University of Manitoba: U of M - Faculty of Arts - Psychology - Faculty

Dr. Ed Johnson, Professor



Post-Doctoral Fellow (1991-1993), Centre for Applied Cognitive Science, University of Toronto (O.I.S.E.).    

Ph.D. (1991, Waterloo) Clinical Psychology (APA/CPA accredited).  
B.A. (Hons.) (1984) Queen's University at Kingston.

Professional Experience

Academic Positions:

Professor of Psychology 2018-present

Director, Clinical Psychology Training Program, UM 2000-2008; 2012-2014; 2017 (Jan - June); 

Visiting Scholar, Dalhousie University, January-June 2000.
Associate Professor of Psychology, UM 1999-2018
Assistant Professor of Psychology, UM 1993-1999

Board memberships and Professional Registration:

Canadian Council of Professional Psychology Programs 2003-2008 
Canadian Psychological Association, Accreditation Panel 2016-2019

Certified Psychologist - Psychological Association of  
Manitoba since 1994 (Registration number 243)   

Recent workshops and inservice teaching on clinical supervision

- Best practices in Supervision. Nov. 12, 2017 Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre, Psychology Supervisors and Residents.

- Building a culture of supervisory competence: How to develop, mentor, and support clinical supervisors (with Dr. J. Gosselin). Canadian Council of Professional Psychology Programs, June 8, 2016.

- Introduction to clinical supervision. University of Manitoba, Clinical Health Psychology Residents, annual seminar, 2001-present.

Selected Publications

Orcid ID:


Single, A., Bilevicius, E., Johnson, E. A., & Keough, M. T. (in press). Specific Facets of Trait Mindfulness Reduce Risk for Alcohol and Drug Use Among First Year Undergraduate Students. Mindfulness.

Bilevicius, E., Neufeld, D. C., Single, A., Foot, M., Ellery, M., Keough M. T., & Johnson, E. A. (2019). Vulnerable narcissism and addiction: The mediating role of shame. Addictive Behaviors, 92, 115-121.

Frohlich, J. R., Rapinda, K. K., Schaub, M. P., Johnson, E. A., O’Connor, R. M., Vincent, N., Blankers, M., Ebert, D. D., & Keough, M. T. (2018). Testing the Efficacy of an Online Self-Help Treatment for Comorbid Alcohol Misuse and Emotional Problems in Young Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT). JMIR Preprints. 14/06/2018:11298. DOI: 10.2196/preprints.11298

Neufeld, D. C., & Johnson, E. A. (2018). Narcissism’s relationship with envy: It’s complicated. In T. Hermann, A. Brunell, & J.  Foster, (Eds.) The Handbook of Trait Narcissism: Key Advances, Research Methods, and Controversies. New York, NY: Springer.

Bilevicius, E., Single, A., Bristow, L. A., Foot, M., Ellery, M., Keough, M. T., & Johnson, E. A. (2018). Shame mediates the relationship between depression and addictive behaviours. Addictive Behaviors, 82, 94-100.

Johnson, E. A. (2017). Working Together in Clinical Supervision: A Guide for Supervisors and Supervisees. New York, Momentum Press.

Neufeld, D. C., & Johnson, E. A. (2016). Burning with envy? Dispositional and Situational Influences on Envy in Grandiose and Vulnerable Narcissism. Journal of Personality, 84, 685-696. DOI: 10.1111/jopy.12192

Johnson, E. A., & O’Brien, K. A. (2013). Self-compassion soothes the savage ego-threat system: Effects on negative affect, shame, rumination, and depressive symptoms. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 32, 939-963.


Selected Conference Presentations

Bilevicius, E., Conway, T. L., & Johnson, E. (2018, June). Self-compassion versus self-improvement: Effect of task choice on change in negative affect. Poster presented at the annual convention of the Canadian Psychological Association, Montreal, QC.


Bilevicius, E., Single, A., Bristow, L. A., Foot, M., Ellery, M., Keough, M. T., & Johnson, E. A. (2018, June). Shame mediates the associations between depression and problem behaviours. Symposium presentation at the symposium “Providing New Insights on Depressive Pathways to Addictive Behaviour in Emerging Adulthood: Evidence from Experimental and Longitudinal Studies.” (Chair Matthew T. Keough) at the Joint Convention of the Canadian Psychological Association and the International Congress of Applied Psychology in Montreal, Quebec.


Single, A., Bilevicius, E., Johnson, E. A., & Keough, M. T. (2018). Mindfulness reduces risk for alcohol and drug use among first year undergraduates. Poster presented at 2018 International Congress of Applied Psychology, Montreal, Quebec.

Johnson, E. A., & Neufeld, D. (April, 2016). Overconfidence’s relation to narcissism and self-esteem: The influence of context of judgment. Presentation at the 2nd World Conference on Personality, Buzios, Brazil.

Johnson, E. A., Ellery, M., & Foot, M. (April 2016). Shame and Depression differentially mediate Grandiose and Vulnerable Narcissism’s relation to Addictive Behaviors. Presentation at the 2nd World Conference on Personality, Buzios, Brazil. 

Johnson, E. A., Neufeld, D., O’Brien, K., & Wang, Y. (June, 2016). Introduction to symposium: Could self-affirmation have a role to play in treating clinical problems? In E. A. Johnson (Chair), The role of self-affirmation in the treatment of clinical problems. Symposium conducted at the 77th Annual Convention of the Canadian Psychological Association, Victoria, BC.


Future Plans

Research Interests

Key words

Self-compassion, acceptance

Narcissism, self-deceptive enhancement, envy, defensiveness

Threat, shame, pain,

Outcomes: Depression, anxiety, coping, self-regulation

Clinical supervision

Ego-involvement and responses to threat

The goal of my research in this area is to develop a deeper understanding of how regulation of ego-involvement effects the adaptiveness of responses to threat. The primary assumption guiding the research is that adaptive responses to threat require cognitive and emotional processes (e.g., perspective, balance, reasonableness) that are captured by the concept of low ego-involvement. However, because threat tends to automatically activate ego-involved emotional and cognitive responses, responding to threat in a low ego-involved manner represents a substantial self-regulatory challenge for many people. Thus, the basic question behind much of my research: what psychological qualities or activities promote or hinder people’s ability to adopt a low ego-involved response to threat?

Some of the attitudes and dispositions my students, colleagues, and I have examined include the low ego-involving attitudes of self-compassion, acceptance, and self-affirmation. High ego-involving dispositions we have studied include narcissistic personality, self-deceptive enhancement, egocentrism, defensiveness, and overconfidence. Threat situations we have studied include emotional experiences of shame and failure, interpersonal experiences of envy and perceived deprivation, and physical threats such as intense cold pressor pain. We have examined a wide range of outcomes including different forms of psychopathology (depression, anxiety), effectiveness in problem-solving under stress, and coping with a wide range of stressors. Currently, with Drs. Matt Keough and Michael Ellery, we are examining how addictive behaviors reflect high ego involvement responses to shame and distress.

Supervision research

What skills and competencies are necessary to be an effective supervisor? How do these competencies develop? What education and training experiences facilitate their development? What workplace influences encourage their continued maintenance and refinement? These are some of the central questions I have been exploring in this domain with my colleague, Dr. Don Stewart.

Course Information

I teach the following courses with varying frequency/regularity. If you are interested in taking one of these courses with me and would like to know about when it will be offered next please contact me.  
PSYC 2490 Abnormal Psychology  
In this course we survey the history and current conceptions of psychological disorders. You will learn how to identify the major psychological disorders, learn about their biological, psychological, and social causes, as well as the treatments and prognoses for these conditions.  Evaluation methods I have used in the past include multiple-choice tests, short-essay questions, and book, movie, or journal article reviews.     

PSYC 4564/7180 Self-Regulation and Health  
This combined graduate and honours undergraduate seminar course examines models of self-regulation, particularly the many factors that contribute to problems in self-regulation. We examine these models as they apply to a variety of physical and mental disorders such as overeating, addictions, chronic disease management, mood regulation, and personal achievement. You will design, carry out, and report on a self-change project for a health-related behavior. You will also learn how to make a presentation. Students will find it helpful (though not necessary) if they have taken any of the following courses prior to taking this course:  
PSYC 2490 Abnormal Psychology  
PSYC 2410/2420 Social Psychology  
PSYC 2440/2450 Behavior Modification  
PSYC 8090 Clinical Supervision in Psychology
This course provides a theoretical and practical introduction to clinical supervision for advanced clinical psychology students. The course spans the fall and winter terms and involves providing clinical supervision to beginning therapists under my supervision. Prerequisites: Clinical students should have completed a minimum of 2 practica.  

Ethics and Professional Issues in Psychology (PSYC 7520)

This course introduces students to ethical guidelines, reasoning, and decision-making as it relates to clinical psychology practice. The course also examines current issues facing the profession of clinical psychology. 

Foundations of Evidence-Based Treatment (PSYC 7320).

This course introduces students to the theory and practice of evidence-based treatment. Special attention is given to core therapeutic skills that promote treatment outcomes across therapeutic orientations.
Specialty practicum in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy  
This goal of this practicum is to develop students' skills in the application of CBT to the treatment of Mood and Anxiety Disorders in individuals. Students should have taken either PSYC 8340 (Cognitive Behavior Modification) or PSYC 8400 (Behavior Therapy) prior to or concurrent with taking the practicum. Clinical students interested in taking this practicum should contact me directly.  

Other courses I have taught but am not currently offering:
PSYC 8430 Cognitive Behavior Therapy 

PSYC 7140 Clinical Research Design  

PSYC 7310 Current Topics I:  Philosophical Problems in Clinical Psychology  


Current Graduate Students   

Elena Bilevicius joined me and her co-advisor Dr. Matt Keough, in September 2017 when she entered the clinical psychology program. Elena has previously completed a BA (Hons.) in psychology and MSc in Physiology at UM. Elena is examining the relationship between shame, solitary (vs. social) drinking, and alcohol use problems.

Nic Brais entered the Clinical Psychology program in Fall 2018 with myself and Dr. Dan Bailis as co-advisors. Nic will examine self-compassion as a personality trait and coping strategy.

Tara Conway completed the Masters program in 2014 and did her thesis on the mechanisms underlying the benefits of self-compassion as a self-help strategy for persons who are prone to feeling shame. Tara received a SSHRC CGS fellowship in 2013. She began the PhD program in 2015. She and I are also examining the factor structure of the Self-compassion Scale. Her PhD research will examine non-verbal indicators of shame and responsiveness to self-compassion. 
Former Graduate Students  

Michelle Choch Ph.D. 2017. Thesis title: Conceptualizing Postpartum Depression: Examining Cognitive Styles, Perceptions of Loss, and Relationship Maladjustment to Test the Distinction Hypothesis.

Matthew Decter Ph.D. 2010.Thesis title: Acceptance and Disengagement: Temporal, energetic, and pain recovery effects as costs of control in coping with pain. Dr. Decter is a registered psychologist in Manitoba.

Jason Ediger. Ph.D. 2006  
Ph.D. thesis: Meta-perceptive accuracy in social anxiety (Winner, CPA dissertation award). Dr. Ediger completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Health Psychology at Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre where he now works.  
Jeannette Filion-Rosset - Ph.D. 2004  
Ph.D. thesis title: Cognitive changes following cognitive-behavioral therapy for social phobia. Dr. Filion-Rosset is a registered psychologist in Manitoba working in private practice. 
Paul Freeman. Ph.D. 2004.  
Ph.D. thesis: Ruminative response to dysphoric mood: Behavioural and predictive validity of self-report. Dr. Freeman is a staff psychologist at Nova Scotia Hospital.  

Darren Neufeld Ph.D. 2017. Thesis title: How do you solve a problem like my envy? Self-affirmation as a potential envy-reducing intervention. Darren has published his research in the Journal of Personality and he has won the Department of Psychology's Vineberg Prize and the Alumni Clinical Psychology Research Award. 

Kim Nozick. MA 2016. Thesis: An Attachment-based model of compulsive hoarding.

Karen O'Brien Ph.D. 2017. Self-Affirmation and Social Anxiety: Affirming Values Reduces Anxiety and Avoidance. She and I have published a study of the effects of self-compassion on shame and other markers of threat in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology (Johnson & O'Brien, 2013).

Maggie Penfold Ph.D. 2016. Thesis: Aboriginal Students in Health Education Programs: A Focus on Professional Identity Development. Maggie received the Certificate of Academic Excellence from CPA for her outstanding dissertation. 

Yunqiao Wang Ph.D 2018. Thesis title: Obsessive Passion for Studying: Developmental Sources and Potential Resolutions. Yunqiao now works in Kingston, ON in Corrections.

Lydia Worobec MA 2016. Thesis: Self-criticism and self-compassion in university students: Origins and psychological correlates.

Current honours students  

Jennifer Setlack will complete her honours thesis with me in 2018-19 on the topic of mental health and self-compassion in fire fighters and paramedics. (Nic Brais is her co-advisor)
Former Honours Students

2012-13     Laryssa Bogucki; Saleha Alshehri

2010-11     Melanie Caister, School Psychologist, Manitoba

2009-10     Patrick Binne  (admitted to UM School Psychology program)
2007-08     R. Greenberg
2006-07     J. Gray, K. Nozick (winner, CPA thesis award), R. McCallum (current doctoral student, UM clinical psychology program)
2004-05     Jessica Byblow, School Psychologist, Manitoba
2002-03     Simon Wang (winner. TenHave award for best Honours thesis)  
1998-99     Jennifer Wood, Carrie Kruck  
1997-98     Derek Brown, currently Associate Professor of Philosophy at Brandon University; Nicola Brown, currently Director of Training, CAM-H psychology residency, Toronto. 
1996-97     Shannon Parkinson, James Loewen  
1995-95     Anna-Lisa Ciccocioppo, Currently staff psychologist U. Calgary Counselling centre; John Koonz; Gordon O'Connell