DR. ROSALYN JOHNSON IS HAVING THE TIME OF HER LIFE.
As Coordinator of Outpatient Therapeutic Services and Suicide Prevention at Community Health Center of South Florida Inc., Johnson supervises licensed counselors who help people dealing with issues ranging from marital problems to bipolar disorder, substance abuse and more in 11 centers throughout Miami-Dade County. Johnson also oversees and guides the work of graduate-level students working with clients as part of their training before licensure as professional counselors. In addition, Johnson continues to counsel clients herself.
She’s also an adjunct professor at Trinity International University, teaching graduate students in the school’s counseling program. The 2009 graduate of Beacon College is living her dream.
Johnson knew from the time she was 13 that she wanted to be a counselor. Helping people to deal with life’s challenges is her calling.
Johnson’s challenge, a learning disability involving auditory processing, led the Pittsburgh native to Beacon College after completing her K-12 years at private schools dedicated to students with learning disabilities.
“I liked that Beacon was in Florida,” she says with a chuckle because she’s not a fan of cold weather. “I also liked the small classes and one-on-one environment.”
Johnson’s parents, both Harvard grads, had instilled in her and her siblings the value of education.
Because of her earlier schooling, Beacon became for her “an extension of my K-12 experience.”
Beacon’s professors and administrators helped her to manage her learning disability by “focusing on my strengths,” she says. Johnson recalls her years at Beacon as filled with people “empowering us, encouraging us not to get discouraged because of our learning disabilities.”
While majoring in human services at Beacon, Johnson learned not only how to manage her disability but also how to be more forthcoming about her needs — a lesson she says helped prepare her for post-college life and for her career.
Beacon “made sure I had the skills to be assertive and to advocate for myself,” Johnson says.
That self-confidence she gained at Beacon is one of the attributes she seeks to impart to her clients, her Trinity students and her employees.
After graduating from Beacon, Johnson immediately began work on her master’s degree in mental health counseling at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale. After earning her graduate degree, she returned to Leesburg for five years.
During that time, she worked as a therapist at a local behavioral health center, fulfilling the state requirements to become a licensed mental health counselor.
It was during that period of her life that Johnson pursued her doctorate in counseling psychology from Argosy University in Sarasota.
“I just wanted to be able to reach the highest level I could academically,” says the self-professed “go-getter.”
Interested in a management position, Johnson applied for her current position in Miami.
“I have patients tell me all the time, ‘Thank you so much, you were instrumental in helping me overcome difficult challenges,’ “ she says. “It really lets me know that I’m in the right profession and doing what I love.”