Rae Johnson, PhD, RSW, RSMT, BCC is a social worker, somatic movement therapist, and scholar/activist working at multiple intersections of embodiment and social justice. They teach internationally on embodied activism, nonverbal expressions of implicit bias, and the poetic body.
As a scholar/activist, Rae’s research on the everyday embodied experiences of racism, cisheterosexism, ableism, and other forms of oppression has been articulated in numerous publications, including their books Embodied Social Justice and Embodied Activism (in press). Committed to making their research accessible and impactful, Rae also designs and produces collaborative community performances that engage non-academic audiences in the issues that affect members of marginalized communities. Anchored in a form of embodied narrative ethnography called ‘body stories’, these performances are designed to elicit a visceral (not just intellectual) response to the research.
As a long-time practitioner educator in graduate psychology, Rae works to help build students’ capacity to recognize and respond to the somatic impact of oppression in their clients and communities. Rae currently co-chairs the Community, Liberation, Indigenous, and Ecopsychologies specialization at Pacifica Graduate Institute in southern California. Previously, they led the doctoral program in Somatic Studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute, the Somatic Psychology doctoral program at the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute, and the Body Psychotherapy track in Somatic Counseling Psychology at Naropa University.
Rae draws on an extensive background in counseling and clinical social work to inform their teaching and research, including working with homeless youth, women in addiction recovery, autistic children, maximum-security psychiatric inmates, and survivors of childhood sexual abuse. In their coaching and consulting practice, they specialize in working with members of the LGBTQIA+ community to reclaim the authoritative knowledge of their bodies towards personal and collective liberation.