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Meet Dr. Alan Johnson of AR Psychological Services in Northwest Dallas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Alan Johnson.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Dr. Johnson. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I was born in Minnesota and relocated to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan when I was 6 years old. I was raised on a farm until I was 13 years old, during which time my family and I were responsible at one time or another for not only domestic animals (e.g., cats, dogs) but also chickens, cows, horses, mules, and pigs. At age 13, shortly after my sister had graduated and begun attending college, my parents and I relocated to a nearby town, which officially ended my farm life tenure. Though I initially had difficulty developing friendships and experienced frequent bullying, both of which contributed to periods of depression, I came to develop myself academically and interpersonally, resulting in my graduating third in my class and a cohesive support network of friends. After graduating high school, I relocated to Lansing, Michigan where I attended college at Michigan State University and earned my Bachelor of Science in psychology. It was during this period in my life that I not only came to accept my gay identity but also have this identity disclosed to and accepted by members of my family. Upon graduating college, I relocated to Chicago, Illinois where I attended graduate school at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and earned my Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) in clinical psychology. It was during my graduate school years that I relocated to Texas in order to complete my doctoral internship. Though I intended on limiting my tenure in Texas to the length of my internship (i.e., one year), I was fortunate to receive a job offer upon completion of my internship, which has since resulted in my residing in Texas for over four years. Though my training and past job experiences have been diverse, both the settings and the populations served, I have developed a passion for providing services within a private practice setting.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Prior to my internship year, I was fortunate enough to have acquired many of the opportunities I sought, such as getting accepted into my first choice college and graduate school. However, after applying to and interviewing at several internship programs, I was shocked to discover on match day that I had not matched with any of my ranked programs. As I scrambled to apply for remaining positions, I began to question my self-worth and experienced a heightened imposter syndrome. Fatefully, I received an interview and subsequently matched at Santé Center for Healing, the internship program which would fulfill my doctoral degree requirements and ultimately bring me to Texas where I currently reside and love.

On a more personal level, my greatest struggle occurred during my late adolescence and early 20s, during which time I was coming to terms with my gay identity as well as how to navigate this identity with those in my life. Though I came to accept my gay identity at age 20, I hesitated to come out to my parents until two years later due to my fearing I would be disowned by them; fortunately my fears were unfounded. My parents have not only been accepting of my gay identity since the day I came out, but they have since advocated on my behalf to other members of my family, participated in LGBTQ-oriented organizations (e.g., PFLAG), and have graciously received my partner into their lives.

Lastly, I’d identify my past issues related to body weight as an obstacle that I was ultimately able to overcome via determination and the support of my loved ones. I progressively began to increase in weight during my college years, culminating in a body weight of approximately 250 pounds by my 21st birthday. After an arduous process of replacing unhealthy behaviors (e.g., cigarette smoking, poor nutrition, sedentary lifestyle) with healthy ones, I was able to achieve the lifestyle I live today and attempt to use as motivation for others.

Please tell us about AR Psychological Services.
AR Psychological Services is a private practice with offices located in Dallas, Denton, and Southlake, Texas, the first of which opened in October 2016 and is exclusively operated by myself. Though AR Psychological Services offers individual psychotherapy, relationship counseling, and psychological evaluations, I am only able to provide individual psychotherapy and relationship counseling at the Dallas location at this time. My specialties include gender and sexual minorities, recovery from addiction, alternative sexualities and lifestyles, and concerns related to eating, weight, and size (CREWS). I believe my specialties set me apart from other clinicians in that the first and third are underserved and often misunderstood, and therefore are in receipt of services from clinicians that are both knowledgeable and accepting of these identities and/or lifestyles. I embrace the diversity of each of my clients with a nonjudgmental attitude while ensuring that their lifestyles do not cause harm to themselves or those around them.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
One of my favorite childhood memories occurred during my late adolescence on a Christmas morning. Every Christmas morning prior to this memory, my sister would naturally awake at 4:00 a.m. and then wake me up an hour later to keep her company before we were allowed to wake our parents at 6:00 a.m. and thus begin opening our Christmas gifts. However, on this Christmas morning, I awoke to both my parents and my sister in my bedroom and a large, Christmas-wrapped box being placed upon my lap. When told to open the lid of the box, I remember I adamantly replied, “No,” believing the gift was a gag of some sort–after all, my sister and parents had violated our tradition of Christmas waking patterns so something must be amiss! After additional prodding, I finally opened the lid to discover a chocolate Labrador puppy pop its head up above the brim of the box. Overwhelmed with joy, I collected the puppy and thanked my family for the violated tradition.

Pricing:

  • $175 per 50 minute session

Contact Info:

  • Address: 4326 W. Lovers Lane
    Dallas, TX 75209
  • Website: alanjohnsonpsyd.com
  • Phone: (972) 638-7060
  • Email: alan@alanjohnsonpsyd.com

Getting in touch: VoyageDallas is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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