioral health centers and psychiatric hospitals, from 1999-2020, and was clinically very active throughout that time.  Before that I was CEO of Transitional Resources from 1986-1998 and concurrently had a private practice doing psychotherapy and teaching in the graduate Masters in Counseling program at Seattle University.  Previously I was the Program Director of a community mental health center after serving as a director of an adolescent day treatment program and a family crisis intervention counselor.  

I wrote my doctoral dissertation on Leadership in Community Mental Health and have been grateful to receive the following awards:

  • Seattle University “Alumni Award for Professional Achievement,”

  • a "Visionary Leader" award from the National Council for Behavioral Health, 

  • the Washington Nonprofits' "Evergreen Award" for CEO of the year, 

  • the “Warren Featherstone Reid Award for Excellence in Health Care Leadership” from Washington State’s Governor, 

  • “2019 Health Care Executive of the Year” from the Puget Sound Business Journal, and

  • in 2018 I was one of those featured by the Puget Sound Business Journal’s Business Pride event: Honoring Outstanding Voices acknowledging outstanding LGBTQA+ business leaders in our region.

"It's not often that you receive consultation and counseling from someone who has the institutional and educational background of David Johnson.  He's spent his life dealing with some of the most terrible challenges people can face, and it's only made him wiser and more appreciative of the folks he encounters.  He really is extraordinary." 

Interested in learning more about the services I offer?
Get in touch with me today to set up an initial consultation.

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To schedule an appointment

Call 206.601-8992 or send me an e-mail at

Regular sessions are 50 minutes in length for individuals, couples, or families. The fee is $165 per session, payable on the day of your session (unless otherwise negotiated). Appointments may be in person or virtual.

 Cancellations require at least 24 hours’ notice or will be charged in full.

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2331 E. Madison Street
Seattle, WA 98112


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