Laura Johnson, MA, MBA, LMFT, LPCC, Certified Cognitive Therapist & Advanced Certified Schema Therapist

President, Executive Director and Founder, Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center

Therapy Approach:

“I have a passion for my work as a cognitive behavior therapist and schema therapist and helping my clients make lasting changes in their lives. I started the Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center of Silicon Valley and Sacramento Valley because there is a lack of highly-trained cognitive behavior therapists delivering evidence-based CBT and I wanted to be able to help more people with this effective and scientifically-based approach. My counseling approach integrates cognitive behavior therapy, schema therapy and other evidence-based therapies with positive psychology. My focus on positive, strength-based counseling and therapy comes from both my training in positive psychology as well as my personal values that therapy (and life) is most satisfying when we look at what’s right.”

What Clients Say About Laura:

“I felt comfortable that Laura knows what she is doing and can help me solve my problems.” – Male, age 50, health anxiety, panic and anger management

“How Laura always finds ways for me to improve/move on. I am always afraid that we’ve reached a point where we have covered everything/can’t do anymore but she always finds new ways to help me.” – Female,  age 37,  OCD and health anxiety

“I really appreciate when you share small details about yourself – like how you are taking a class online. It helps me feel like I am not just talking at someone.” – Female, age 27, anxiety

“I was able to find the roots of my issues, which in turn will help me work to eliminate them more effectively.” – Male, age 16, depression

“Organized, concrete, direct, focused.” – Female, age 25, chronic skin picking

“The schema work has been very enlightening and I feel strongly that this work is what will help me understand myself and make changes.” – Female, age 61, depression, anxiety, alcohol abuse and binge eating

“How great Laura listened to what I had to say and how she understood me. She gave me great advice and the effort she put into the session rubbed off on me.” – Male, age 20, social anxiety and self-esteem issues

Laura’s Background

Laura has been in the mental health field since 2004 and has provided individual and group therapy to adults, children, teenagers and families since 2006. Laura is the only therapist in the United States who is both a Certified Cognitive Therapist with the Academy of Cognitive Therapy and an Advanced Certified Schema Therapist with the Schema Therapy Society. Below are a few highlights of her qualifications and experience.



  • Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, California License No. LPCC-47
  • Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, California License No. LMFT-48807

Certifications and Credentials:

* Laura is one of only four Certified Cognitive Therapists in the South Bay/Silicon Valley area (two of the others are Erica Russell and Caitlyn Oscarson, who are staff therapists at the Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center and were trained in CBT by Laura). Laura is also one of only two Certified Cognitive Therapists in the entire Sacramento/Sierra region of California.

** Laura is the only certified Schema Therapist in all of Northern California and one of only two certified Schema Therapists in California. The Advanced Certified Schema Therapist level requires a very high level of competence and expertise in schema therapy to achieve compared to basic certification.

Clinical Experience:

Prior Corporate Experience:

  • Vice President, Director and Manager positions in Corporate Philanthropy and Employee Volunteerism at Microsoft, Intuit and Countrywide Financial, 2001-2006
  • Group Brand Manager, Brand Manager and Product Manager positions at Intuit, Royal Caribbean, Wells Fargo Bank, VISA and AT&T, 1990-2000

Clinical Activities:

  • Schema Therapy Individual Supervision with Jeff Conway, LCSW and Liz Lacy, LCSW, 2015-2017
  • CBT Individual Consultation, Michael Tompkins, PhD, San Francisco Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy, Nov 2014-present (working on certification as a CBT Trainer/Supervisor)
  • Exposure and Response Prevention for OCD Individual Supervision with Elna Yadin, PhD, Jul-Oct 2014
  • Behavior Analysis/Behavior Therapy Individual Supervision with Ruth Anan, PhD, BCBA-D, Jun 2013-Nov 2014
  • CBT Individual Case Consultation with Christine Padesky, PhD, Jan 2012-May 2013
  • DBT Individual Supervision with Shari Manning, PhD, Aug-Dec 2011
  • Weekly Individual CBT Supervision with Shelley Milestone, PhD, Oct 2010-Oct 2011
  • Weekly TEAM Therapy Training Group at Stanford University led by David Burns, MD (best-selling author of Feeling Good), Jill Levitt, PhD, and Matthew May, PhD, Sept 2010-Nov 2011

Advanced Training:

Business Experience:

Laura has a unique background as a psychotherapist with a Columbia MBA and hands-on management experience in the corporate world. Prior to becoming a therapist, Laura had a successful career in the corporate world for over 16 years. She held managerial roles in marketing, brand and product management, and corporate philanthropy at Fortune 500 companies in the technology, financial services and travel industries in the Bay Area and on the East Coast, including Microsoft, Intuit, Wells Fargo Bank and Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. This has given her an insider’s view into how a demanding work environment affects a high-achieving person’s emotional and physical health.

Special Areas of Interest:

  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy for symptom reduction of Anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorders in adults, children and teens with special interest in OCD and Social Anxiety disorders
  • Schema Therapy to encourage personality change and address underlying personality issues to improve CBT treatment effectiveness and reduce vulnerability to relapse of anxiety and depression symptoms as well as treatment of avoidant, dependent and borderline personality disorders
  • Behavior Therapy and Parent Coaching for Selective Mutism/Excessive Shyness in children
  • Gifted and talented children and adults with generalized anxiety, social anxiety, stress, perfectionism and over-achievement
  • High-achieving business professionals and executives with generalized anxiety, social/performance anxiety and stress

Additional Interest Areas:

  • Health anxiety, phobias, generalized anxiety, panic disorder, hair pulling, skin picking, eating disorders, body dysmorphic disorder and depression

Treatment Approaches:

  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Exposure & Response Prevention, Schema Therapy

Personal Interests:

Laura grew up in Miami, FL, has lived in San Francisco, New York City and Los Angeles and has resided in the Silicon Valley since 2000. Laura enjoys yoga, skiing, camping, horseback riding, reading, walking her three Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (Rusty, Moon and Noelle), jogging, hanging out with her husband, traveling, socializing with friends and family, and learning even more about cognitive behavior therapy schema therapy (yes, she’s a bit “obsessed” with her work!). Learn more about Laura and her personal journey of becoming a therapist.

Rusty and Moon

Rusty and Moon

Horseback Riding

Horseback Riding