MFT Training Coordinator, Assistant Professor of Psychology
On Faculty since 2013
B.A. in Spanish Studies; B.A. in Global Studies (w/emphasis in governance, peace, and justice in Latin America) from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 2006
M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, 2010
Marriage and Family Therapy Resident, Marriage and Family Counseling Service, Rock Island, IL, 2013
Currently completing Ph.D. in Human Development (w/emphasis in marriage and family therapy) at Virginia Tech
About Jacob Johnson
My professional passions lie in researching and providing therapy for families of children with developmental delays and, in particular, autism spectrum disorders. More specifically, I am interested in better understanding the issues germane to caring for developmentally disabled children in order to design systemic interventions tailored to promote health and alleviate suffering among these families. I am also very interested in training and mentoring Wheaton College marriage and family therapy students to consider the ways in which their Christian beliefs and the practice of marriage and family therapy both intersect and conflict with one another.
In my personal time, I enjoy running, road biking, and wrestling with my two young boys as well as finding time to explore local restaurants with my wife. I have also been known to make the mistake of dabbling in home improvement projects well beyond my capacity to complete.
- MAFT 645: Systemic Interventions with Couples and Families
- MAFT 618: Couples Therapy
- MAFT 635: Foundations in Family Therapy II
Membership in Professional Societies
- American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
- Illinois Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
- National Council on Family Relations
My research interests include couple and family issues related to raising children with developmental disabilities, and training and supervision of marriage and family therapists. I am currently completing a dissertation examining how couples raising children on the autism spectrum negotiate intimacy, a study investigating areas of risk and resiliency—including what can either foster or inhibit commitment, closeness, and reciprocity—in the intimate relationships of couples caring for children with autism spectrum disorders.
Publications and Presentations
Piercy, F. P., Glass, V., Johnson, J., Bigby, B., Bao, A., & Austin, J. (2013). What family therapists can learn from stand-up comics and those who heckle them. Journal of Family Psychotherapy, 24, 110-128. doi: 10.1080/08975353.2013.792706
Johnson, J. (2012). Treating couples raising children on the autism spectrum: A marriage-friendly approach. Contemporary Family Therapy, 34, 555-565. doi: 10.1007/s10591-012-9213-7
Johnson, J. (2012). Using externalization as a means to regulate emotion in children with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Family Psychotherapy, 23, 163-168. doi: 10.1080/08975353.2012.679906
Jaramillo Sierra, A. L., Johnson, J., Kennington, M. V., Chen, J., Cox, N., Brown, T., & Arditti, J. A. (2012, February). Project ENGAGE: Sustainable parent education for internally displaced families in Altos de Cazucá, Colombia. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Quint State Southeastern Symposium on Child and Family Development, Blacksburg, VA.
Jaramillo Sierra, A. L., Johnson, J., Kennington, M. V., Chen, J., Cox, N., Brown, T., & Arditti, J. A. (2012, January). Developing a parent training program for internally displaced families in Soacha, Colombia. Paper presented at the inaugural Human Rights Forum, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA.
Piercy, F. P., Glass, V., Johnson, J., Bigby, B., Bao, A., & Austin, J. (2011, April). What family therapists can learn from stand-up comics and those who heckle them. Paper presented at "Brown Bag Lunch" seminar hosted by the Department of Human Development, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA.