BODY LIBERATION: Building grit, resilience and community – July 21, 2023

Presenters:  Melissa Johnson, PhD and Angela Youngs, PsyD

CE units:  2.0

Location: Zoom

Brief Goal:  Using the Body Liberation framework, we can help our clients, students, and ourselves find freedom from oppressive cultural body messages while recognizing our value is not determined by societal systems. We are valuable as we are, right now, in this moment.

When: July 21, 2023 (Friday)

Time:  9:00am – 11:00am  (Sign in  8:45 – 9:00)

Course Level:  Intermediate.  This course will be useful for Psychologists and other mental health professionals as well as school counselors, school psychologists, educators, school counselors, and youth program leaders

Cost: Early bird cost is $105; $120 after June 16.

Please go to the registration page on the Institute for Girls’ Development website for more details.

Click here to go to an Institute for Girls’ Development registration page


Attendees will be able to:

  • identify 3 socio-cultural factors that impact how girls and women
    feel about their bodies.
  • briefly describe 1 theoretical lens that supports the Body Liberation
    framework and its related clinical interventions
  • identify 3 interventions that they can apply with clients to foster
    Body Liberation.


JULY 21, 2023

9:00 – 9:15           Welcome, What you will learn today, Our identity stories

9:15 – 9:30           Experiential Activity for group learning and discussion

9:30 – 9:45           Body Liberation – contributions from Liberation Psychology, Health At Every Size, Body Positivity, and Janie Victoria Ward

9:45 – 10:05        Experiential Activity and application of a Body Liberation approach to the activity

10:05 10:45          Tips and Tools for integrating internal work with empowerment and social justice

10:45 – 11:00      Dialogue about take-aways – evaluation forms

RESOURCES of interest

Comas-Diaz, L & Rivera, E.T. (Ed.) (2020) Liberation Psychology: Theory, Method, Practice, and Social Justice. American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.

Harrison, C (2019) Anti-Diet: Reclaim your time, money, well-being, and happiness through intuitive eating. Little Brown and Company, New York, New York.

Ladau, E. (2021). Demystifying Disability: What to know, what to say, and how to be an ally. Ten Speed Press, California and New York.


Melissa J. Johnson, PhD (she/her) (PSY 13102), is the founder & CEO of the Institute for Girls’ Development in Pasadena, CA. An expert on child and teen development with a Masters in Education and Doctorate in Counseling Psychology, Dr. Johnson has worked with children and teens for over 35 years. At the Institute, Dr. Johnson and her team deliver strength-based therapy, inspiring educational programs, and consultation with schools and districts to help create positive school climates. Dr. Johnson’s approach to raising and mentoring girls draws together contemporary research in neuroscience, mind/body health, and evidence-based interventions in mindfulness and social and emotional intelligence. She is the recipient of numerous awards for her work with girls, a prolific writer and an inspiring public speaker and trainer. The book Stand Up! Speak Out!™ Empowering Skills for Girls’ Friendships: The Essential Guide for Educators and Others Who Work with Girls is available to provide practical tools for those who mentor girls.

Angela Youngs, PsyD (she/her) (PSB #94026258) is a psychological associate and current group therapy coordinator at The Institute for Girls Development. Dr. Youngs earned her Doctorate in Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, IL. She has also earned her Master’s degree in clinical psychology from Murray State University in Murray, KY. Throughout her career, Dr. Youngs has worked in a variety of clinical settings, including community mental health, schools, residential, and college counseling. She has dedicated her current practice to supporting girls, teens, and young women in their journeys of discovery, empowerment, growth through individual, family, and group therapy. She is particularly passionate about work related to one’s relationship with food and body. Dr. Youngs incorporates attachment and relational-based approaches, mindfulness, self-compassion, the exploration of cultural influences and intersecting identities, and cognitive approaches in her work.

Illuminated Education is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Illuminated Education maintains the responsibility for this program and its content.

The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts APA approval for CE activities for  MFTs, LCSWs, LPPCs and/or LEPs.

Outside of California, please check with your licensing board to see whether APA approval is accepted for CE credit in your state.  Please call Dr. Cooper if you have further questions (626-744-9472).

REFUNDS:  To withdraw from a course your request must be in writing and and emailed at least 5 days prior to the first day of the course. A refund (minus a $20 handling fee) will be issued within 10 days – or you may be able to transfer your entire registration fee to another upcoming course.  If you cannot attend because of illness or emergency and are unable to notify us 5 days prior to the course date, you may be able to transfer your registration fee to an upcoming course.

ACCOMMODATIONS AND SPECIAL REQUESTS  Please contact us if you need any accommodations.

CONTACT INFORMATION  Please call 626.585.8075 ext. 121 or e-mail Paige Hobey at, with questions about the program and for registration information. For questions about Continuing Education credit, please call Dr. Chris Cooper (626-744-9472) or email at .

If you email, please refer to this workshop in your subject line.

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