Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

First impressions can take only 6 seconds to make! But if you’re neurodivergent, those quick judgments about you can be misleading.

That’s where the Beyond 6 Seconds podcast comes in! Join me, Carolyn Kiel, as I talk with neurodivergent entrepreneurs, creators, advocates & more about their lives and identities. Their stories shatter misconceptions, break stigma and showcase the vibrance of neurodiversity.

Subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, YouTubeSpotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, PandoraTuneIn, iHeartRadio or Android, so you never miss an episode! 

Sign up for my free newsletter to become a Beyond 6 Seconds Insider and get early access to new episodes! Plus, as a special thank you, you'll get immediate access to download the FREE Beyond 6 Seconds list of autism resources!

Are you interested in being a guest on Beyond 6 Seconds? Click here to apply!

Learn how you can support this podcast and get a shout-out on a future episode!

Recognition for Beyond 6 Seconds:

  • Ambie Awards 2024: Nominee - Best DIY Podcast
  • Signal Award Gold Winner and Listener's Choice Winner: 2023 Best Individual Episode - Best Conversation Starter 
  • Positive Change Podcast Awards 2022: First Place Winner - Diversity, Equity & Inclusion category
  • Positive Change Podcast Awards 2022: First Place Winner - Personal Journal category
  • Positive Change Podcast Awards 2022: First Place Winner - Mental Health category
  • Positive Change Podcast Awards 2022: Second Place Winner - Inspiration/Motivation category
  • Positive Change Podcast Awards 2022: Second Place Winner - Psychology category
  • Signal Award Silver Winner: 2022 Best Individual Episode - Diversity, Equity & Inclusion 
  • W3 Award Gold Winner: 2022 Podcasts General Series - Community 
  • W3 Award Silver Winner (x2): 2022 Podcast Features - Best Individual Episode
  • International Women's Podcast Association: 2022 Shortlist - "Moment of Raw Emotion" Episode Category

Apr 17, 2023

Janelle Johnson, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), is a wife, mother, and Founder of Bridges Family Life Center, a Systemic Therapy and Consulting group practice near Raleigh, North Carolina. An award-winning educator and innovative mental health leader, she is often sought out for her social justice advocacy regarding intersectionality of ableism, sexism, and racism. She currently serves as President of the NC Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. A graduate of NC State University and Chapman University, she has returned to her first alma mater as a doctoral student in the Educational Equity program.   

During this episode, you will hear Janelle talk about:

  • How she discovered she was autistic during an interaction with one of her clients
  • Her experience in school as an undiagnosed autistic child
  • How the struggles of a family friend sparked her lifelong interest in psychology
  • The importance of having Black and brown therapists who can support Black and brown clients
  • How she became a doctoral student in the Educational Equity program, researching the intersectionality of disability and race
  • Her personal experience with unmasking as a Black autistic woman and code-switching
  • How she teaches leadership teams how to have conversations about race, disability, and other challenging topics in ways that build organizational culture and connection

Find out more about Janelle and her work at the website for Bridges Family Life Center (her therapy and consulting group practice), on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Learn more about FACES for Autism, the advocacy and empowerment program for Black families raising autistic children that Janelle partners with as part of her doctoral research.

Watch the video of this interview on YouTube!

Subscribe to the FREE Beyond 6 Seconds newsletter for early access to new episodes!

Support this podcast at and get a shout-out on a future episode!

Read the episode transcript.

This episode features a promo for The Other Autism, a podcast hosted by Kristen Hovet that explores late-diagnosed autism, with a focus on autistic women. Listen to The Other Autism at or on your favorite podcast app.

*Disclaimer: The views, guidance, opinions, and thoughts expressed in Beyond 6 Seconds episodes are solely mine and/or those of my guests, and do not necessarily represent those of my employer or other organizations.*