Rae Johnson, PhD, RSMT
Visit Rae at www.raejohnsonsomatic.com
Rae Johnson, PhD, RSW, RSMT, BCC is a social worker, board-certified coach, and scholar/activist working at the intersection of embodiment and social justice. They chair the doctoral program in Somatic Studies in Depth Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, California and teach internationally on embodied activism and nonverbal expressions of implicit bias.
Rae’s community work centers on advocacy and capacity-building in higher education, with a special focus on mental health and the link between social injustice and health disparities. For nearly a decade, they worked closely with equity office colleagues at one of Canada’s largest and most culturally-diverse universities to create and implement a model for supporting students-in-crisis that took into account the social barriers students experience. During that time, Rae authored a guide to supporting students in crisis that was adopted by colleges and universities across the country.
As a counselor-educator in graduate education, they develop curricula and teach courses that help to build capacity in counselors-in-training to recognize and respond to the somatic impact of oppression in their clients and to interrogate the implicit bias conveyed through their embodied interactions. As a scholar/activist, Rae’s research on the everyday embodied experiences of racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, and other forms of oppression has culminated in community performances designed to engage audiences in the issues that affect members of marginalized communities by eliciting a visceral (not just intellectual) response to the material being presented.
Prior to their work in higher education, Rae worked with homeless youth, women in addiction recovery, children with autism, maximum security psychiatric inmates, and survivors of childhood sexual abuse. They specialized in working with members of the LGBTQIA+ community to reclaim the authoritative knowledge of their body towards personal and collective liberation.