About Doctor Dash

 Dr. Dasherline Cox Johnson, Doctor of Psychology, is Lead Co-Principal Investigator for the “Opioid Abatement and Recovery Research Program 2022” at Julius L. Chambers Biomedical/Biotechnology Research Institute (BBRI), North Carolina Central University, (NCCU), sponsored by North Carolina Collaboratory at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (“UNC-Chapel Hill”). The opioid abatement research project is a joint effort
with NCCU and Together for Resilient Youth, (TRY) to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of an interactive toolkit in educating Durham residents and NC counties about ways to reduce opioid misuse, overdose, and death. The toolkit will include six modules informed by input from community focus groups and healthcare professionals living or working in or near Durham, North Carolina. Current research will be disseminated both in print and virtually. It will be available to the public with the goal of learning about ways to reduce the impact of opioid crisis within our communities.

Dr. Dash served as the Clinical Supervisor/Licensed Psychologist with Coxallah Enrichment Services, LLC, conducting assessments that helped children with autism receive eligibility for programs that met their medical needs and then worked with them
to develop individual treatment plans. Before this, she worked as a senior psychologist at North Point Health and Wellness Center in North Minneapolis. She has also provided contracted multi-systemic therapy services with Washington County Community
Corrections in a juvenile intervention program to help reduce incarceration, substance abuse, and other at-risk behaviors in youth.

Dr. Dash was born and raised in Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa, and moved to the United States in 1998. As a person with multiple marginalized identities, her work is informed by her experience with immigration, adjustment, and interactions with many cultures, religions, and languages. She has had ten years of experience working with patients of various races, subcultures, and mental health conditions.  As a therapist, she embraces the complex but critical task of unraveling the matrix of variables and dynamics related to learning, changing, and healing. By understanding diversity and its intersecting dynamics,
she brings invaluable insight and experience to her clinical work in our increasingly global and multicultural world. She enjoys spending time with family, traveling, reading, listening to music, and watching comedy and home improvement shows in her free time. Her memoir, From Refugee to Doctor: A Story of Perseverance and Faith, is available on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, and most online book stores.

Dr. Dash Explains Her Philosophy

Dr. Dash challenges her clients within the context of a warm, caring, and authentic environment. She discovered that an unconditionally accepting attitude had made a major difference in fostering their growth. “Love gives one the strength to rise above insurmountable obstacles and sets the stage for improbability,” and she has proven this in her life. She sees love as the transcending force that heals psychological wounds and fosters compassionate care and positive regard, a topic she addresses in her memoir: From Refugee To Doctor: A Story of Perseverance and Faith.
She was blessed to receive unconditional love from her grandmother, and it was this love had inspired her to overcome her relationship challenges. She has drawn on her faith in God to allow herself to release anger and pursue peace.

Mental Health Treatment Approaches

In her clinical practice, Dr. Dash chooses the best approach to help her clients overcome their problems and grow as individuals. She employs evidence-based treatment modalities. Her primary treatment modality is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which she employs with most mental disorders. She has specialized training in providing Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) treatment, often used with individuals who have experienced trauma. She is certified in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy to treat borderline personality disorders. She draws on interpersonal therapy to treat depression and is well-versed in Motivational Interviewing to help clients resolve ambivalence to get over an impasse.

Addiction Treatment Approaches

A million doses or drinks will never cure any pain, illness, or problem; addiction will ONLY worsen these conditions. But we can work our way out of the current opioid crisis by deepening our understanding of the problem and applying evidenced-based research when developing treatment programs. We must…

● Care for one another and take informed steps toward solutions

● Be proactive about promoting solutions and healing

● Create awareness about stigma

● Help patients develop coping

● Address any mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, trauma, and stressors

● Use evidence-based treatment modalities, particularly Motivational Interviewing, (MI) to help clients resolve ambivalence to get over an impasse

● Develop mindfulness

Research Interests and Accomplishments

As a trained practitioner-scholar and researcher, Dr. Dasherline Cox Johnson focuses on various topics, including reducing health disparities and acculturation issues. Motivated by a desire to promote social justice, she examines historical ongoing insidious trauma. She has experience working with individuals with a dual diagnosis of mental illness and substance use. For her doctoral degree, she developed an award-winning culturally sensitive assessment protocol for working with Somali immigrants and refugees within the current mental health system. She has also developed a biopsychosocial model illustrating factors that converge to shape post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) development. Her research provides a framework for evaluating most clinical disorders using integrative or holistic clinical work. She also was involved in the development of an instrument to assess people’s attitudes about psychotherapy.

She shares some of her thoughts about each of these modalities and approaches in her memoir: From Refugee To Doctor: A Story of Perseverance and Faith.


Doctor of Psychology, Counseling Psychology, 2010- 2015
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

 Master of Arts, Counseling and Psychological Services, 2004-2007
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, 2001-2003
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Associate of Arts, Liberal Arts, 1999-2001
Inver Hills Community College, Inver Groves Heights, MN