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I am a counselor, communication innovator, trainer, curriculum developer, and author.


The last 25 years I successfully worked on several fronts applying groundbreaking techniques to:

  • Teach individuals how to manage their states of mind

  • Defuse inappropriate resistance

  • End intimate partner abuse

  • End rebound relationships

  • Enhance relationships with self and others

  • Teach parents how to foster their child's abilities and prepare them for the world

  • Teach individuals techniques to navigate through life's detours and transitions

  • Executive and staff coaching to bridge admin/employee "stuck" points

I hold a Master of Arts Degree in Transformative Language Arts from Goddard College in Plainfield, VT,  a Master of Science Degree in Psychology from Berne University in Wolfeboro, NH. I have graduate credits in Art Therapy and Psychology from Seton Hill, Greensburg, PA and later became an Adjunct professor teaching Art Therapy/Methods and Theory, Art Therapy Studio at Seton Hill. I taught Communication Skills and Social Psychology at various community colleges and technical schools.

I was the clinical training director for the Domestic Abuse Counseling Center (DACC) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the largest batterer intervention program in western Pennsylvania. I introduced metaphor, art therapy and the multi-sensory techniques to the agency with outstanding success. 

After leaving DACC, I knew I wanted to move beyond the "one-size-fits-all paradigm. I developed The P.A.U.S.E. Program; writing curricula and developing psycho-educational programs that blended metaphor, art therapy and multi-sensory techniques.


My multi-dimensional P.A.U.S.E Program yielded completion rates well above the national average for batterer intervention programs.  The P.A.U.S.E Program tools and techniques have been used in the:

  • Facilitation of over 130 training workshops for: counseling and rehabilitation centers, judges, probation departments, teachers, and students in both the U.S. and Canada on how to use metaphor and art therapy techniques to defuse resistance among highly resistant clients.

  • Program development and facilitation of a youth alternative education program.

  • Counseling of women and youth in victim-service programs.

  • Training of counselors to decrease their no-show rates. 

"With her innovative techniques, unique style, quick wit and seasoned expertise, Julie Johnson transforms abstract concepts into practical applications with notably effective results."


  • The P.A.U.S.E. Program training techniques were featured in RESPECT, a United Kingdom professional publication.

  • Cited as an expert on domestic violence intervention techniques in Leading Groups in Corrections: Skills and Techniques, published by The American Correctional Association.

  • Starting Points; A One-Woman Play

  • The Healing Journal: A guide to journaling, childhood sexual abuse and recovery, published by The Menninger Foundation.

Dubbed The Queen of Metaphor, I have trained hundreds of clients, clinicians, and educators, etc., on how to rewire their programmed thinking by using a unique cognitive behavioral approach in tandem with metaphor, multi-sensory tools and art therapy techniques in order to stop problematic behaviors.

Click here to learn more about

the P.A.U.S.E. Program's techniques, tools and services



Art therapy





"Through utilizing both written and visual forms of art in her group therapy approach, Julie was able to establish trust with clients who were almost exclusively male and who had been court ordered into the group setting.  I was amazed to see how actively the men in the group participate. Through the use of art and music therapy [techniques] and writing, Julie created an environment where it was safe for men to express their pent up anger."

Grace Coleman, CEO

Crisis Center North, Pittsburgh, PA