Meet Melissa Johnson, PhD

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Meet Melissa Johnson, PhD

I'm Dr. Melissa Johnson, a psychologist, educator, writer and the CEO and founder of the Institute for Girl’s Development in Pasadena, California. People often ask me how I came to dedicate my life to working with girls and women. Having come from a family of strong women, I have amazing role models. Early in my psychology career, I went on retreat to think about the work that I wanted to do for a lifetime. Empowering girls and women to find their authentic voices and their zest for life is the most meaningful work that I can do. The things that sustain me and give me my zest for life along with the privilege with that work is writing, my yoga practice, teaching meditation, and time and nature.
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Melissa Johnson, PhD


Melissa J. Johnson, PhD, licensed psychologist, is the founder and CEO of the Institute for Girl’s Development in Pasadena, CA. An expert in child and teen development, Dr, Johnson holds a master's degree in Education and a Doctorate in Counseling Psychology. Dr. Johnson has worked with children and teens for over 30 years. At the Institute. Dr. Johnson and her team deliver strength-based therapy, inspiring education programs and consultation with schools and districts to help create positive school climates. Dr. Johnson's approach to raising and mentoring youth draws together contemporary research in neuroscience and mind/body health, and evidence based interventions in mindfulness and social and emotional intelligence.

Dr. Johnson was recognized by the State of California with an Outstanding Women in Business award winner in 2011. Dr. Johnson is a former Interim Chair of the Maters Programs in counseling at the University of La Verne and has served as an adjunct faculty member at both the University of La Verve and the University of Southern California. Dr. Jonson is a welcomed local and national speaker. Her peer-reviewed publications have appeared in the Journal of Humanistic Psychology and Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. Her numerous articles about raising strong girls have appeared in community online blogs and newsletters.

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