Author: Dr. Monica Johnson

Dr. Monica Johnson is a clinical psychologist and owner of Kind Mind Psychology, a private practice in NYC that specializes in evidenced based approaches to treating a wide range of mental health issues (e.g. depression, anxiety, trauma, and personality disorders). Additionally, she has a focus on working with marginalized groups of people including BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and alternative lifestyles to manage minority stress. She is also dedicated to contributing to her field professionally through speaking, training, supervision, and writing. She routinely speaks at conferences, provides training and workshops at organizations, supervises mental health trainees, and co-authored a book for professionals on addressing race-based stress in therapy. Dr. Johnson earned her bachelor's degree from the University of South Carolina, completed her Psy.D. at the Arizona School of Professional Psychology, and completed her postdoctoral training year at Cherokee Health Systems in Knoxville, TN. She currently lives in Manhattan where she indulges in horror movies, sarcasm, and intentional introversion. You can find her on Instagram and online at kindmindpsych.com.  Got a question that you'd like Dr. Johnson to answer on Savvy Psychologist? You can send her an email at psychologist@quickanddirtytips.comcreate new email or leave a voicemail for the Savvy Psychologist listener line by calling (929) 256-2191‬.


I get asked all the time if New Year’s Resolutions actually work. This week, I will give you some quick and dirty tips to help you maximize your goal-setting.  There isn’t a ton of research on New Year’s Resolutions specifically and the studies that do exist leave room for interpretation. So, do we know what percentage of New Year’s resolutions fail? One longitudinal study on New Year’s resolutions found that 77% of people were able to maintain their resolutions for one week, but only 19% were able to keep them up for two years. Of those that were successful, the…

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I’m so happy you’re here as I review these broad categories of resources. There are nine on my list. These are resources that can generally be helpful to anyone. Many times you already have access to these resources because no matter who you are, you have your own inherent strengths. When my patients show up for therapy with me for the first time, they may think the only thing I’m doing is categorizing perceived weaknesses, but that’s untrue. I’m looking for their strengths and how we can utilize those to help them build a worthwhile life. I’m going to help…

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Today’s episode is all about neuroception and the window of tolerance. Don’t worry if you’ve never heard these terms before! I’m going to break them down for you. What is neuroception? Neuroception is your nervous system’s ability to scan your environment and label cues and behaviors as safe, dangerous, or life-threatening. In response to this, a level of arousal is activated that is best suited for the circumstances. Essentially, your nervous system is trying to scan your environment and promote the best adaptive response. As listeners of this podcast know, things don’t always work out the way they were intended.…

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There are so many things happening in the world that are potentially triggering for folks. Events in the news, like people getting murdered or being the victim of serious bodily harm, or similar themes depicted in entertainment we consume can trigger us. What is a triggering event? Let’s definite what a triggering event is. A trigger or stressor is anything that can lead to a negative emotional reaction. When an individual says they are “triggered,” what they typically mean is that the stimuli brought on or worsened symptoms related to their mental health. These could be a wide array of…

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We’ve spent quite a bit of time getting into our heads recently, so today we are going to talk about three skills that focus on the body. We’re going to break down the TIP skills—and yes it is an acronym! TIP skills target our body chemistry to reduce the feeling of overwhelm and other forms of high emotional arousal. The skills work quickly, often within seconds to minutes, for those of you looking for more instant gratification. These skills are easy to use and don’t require a lot of thinking, which is important when you’re in a highly stressful situation.…

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In part one of this episode, I introduced you to schema. Schemas are deep-set beliefs, or negative patterns, that develop during childhood and perist and expand throughout adulthood. If you listened last week, you’ll know the first 9. Have spent this last week thinking about what schemas may impact you or those around you? I know it’s been on my mind lately after talking about this topic with all of you. This week, we’re going to introduce the other 9 schemas, and also dig a bit deeper into how they operate. Missed last week’s episode? Catch up here. 10. Entitlement/Grandiosity…

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Today, we’re going to discuss early maladaptive schemas. There are so many of them that this will be a 2-part episode, so listen through to the end and make sure you’re ready for next week! Have you ever heard of a schema before? A schema is a stable and enduring negative pattern that develops during childhood or adolescence. It persists and expands throughout our lives. We view the world through the lens of our schemas. Schemas are closely held beliefs and feelings about yourself, others, and the world. Typically, you accept these beliefs without question and many people are not…

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Do you have trouble starting or maintaining relationships with others, whether it be a romantic relationship, a relationship with a coworker, or friends and family? Today, we’re going to discuss the GIVE skill. GIVE is part of DBT, dialectical behavioral therapy, and helps with relationship effectiveness. Relationship effectiveness is required in all of our interactions with others. It doesn’t matter if it’s with the wait staff at a restaurant or our nearest and dearest family member. While we may not weigh these relationships equally, we do want to consider how we want others to feel about us after an interaction.…

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Have you ever wondered how trauma might be impacting your brain? Today, I’m going to introduce the concept of the triune brain, and how each part of your brain may process your traumatic experiences. Triune means, literally, “three in one.” The triune brain model describes three areas within the brain that have a unique way of understanding and processing information; however, they are meant to function as a cohesive whole. However, trauma and attachment issues can disrupt this cohesion and lead to things operating out of sync. The triune brain model The reptilian brain In the triune brain model, the oldest part…

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Have you ever been in a situation that you truly disliked? And I mean truly. Your displeasure can range from mild discomfort to pure agony. Do you hate going to the dentist? Do you have a tight deadline at work? Have you recently experienced a loss? Today we will discuss how to improve the moment. When we improve the moment, we replace immediate negative events with more positive ones, and make the moment feel positive and easier to tolerate. This skill is particularly helpful when we are feeling overwhelmed in a stressful situation that is likely to last for a…

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