Hardiness Zones for Girls: Best Practices for Helping Girls Thrive at School and After School – July 12, 2016

Presenters: Melissa J. Johnson, PhD and Vicki Chiang, PsyD

Date: Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Professionals who work with teen girls in mental health, education and after-school programs often ask how they can help girls thrive in today’s complex world. This course is designed to provide attendees with current information on the biggest issues facing teen girls today – and ways to develop hardiness and advocacy in the face of these challenges. Using a 3-tier public health model, we will look at best practices in girls’ programming for systems such as schools and youth organizations, as well as for meeting the needs of individual and small groups of girls. Each year we offer panels on specific topics – this year we have two panels incorporated into the 1-day training: (1) Hardiness Zones for girls struggling with self-injury and other expressions of emotional dysregulation and (2) Hardiness Zones for gender non-conforming and trans youth. Participants will have the opportunity to work in small groups to examine practical ways to implement hardiness practices in their professional environments.

Time: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm (sign in and light breakfast from 8:30 to 9:00)

Location: 95 N. Marengo Avenue, Suite 100, Pasadena, CA 91101

CE Credit: 6.0 hours of CE credit (Psychologists and those licensed by the California BBS)

Cost: $200 ($175 with early registration) (includes morning snack and lunch).

An additional charge of $25 is added if you wish CE credit.

Level: Intermediate


At the end of this program participants will be able to

∙ Identify three of the biggest issues facing teen girls today and describe the ways these issues can influence social and emotional development.

∙ Identify at least one way to promote hardiness in a system like a school of after-school program.

∙ Identify at least two ways to promote hardiness with small groups and/or individual girls.

∙ Identify at least one mindfulness activity that can be helpful for promoting hardiness.

∙ Describe at least one example of teen advocacy


Melissa J. Johnson, Ph.D. (PSY 13102), Dr. Johnson 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 30 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 youth draws together contemporary research in neuroscience, mind/body health, and evidence based interventions in mindfulness and social & emotional intelligence.

Dr. Johnson has been recognized by the State of California as an Outstanding Women in Business award winner in 2011. 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 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.

Vicki Chiang, Psy.D. (PSY 21136) has worked in the mental health field with adolescents and their families since 2000, fostering a passion for working with girls, women and parents in identifying strengths and building self confidence, empowerment and healthy self expression.
She is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University (major: Psychology; minor: Asian Pacific American Studies) and received her Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychologyfrom the California School of Professional Psychology — Alliant International University.

Dr. Chiang is currently employed at the Institute for Girls’ Development where her specialties include coaching parents in finding solutions that work for their family; strengthening attachment and bonding between infants and caregivers; relational play therapy for the early childhood population; empowering new and expectant parents to cope with life transitions; developing strong coping skills to withstand life’s challenges; promoting self confidence and empowerment; fostering skills for living in a bicultural environment; helping immigrant families deal with acculturation issues, bicultural identities and cross-generation communication; building skills to manage ADHD, learning disabilities, academic stress, anxiety, and depression; developing positive body image and strong inner voice; and developing healthy relationships and decision making skills. Her experience includes numerous professional presentations.

To download a Registration form, please click on this button


8:30 – 9:00 Registration and light breakfast

9:00 – 9:20 Welcome and Introductions of Presenters, Overview of the Training

9:20 – 9:35 Opening Mindfulness Activity

9:35 – 10:40 Girls In-between and In Context: the Social, Emotional, Physical and Socio-Cultural Lives of Teen Girls

Participants discuss and gain information about some of the biggest issues facing teen girls today including body image, media messages and gender stereotypes, internet, sexism/racism/homophobia/poverty, social cruelty, sexual harassment and assault, mental health issues in family, peers, and the lives of girls

10:40 – 10:50 Break

10:50 – 10:55 Brain break activity

10:55 – 11:25 Theory and Research on Hardiness for teen girls

This discussion will examine the theory and research on hardiness and the ways this translates to best practices in girls’ programming as it is reflected in the literature. Emphasis will be placed on the role of relational resilience, resistance, emotional regulation and mindfulness in developing hardiness. Building Hardiness Using a 3-Tier Public Health Model (universal, selected group, and individualized interventions) will be included.

11:25 – 11:45 Environments that support emotional regulation – Dr. Vicki Chiang

11:45 – 12:15 Marissa Lee, MA, LMFT on Hardiness Zones for Helping Girls with Self-Injury and Emotional Dysregulation: DBT

12:15 – 12:30 Mindfulness Activity and Observations

12:30 – 1:00 Lunch and videos

1:00 – 1:05 Mindful Movement

1:05 – 2:20 Building Hardiness for Gender Non-Conforming and Trans Youth – Panel

Betsy Hangar

2:20 – 2:30 Break

2:30 – 2:35 Brain Break activity

2:35 – 3:25 Discussion: How do I take this back to my school, practice or organization?

3:25 – 4:00 Closing discussion and Q/A

4:00 Evaluations and Dismissal

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 continuing education activities.


To withdraw from a course your request must be in writing and FAXed or postmarked at least 5 days prior to the 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. Please call Dr. Cooper (626-744-9472) for information about this option.


The building and room for this event are wheel-chair accessible. Please contact us if you need any other accommodations. A light breakfast and lunch are 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 (Susan Carrier) or scarrier@InstituteForGirlsDevelopment.com. If you email, please refer to this workshop in your subject line.


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