Alicia Johnston, MDiv, MA
Who I Work With
Hi, I’m Alicia Johnston. I’m a Master's-Level Pastoral Counselor. I work with clients one-on-one and in groups, and specialize in helping adults, teens, and parents. My focus is on helping people of faith process spiritual trauma and work through difficult questions related to faith, church, and well being. Your values, beliefs, and spirituality will guild our discussions. I am not here to push particular beliefs. Much of my work focuses on helping LGBTQ people of faith in particular, and those who might be questioning their sexuality or gender, but my work extends to other people and other challenges as well. I work with clients struggling with all manner of anxiety, depression, trauma, substance use disorders, and grief.
I know how hard it can be to schedule that appointment and go to counseling for the first time. Sharing your story and vulnerabilities requires bravery. I want to let you know that I’m here to listen and support you when you’re ready to take that step. You do have the ability to heal and grow, and I'm here to help you in that process.
I can help clients with challenges of spirituality, rejection from faith communities, trauma, depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. I'm a trained Christian minister, and I address matters of faith without judgment. Our work is based on your beliefs and values, whether you are transitioning away from your faith community or seeking to reconcile.
My goal is to help people work through life’s difficulties with non-judgment and a firm belief in your strengths and ability. I work to connect my clients with their own deep sense of spirituality and self-worth, learning how to make value-driven decisions to benefit themselves and others. I strive to be the kind of pastoral counselor I would want for myself, someone who helps you feel safe and supported enough to work through life’s true difficulties. I trust you to find your own way, guided by your own values.
As a trained Christian minister, I can also help you work through theological questions or process through your relationship to your faith, church, and God. I’m particularly passionate about helping people reconcile their faith and their sexuality and/or gender identity. Too often, those in the LGBTQ community struggle with feeling they have to choose between their faith and their sexuality or gender. The good news is that this is a false choice. Many of us have to walk the path of reconciling the two, and I am happy to help you on that journey, or as you help a family member or friend walk that path.
Qualifications, Work, and Experience
I have been on a personal journey to embrace my own faith and sexuality. I began my career as a therapist, working with addictions, trauma, grief, and other mental health challenges with adolescents and adults. Feeling the call to church ministry, I went to seminary and was trained as a Christian in pastoral ministry, becoming a local church pastor. I lead my small congregation in weekly worship, conducted the daily duties of leadership and management of the church, and helped minister to the spiritual needs of my congregants.
I enjoyed this work, but because of events in the world and my own life, I became uncomfortable with the church’s policies about LGBTQ people. This lead to a period of study, reflection, and questioning for me. After some time I decided I needed to oppose my church’s teachings and come out myself as bisexual. I did so in a public way, with a viral video and announcement that was briefly covered on national news such as NBC, Religion News, and others. I did so because I wanted to give hope to those who were silently struggling with loving the Christian faith but feeling the pressure to reject their own sexuality or gender.
Since that time my professional focus has been on continuing to help people reconcile their faith and sexuality. I’ve been a keynote speaker for an annual national conference for The Reformation Project and for Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International. I’ve also conducted workshops for The Reformation Project and Q Christian Fellowship as well as various other speaking engagements at local churches. I’m also an author. I’ve blogged extensively and written for various magazines and online platforms. Currently I’m finishing up my first book which is for my Christian denomination, sharing a biblical model for LGBTQ affirmation.
I can meet with clients online or at my office at:
7220 N. 16th Street Suite G
Phoenix, Arizona 85020
9299 W Olive Ave Ste 212
Peoria, AZ 85345