Bringing Consciousness back to Psychiatry
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~ Veronica Johnson, PMHNP, FNP ~

I received my Family Nurse Practitioner degree from Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC, and my Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. I worked in cardiology and ICU as an RN for 10+ years, in retail clinics as an FNP, and in Community Mental Health in Asheville and the Winston Salem and Statesville areas of NC as a PMHNP. The majority of my PMHNP training and experience has been with  Meadows Behavioral Health in Wickenburg, AZ where I have provided  psychiatric services since 2016. I look at the "big picture" of your overall health, and how your chronic physical illness and conditions affect your mental health and vice versa. I also take into consideration lifestyle choices, relationships, stress management, and your connection to family, spirit, and community.

~ My Story ~

Both of my parents died young due to polypharmacy and prescription drug dependency and addiction. I got lucky myself and was never prescribed any of these, but I have taken care of many people who have told me horror stories of how they have gotten stuck in the current psychiatric system. Their stories always bring up memories of my parents and I can’t help but wonder if they’d still be here now had they not been to heavy-handed prescribing doctors.

My mom was prescribed a very addicting substance to treat migraine headaches when she was 17 years old. I have since learned that migraines run in the women in our family and are related to hormonal changes. No one ever checked her hormone levels or even asked about her periods. She died in 1994 at the age of 47 and it was at her funeral that I found a diary that she kept. In it, she explained how taking soma compound for 20+ years (as prescribed) fried her kidneys and caused her to go on hemodialysis 5 years before her death. It was also at her funeral that I learned that people usually die within 5 years of being put on dialysis.

My father saw an internal medicine doctor who sent him to multiple specialists after being diagnosed with osteomalacia. His body could not absorb vitamin D and he was constantly breaking bones. He was also an alcoholic, but after being prescribed oxycontin (240 mg a day (!!)), he no longer needed alcohol and died in his sleep at the age of 61 from hypoxemia (he quit breathing) from all of the opiates in 2003. 

It is because of both of my parents' journeys that I made my children read the labels of their food choices in the grocery stores and I chose to treat our ailments with natural and holistic treatments. 

Specialties

My area of expertise lies in the treatment of psychological trauma, with a particular focus on its connection to substance abuse and various forms of self-medication we, as humans, often resort to in order to cope with our pain. These methods may include drugs, alcohol, sex, relationships, food, shopping, gambling, and work addiction. Psychological trauma can manifest differently in each individual, potentially leading to a wide range of diagnoses, such as Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, Attention issues, Bipolar Disorders, Borderline and other Personality Disorders, Chemical dependency, Sex and Love Addictions, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders, Eating disorders and body image issues, and Family of origin issues, among others.

I believe that trauma lies at the core of these diagnoses, and when left unaddressed, it prevents us from truly living fulfilling lives, leaving us to merely survive. My approach centers on acknowledging and working through these traumas, which ultimately allows us to thrive rather than just survive.

If you're ready to embark on a journey of healing and growth, I invite you to join me. Together, we can discover your path to a more enriching and fulfilling life!

 A Holistic Approach

  • I received a Permaculture Design Certificate in 2007 with Starhawk's Earth Activist Training
  • Studied herbs and medicine making at many herb schools and festivals and formally studied herbal medicine at the Appalachian School of Holistic Herbalism 2008
  • Studied energy medicine and  Healing Touch 2010
  • Certified in auricular acupuncture 2014
  • PIT training (Pia Mellody's model of codependency) 2017 and 2018
  • SE (Somatic Experiencing) training 2018
  • EMDR training 2021
  • CSAT (certified sex addiction therapist) certified 2021
  • Studied Functional Medicine 2020
  • Hypnotherapy training 2022
  • Certified Shamanic Minister 2023
  • Shamanic Breathwork Facilitator 2023

 

 

 

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