About Me

Valencia, CA and Agoura Hills Psychologist

Johanna Hays, Psy.D.

CA License: PSY27250

My Approach

Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms you would never
see the true beauty of their carvings.

 -Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

valencia-california-psychologist I believe that we all have within us an inner guiding wisdom that instinctively knows what  decisions and directions are best. When we listen, it becomes possible to reconnect to this wisdom and navigate through difficulties and challenges.

Through different therapeutic approaches, we can understand why symptoms, feelings, dreams, and reactions have emerged. I feel it is important to understand why these symptoms have emerged when attempting to decrease or resolve them. Issues such as anxiety, depression, fears, weight gain or loss, insomnia and even physical issues can teach us about what is working in our lives and what is not. I can help turn old habits and reactions into positive changes, and help to create life-long tools for coping and moving forward. My approach is unique and effective.

I believe symptoms occur because they bring important messages, and they will continue to show up until the reason beneath them is listened to and understood. Often, when this information is received and heard, the symptoms decrease or disappear. Our minds are wise, but often our bodies carry messages that the mind overlooks. Through methods such as psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, dream work, and Somatic Experiencing®, symptoms can be reduced or disappear altogether.

My approach to healing  is an integrative one. Because every person is unique, the approach to working with each person must likewise be unique. I have extensive training in several approaches which allow me to use and integrate the method best suited for each person.

My Education

I earned my doctorate degree in clinical psychology with an emphasis in Depth psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute, and am certified as a Somatic Experience® Practitioner. Coming from a Depth, post-Jungian background, I have seen first-hand the importance and empowerment of integrating mind and body. My doctoral dissertation research  focused on the integration of psychodynamic psychotherapy and Somatic Experiencing for the resolution of trauma.

In 2009, I earned my Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy at Pacifica Graduate Institute, and completed my Bachelor’s degree in psychology at California State University, Northridge in 2007.

I graduated with honors and the Director’s Award from HMI, the Hypnosis Motivation Institute, Tarzana, CA, in 2005.

For the past ten years, I have worked in private practice as a hypnotherapist, seeing individuals that range from various walks of life. I have over 25 years of experience in the field of fitness as a personal trainer, group exercise instructor, and consultant. This helps inform my specialty in weight management and I have successfully helped many people reach their fitness and weight goals, as well as restructure perspectives towards food and physical appearance..

My Experience

Having always lived and worked in the San Fernando Valley, I feel very connected to this community. I have watched the Valley grow and change. I have grown up here, and raised my children here. I have been a part of the Valley fitness culture for the better part of 25 years, having taught group exercise classes and worked as a personal trainer. I coached soccer and softball, worked at crisis hotlines and community counseling centers, family medical clinics, as well as in substance abuse.

Having raised children and navigated through the difficulties and successes of parenthood, divorce, remarriage, and blended families, I bring a diverse and panoramic life experience to my practice with individuals, couples, and families through the integration of psychotherapy, somatic approaches and the unconscious process. I understand the trials and joys of past and present relationships, and know that remaining aware of our conscious and unconscious processes allows us to better understand ourselves and how we relate to others.