Understanding Anxiety: What is Typical and What Is Not

with Christa Johnson, PsyD and Jessica Shankman, MA

Understanding Anxiety: What is Typical and What Is Not

Episode 26, Season 2 | April 5, 2022

Show Notes

Anxiety is a healthy emotion, except when it’s not. Experiencing anxiety can be just what we need to finish a project or task, or deal with a stressful situation. But it can also be overwhelming and debilitating. In today’s podcast episode, CHC experts Jessica Shankman, MA, Doctoral Psychology Intern, and Christa Johnson, PsyD, Licensed Clinical Psychologist help us understand what’s normal and when to worry. Don’t miss this important conversation, covering everything from the differences between stress and anxiety, warning signs and behaviors, the mental health impacts of the pandemic and how to know when to seek help.

Guest Info
Christa Johnson headshot

Dr. Johnson is a licensed clinical psychologist with experience providing therapy to children, teens and adults in a variety of settings. She believes therapy to be a collaborative process and works to provide a safe and welcoming therapeutic environment for her clients and their families. Dr. Johnson identifies as an OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) specialist and has been trained in Exposure and Response Prevention, an evidence based treatment for OCD. She also specializes in working with teens and young adults who are struggling with depression and anxiety. She is experienced in implementing cognitive behavioral and dialectical behavioral therapy strategies in working with her clients.


Dr. Johnson was born and raised in California. She loves animals, gardening, watching scary movies, listening to music and hiking. She also has been told she has a pretty good sense of humor.

Jessica Shankman headshot

Jessica Shankman is a doctoral intern in clinical psychology at CHC who specializes in therapy and assessment approaches with children, adolescents and families with a range of concerns. She is particularly interested in depression, anxiety disorders, and working with youth of diverse sexual and gender identities. As a therapist, she is particularly interested in using evidence-based approaches such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical-Behavior Therapy (DBT). She also has special interest in improving access to mental health services for underserved communities. Jessica is a 6th year student in the child-track of the Clinical Psychology doctoral program at the University of Maine, and will earn her PhD in July 2022. She previously graduated with honors from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, where she earned a BA in Child Psychology. Her doctoral research broadly focuses on understanding the ways that peer relationships (e.g., romantic relationships, friendships) can impact depressive symptoms throughout adolescence. Jessica has been thoroughly enjoying the weather in the Bay Area, and spends much of her free time hiking, reading, listening to music and watching a variety of lighthearted TV shows.