Betty Root Johnson, M.Ed. is licensed as a Marriage & Family Therapist and as a Professional Counselor. She has maintained a private practice with Atlanta Therapy Associates (ATA) since 1995.
Ms. Johnson provides psychotherapy for individuals, couples and families and offers supervision and training for therapists. Betty provides talks to groups on topics pertaining to professional ethics, trauma and the family and the dynamics of working with older populations.
Betty’s first career began in her home State of Ohio, as a wife and mother. She volunteered with the American Red Cross, managed summer “Learn to Swim” programs and taught swimming and lifesaving classes at a local YMCA. As her children grew, she began studies at Kent State University intending to become a teacher, as so many members of her family had before her.
Her studies were briefly interrupted by a move to Atlanta in 1970. She began attending Georgia State University and became interested in mental health and trauma issues. She was introduced to family therapy during an internship at Community Friendship, Inc (CFI), a rehabilitation program for individuals with chronic mental illness and drug & alcohol dependency in downtown Atlanta. She worked at CFI for several years while completing her studies at GSU. Betty graduated from Georgia State University in 1978 with a BS in Mental health.
Betty obtained a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling and Vocational Evaluation from the University of Georgia in 1981. Her journey to becoming a therapist intensified after graduating from UGA. She had been inspired and mentored by Atlanta family therapists Don Randall (now in Athens, GA), Carrell Dammann and Randy Gershen.
After graduating from UGA, Betty spent five years at Wesley Woods working as a family therapist/social worker in their geriatric rehabilitation facility. She worked with individuals experiencing Alzheimer’s disease, strokes and many other age-related problems. Over those years, she developed a specialty area in working with older adults and their families.
She went to the Hub Counseling and Education Center in 1986 as Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Coordinator, where she maintained all aspects of an EAP for a public school system with more than 10,000 employees.
In 1997, Betty earned her Approved Supervisor designation from the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). She provided supervision and training for masters and doctoral level students. Many of those supervisees have gone on to obtain their own licenses and careers as family therapists, professional counselors, social workers and psychologists.
Betty’s broad experiences over the past 30 years have made her uniquely able to work with people facing a wide variety of concerns and issues in life.
Her interests and expertise include marital and family therapy with couples of any age, but especially mature couples and their families. Her interests in trauma recovery hearken back to her years at Kent State, but also to the many years she has worked with individuals and families struggling with a full spectrum of conflicts and traumas. This interest led to addressing the particular issues of individuals returning from military duty and their families.
Betty has obtained level 1 training in EMDR and uses other approaches in her psychotherapy that are proving helpful to those with trauma-related injuries.
She is a member of the Atlanta Coalition on Mental Health and Aging and a Clinical Member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). Betty is an active member of the Georgia Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (GAMFT) served as President in 2004-2005 and currently is Public Relations Chair on the GAMFT executive board.
As an active volunteer for the American Red Cross, Betty is a member of a local disaster assistance team. She is the mental health lead for her county and is an instructor for Red Cross trainings.
Betty and her husband have four children who are now adults and they enjoy their four grandchildren. They enjoy planning for and taking at least one major trip a year. In her spare time, Betty is an avid birder and lover of natural habitats who dreams of turning her woodsy thicket of a backyard into something really beautiful someday.