Get Social Media Savvy: What Every Adult Working with Youth Should Know about Social Media – June 14, 2019

Presenters:  Melissa J. Johnson, PhD,  Vicki Chiang, PsyD,  Paige Hobey, MA 

Who are the top users of social media in the U.S.?  You got it – teen girls!

Social media provides a unique tool for teens to stay connected 24/7 – and 70% receive support from others on social media during tough times. Add the dopamine jolts from getting “likes,” the freedom to interact independent from parents, and the entertainment value of apps literally designed to hook us – and it’s hard to resist.   How can teens enjoy the benefits while maintaining a healthy balance and managing the tough stuff – like those not-so-tactful group texts and why-wasn’t-I-invited photos?

We’ve received so many recent requests from educators and mental health professionals hoping to offer the right support around social media.  So, our clinical team came together and designed a unique, interactive training session. The course offers three hours of continuing education credits for California therapists.

  • What every educator and mental health professional should know about social media – from popular apps to the latest stats
  • How to offer teens the right support and help set healthy boundaries
  • Fostering social connections without screens
  • Recommended resources, apps and guidelines

Scroll down for course OBJECTIVES

When: June 14, 2019

Time:  9:00am – 12 noon

Location: Institute for Girls’ Development, 95 N. Marengo Ave, Suite 100, Pasadena, CA

CE units: 3.0

Course Level:  Intermediate

Cost:  $110

• $95 Early Bird Rate until May 30
• $55 Student Rate
• $10 Group Discount

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


1. Identify at least two benefits of social media for youth and at least two aspects of social media that can negatively affect youth.

2. Identify at least two online resources for educational content (lessons, activities videos, etc) that can be used with groups of kids to support social and emotional development in relation to social media

3. Describe two digital citizenship activities that can be used with youth

4. Describe how to use the Consultant Model of communication with youth

5. Identify at least three steps parents can take to develop their Family Tech Plan


9:00  Introduction to the training by Dr. Johnson

Introductions of the training team

Agenda/Overview of the training

Disclaimers/Conflict of Interest Statements

9:15     Introductory Small Group Activity 1:  Positive social media experiences (Dr. Vicki Chiang)

9:30     Introduction to research and statistics on social media use and impact (Paige Hobey)

9:40     Common Sense Media Video: Let’s hear from teens!

9:45     Activity 2: Carousel – Stats and Facts (Dr. Chiang and Paige Hobey)

10:05   More about the research: what we know and what we don’t (Dr. Johnson)

Priorities for mental health professionals and educators: Goals for interventions

10:30   Assessing individual differences: Dandelions and Orchids (Dr. Johnson)

10:40   Enhancing Social and Emotional Learning in the age of social media (Dr. Johnson)

10:50   Fostering Digital Citizenship (Dr. Johnson)

Video from Common Sense Media

The “Resistance” model developed by Dr. Victoria Janey Ward

Vetting Apps

11:00   Fostering Balance and Mindfulness in the age of social media (Dr. Chiang and Paige Hobey)

Developing Balance:

Common Sense Media video

Healthy Mind Platter from Dr. Dan Siegel

Activity 3: My Media use

Developing Mindfulness

Common Sense Media Video

Mindfulness with Tech

Activity 4: Mindful Awareness and Tech

11:25   Enhancing communication with pre teens and teens using the Consultant Model (Dr. Johnson)

11:35   Assisting individuals and families to develop their Tech Plans (Dr. Chiang)

Activity 6: Teen Personal Tech Plan Exercise

11:50   Closing Activity  (Dr. Johnson)



Melissa J. Johnson, Ph.D., licensed psychologist (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, providing empowerment opportunities for individuals, groups and communities. 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.  In recent years, there has been increasing interest by families, schools, and districts to find effective ways to address social media impact on youth.  Dr. Johnson regularly consults and trains on the topic of social media and youth.  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.  The book Stand Up! Speak Out!™ Empowering Skills for Girls’ Friendships: The Essential Guide for Educators and Others Who Work with Girls is now available to provide practical tools for those who mentor girls.

Dr. Johnson has been recognized with numerous awards for her work in psychology and the community.. Dr. Johnson has been recognized by the state of California as an Outstanding Women in Business award winner in 2011. The Junior League of Pasadena named Dr. Johnson as their 2012 honoree for her contributions to the Pasadena community.  And the San Gabriel Valley Psychological Association awarded Dr. Johnson a lifetime achievement award in 2014.  Dr. Johnson is former Interim Chair of the Masters Programs in Counseling at the University of La Verne and has served as an adjunct faculty member at both the University of La Verne and the University of Southern California.    Dr. Johnson is dedicated to education, as a therapist, as a supervisor, and as a consultant for educators and mental health professionals. In fact, she is proud of the fact that she is a 4th generation educator.  As a senior faculty member of the Institute’s training program, she delights in creating innovative learning opportunities. She is a sought after speaker on both coasts of the U.S. 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. Dr. Johnson’s book chapter, Girls In-Between: Social, Emotional, Physical and Sexual Development in Context was released in 2014 in the Springer publication, Maternal Mental Health Across the Life Span.


Dr. Vicki Chiang is a psychologist and Clinical Director of the Child and Adolescent Specialty (C.A.S.P.) at the Institute for Girls’ Development. She serves on the Leadership Team and is on the Training Faculty at the Institute. She is known in the community for her dedication to changing the conversation about gender and social/emotional learning for girls and boys.  Dr. Chiang is a sought-after speaker who enjoys talking to communities about parenting, emotion regulation and social media using a combination of her clinical and personal experiences.

Dr. Chiang’s passion for helping children was solidified during her college years when she volunteered as a cabin counselor at Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times. She eventually became a Unit Director at Camp Ronald McDonald, training and supervising volunteer staff. During her clinical training in psychology, Dr. Chiang worked in an after-school program in San Francisco providing outreach to Chinese immigrant families. Before coming to the Institute, Dr. Chiang provided psychological services at The Help Group in an L.A. County nonpublic school.  In that setting, Dr. Chiang worked side by side with teachers helping children diagnosed with learning disabilities, ADHD, and other social and emotional challenges to have a more positive and empowering school experience.

At the Institute, Dr. Chiang has a passion for working with parents and helping them navigate the journey of parenthood with mindfulness and confidence. Dr. Chiang also specializes in helping girls and parents improve home and school life during the early years. This includes navigating the special education system, including identifying learning differences and attention issues, and/or social challenges. Through her work as a psychologist, Dr. Chiang has found collaborations with educators, school administrators and youth program providers to be integral to her work. Dr. Chiang also has a passion for bringing education into the world of mental health through delivering workshops to parents and teachers as well as training and supervising the Institute’s pre-licensed therapists and leadership interns.

Education also plays a role in Dr. Chiang’s personal life.  She is married to an elementary school administrator and has firsthand knowledge of the fun and challenges that come with being on the front lines in educating children today.  In addition, she is a mom to two young students, ages 10 and 6, who are her greatest teachers

Paige Hobey, M.A. is the Institute’s Director of Community Education and Outreach.   She is passionate about the work the Institute does helping girls, their families and their circles of community acquire the skills they need to build confidence, compassion, effective communication skills and healthy relationships.  Paige has seen the complex influences of social media, both working with girls and as a parent, and she is excited to help empower educators and therapists with the latest information and strategies to foster a healthy social media balance.

Paige brings her passion for empowering girls and families, and her experience in education, to developing program curriculum on a wide variety of relevant topics, including girls’ friendships, communication and conflict resolution skills, body positivity, social media balance, self-care and stress reduction.  She and her team lead many of the Institute’s workshops and parent talks, including our summer workshops on girls’ friendships.  Paige coordinates the Institute’s collaboration with schools, assisting in building strong social and emotional learning components in education.  She organizes community events at the Institute, including documentary film screenings and speakers, and trains our workshop facilitator team.  Paige has written extensively on parenting issues, including her book The Working Gal’s Guide to Babyville, and she has a background in education and communications.   She has an M.A. and a B.A. in Communications from Northwestern University.   Paige is also a parent of three, including two teens, and an active volunteer.  Her experiences both as an educator and a parent inform her work with families.

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).


Please call 626-585-8075 x116 (Sofia Brewer) or If you email, please refer to this workshop in your subject line.


The building and room for this event are wheel-chair accessible.  Please contact us if you need any other accommodations.  Lunch is provided by the Institute for Girls’ Development and will include vegetarian and gluten-free options.  Please contact us if you have any other dietary needs:  626-585-8075 x116 (Sofia Brewer) or  If you email, please refer to this workshop in your subject line.

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