M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy, St. Mary's University of Minnesota

M.A. in Teaching, Mount Holyoke College

B.A. in English, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

What We'll Do

You'll learn to have healthy relationships with yourself and other people. I'll support you as you master identifying and explaining what you want, why you're struggling now, and figure out how to get from here to where you want to be. I'll make sure the process of therapy is tempered with occasional humor and joy. 



I work with a variety of concerns. You may want to learn to improve communication and manage conflict so you and your partner feel listened to and understood. Maybe your goal is to increase the emotional and sexual intimacy in your relationship so you feel a balance between loving the warmth of closeness and enjoying independence as well.



Imagine what it will be like to handle depression, anger and anxiety as useful information about your needs rather than stumbling blocks that hold you back.  You may feel it's time to create understanding around what drives your addictive or compulsive behavior and how to reign in self-sabotaging actions.

Why I'm Invested In Your Outcome
License, Certifications

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist 

AASECT Certified Sex Therapist

Certified Prepare/Enrich Counselor

Professional Memberships

AAMFT American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists


MAMFT Minnesota Association for Marriage and Family Therapists


AASECT American Association for Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists 



Trainings & Workshops

Life and relationships are complex. We all need a helping hand at some point. It can be both daunting and liberating to seek professional advice for problems you can't solve on your own. I'm grateful for the experts who've gently showed me how to work through challenges and look forward to helping you do just that.

My first long term relationship was an exercise in which I kept doing the same things over and over to get my needs met while being what I thought was a loving partner - and consistently missing the mark. The more my partner and I tried to work things out, the more disillusioned we felt. We vacillated between ignoring the bad and enjoying the good, and then criticizing each other for our perceived shortcomings. At a certain point there was just too much hurt to work through. 

My current relationship is an ongoing mix of loving the ease of being in sync with each other, and repairing the pain that's inevitable when two people put their lives together. It takes intentional effort to care for yourself and respond to a partner whose needs are different than your own - and it's worth the work! 


I know you want to make things better for yourself and I support your goals. Whether anxiety or anger get the best of you, communication creates hurt, or you're using drugs, alcohol or sex to feel better there's a range of options for moving forward. I value your courage and believe in your capacity to find peace and fulfillment.

EMDRIA Basic Training

EMDR: Working with Addiction and Substance  Use

Disorders by Larry Anderson

EMDR and Shame  by Michael Maley


ADHD: Tools for Clinicians  by Gary Johnson

CSI: Couple Sensitive Individual Therapy by Bill Doherty

After the Affair: From Trauma to Forgiveness 

by Janice Abrahms Spring

AASECT 2015 Conference Sex Therapy Training

The State of Affairs: Rethinking Our Clinical Attitudes Toward Infidelity by Esther Perel

Acceptance Versus Forgiveness by Janis Abrahms Spring

Restore Strong, Resilient Sexual Desire Within Your Clients by Barry McCarthy

Increasing the Capacity for Love by Brent Atkinson

Beyond the Boxes II: Three Cutting Edge Topics in LGBTQ+ Mental Health: Gender, Poly & Oppression Fatigue

AASECT 2017 Conference Sex Therapy Education/Training

Ethical Porn for Dicks by David Ley

AASECT 2018 Conference Sex Therapy Education/Training

MAMFT Fall 2018 conference

The Masculinity Paradox, Esther Perel 2018

Unlearning Jealousy in Ethical Non-Monogamy by Carise      Rotach-Beard

MAMFT Fall 2019 conference  Attachment by Diane Poole Heller

Love, Loss & Resilience in the Time of Corona by Froma Walsh

A Strength Based Approach to Helping Couples & Individuals with Gaps in Sexual Desire & Low Libido by Neil Cannon

Demystifying OCD by Lucy Grantz

The Social Regulatory Theory of Anger and How it Can Change How You Practice by Samantha Franklin & Stanley Thiele

When I'm Not at Work

I love gardening, cycling, cooking, being outdoors and hiking. I enjoy time with family and friends.


I grew up on the east coast, lived in Portland and Seattle for a few years and have been in Minnesota for over twenty years. My favorite comforts include nature, warm weather, ice cream and sushi. 

Cathy Johnston MA, LMFT, CST


2840 Humboldt Ave S

Minneapolis MN 55408

37265 Twin Bay Dr

Crosslake MN 56442