“All you need is love.”

“Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”

“Good girls love bad boys.”

Combine these hackneyed platitudes with everyday women turned princess, the biggest party you’ll ever host, gowns with handmade lace trains and the social pressure to be coupled and you, too, will believe…

“Since my first ‘sexual’ experience was sexual abuse, I have never once been able to have an orgasm while having sex.”

Sexual abuse can have long term effects on physical health and emotional wellness.

The more early childhood trauma you were exposed to, the higher your risk for health and wellness challenges later on. But less well known is how past sexual abuse…

The REAL reason for all your yeses and no’s.

Quick quiz! Why do you say “yes” so much? Which answer in the picture above is the most accurate for you? A, B,C, D, or E?

The answer you choose tells me a lot about you. But those things may not…

…or the practical tips you need for your words to be respected.

Photo credit: Jackson Simmer via Unsplash

A client of mine once said, “we need to train people” on how we want to be treated. In our conversation, I had said “teach people,” but she felt how people treat you is not a negotiation. I’m…

Here’s what you need to do instead.

Photo credit digitally enhanced drawing by Edvard Munch via Rawpixel

I glanced at a Harvard Business Review (HBR) article on grief that keeps turning up, bad penny style, on my social media. My first response was “duh,”. Then I looked closer.

The HBR author interviews grief.com founder David Kessler on why so many…

Building community and creating clarity in our world.

Photo credit: Rodeon Kutsaev via Unsplash

I was raised Catholic. Baptized, Sunday school for a few years. For a short while, my family breathed the church. My childhood home was even across the street from a seminary. But for some reason my mother, a volunteer Sunday school teacher…

It’s easier than you think.

Image via Rawpixel

What’s the one thing you can do to get people to change? I’m talking about anyone, of any background, who actually wants to change. (Their desire to do so is the starting point, of course.) But after that, what can you do?

Lead with empathy.

Or the problem with teaching kids to just say “no”.

First Lady Nancy Reagan at ‘Just Say No’ rally against drugs — photo credit Cynthia Johnson — Getty Images

Along with fresh pencils and clean backpacks comes a renewed interest in child abuse prevention…as if the start of school coincides with a rise of predatory behavior. (There is no such correlation.) A common theme in that programming is the…

“I believe you,” isn’t the ideal response that you’ve been taught it is.

Element5Digital via Unsplash

You want to do the right thing. And your friend/sister/partner may sense your willing spirit. They want to share their story without feeling judged. But they worry about being “too much”. In the past, they’ve been told…

Abusers steal trust, autonomy and safety from victims. Peer support groups offer power, choice and control to survivors.

Photo by Mink Mingle via Unsplash

Every Tuesday evening a little magic happens.

A group of women put their lives aside to gather and talk. For some of us with small children, it may be the one night…

Elizabeth M. Johnson, MA

I write about trauma, relationships and culture. Big reader, big eater. #SayNoMore. She/Her.

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