STAND UP! SPEAK OUT!® – July, 2018

Train to Use the Essential Curriculum for Educators, Counselors, Program Leaders,  and Others Who Work With Girls  (Ages 8-13).  Curriculum designed for girls ages 8 to 13; can be modified for older and younger girls.

Presenters:  Melissa Johnson, PhD and Vicki Chiang, PsyD

“When we talk to teachers, school counselors, mental health professionals, and youth program leaders, the conversation quickly turns to the social world of girls,” observes Dr. Melissa J. Johnson and Dr. Vicki Chiang, experts on girls’ social and emotional development and leaders at the Institute for Girls’ Development. Dr. Johnson and Dr. Chiang have worked for decades in educational and therapeutic settings. They and their Institute team have delivered groups and workshops for thousands of girls. Based on cutting edge research and the experiences of real girls, the Stand Up! Speak Out!® curriculum guides therapists, educators and youth program leaders in skills to navigate the important and complex world of friendship and social relationships with assertiveness, compassion and self-care.
You will gain:

  • Information about the social world of girls from socio-cultural and developmental perspectives, including the impact of gender stereotypes on girls and boys
  • Practical insight into the roles girls play in situations of relational aggression – target, aggressor, bold bystander
  • Effective tools to help girls move from conflict to solidarity and compassion
  • Fun, useful resources for calming strong emotions
  • Research-based mindfulness exercises that can be used everyday
  • Dynamic and creative activities to enhance discussions and skill-acquisition
  • Tips and practice in delivering the Stand Up! Speak Out! curriculum to your particular group of girls

When: July 20-21, 2017 (Thursday & Friday)

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

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

CE units:  12.0

Course Level:  Intermediate.  This course will be useful for school counselors, school psychologists and educators as well as those who lead activities for girls and those who work therapeutically with girls.

Learning Modalities:  Attendees learn through demonstrations, videos, breakout sessions, presentations, and experiential activities. All participants receive a training packet with resources.

Cost:  Standard rate $540
Early Bird $495
Group rate for 3 or more $465
Student Rate $330

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 of the biggest friendship issues facing girls today and describe the ways these issues can impact social and emotional development
  • Identify 1 way to promote positive friendships in a system like a school or after school program
  • Identify 1 mindfulness activity that can be helpful for promoting positive friendships
  • Identify one way that gender stereotypes negatively impact the social connections of children of all genders
  • Identify one research-based skill that children and teens can use to support emotional regulation
  • Identify 2 ways to promote assertiveness and compassion with small groups and/or individual girls
  • Identify one social skill that children and teens can use when they are in the position of bystander
  • Identify one social skill that children and teens can use as an alternative to being mean or hurtful
  • Describe one activity that can help children and teens effectively deal with “being in the middle” of social conflict
  • Identify one way of involving parents and families to help children and teens navigate their social worlds
  • Identify one advocacy action to help make positive changes in the therapy, school or after-school climate


DAY 1:  July 19, 2018

8:30 – 9:00    Registration and light breakfast

9:00 – 9:15     Welcome and overview of the training – Dr. Melissa Johnson and Dr. Vicki Chiang

9:15 – 10:05     Opening mindfulness and introductions – Dr. Melissa Johnson

10:05 – 10:20   Benefits and challenges of friendship – Dr. Vicki Chiang

10:20 – 10:45   Activity about conflict – Dr Vicki Chiang

10:45 – 11:00   Break

11:00 – 11:25   Introduction to Social Aggression, the Roles, and the skill of brave/straight talk

11: 25 – 11:55  Connection, Conflict and Resistance in Context – Dr. Melissa Johnson

11:55 – 12:30   Experiential Activities and Tips VIDEO – Dr. Chiang

12:30 – 1:00   Lunch

1:00 – 1:10     Movement Mindfulness – Dr. Vicki Chiang

1:10 – 1:25    More about the Roles and the Voices: VIDEOS – Dr. Melissa Johnson

1:25 – 1:45     Activity

1:45 – 2:15     Taking Care of the Emotional World: Cool tools for therapeutic group and classroom use. – Dr. Vicki Chiang

2:15 – 2:30    Break

2:30 – 2:40     More Tips for Trainers – Dr Chiang and Dr. Johnson

2:40 – 3:05     Training activities in teams – Dr. Melissa Johnson

3:05 – 3:45     Presentations/Demonstration from teams

3:45 – 4:00     Closing Circle and End of the Day Evaluations for speakers

DAY 2: July 20, 2018

8:30 – 9:00     Sign in and light breakfast

9:00 – 9:20     Opening mindfulness – Dr. Melissa Johnson on Fostering compassion

9:20 – 9:35     Review Feedback Forms from Day 1

9:35 – 10:45    “They’re being mean!” Skills for kids to use when they are targeted or in the bystander role – Dr. Johnson

10:45 – 11:00   Break

11:00 – 11:50   “Not in the Middle” Skills for spoon-ish situations and anger management skills – Dr. Chiang

11:50 – 12:00   Brain break/energizing mindful movement activity – Dr. Chiang

12:00 – 12:30   Activities and demonstrations

12:30 – 1:00   Lunch

1:00 – 1:10     Game – Dr. Vicki Chiang

1:10 – 2:00    Advocacy, Change and More Tips for Trainers – in mental health, education, community, with families – Dr. Chiang and Dr. Johnson

2:00 – 2:30     Applications and delivery

2:30     Break

2:45 – 3:35     Break out sessions – How do I take this back to my school, organization or practice? 

3:35 – 4:00     Closing Circle and wrap up

4:00     Evaluation forms collected


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.  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.

Vicki Chiang, Psy.D. 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 an expert, known in the community for her dedication to changing the conversation about gender and social/emotional learning for girls and boys.  “In my daily work with young families I have learned that two powerful sources of influence for children are their home and school community. It is my passion to help families navigate those two worlds and improve those connections so that they can feel empowered and develop a sense of peace and belonging.”

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 outreaching to Chinese immigrant families. Before coming to the Institute, Dr. Chiang provided psychological services at The Help Group here in L.A. County in one of their nonpublic schools.  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.

Here 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 desire 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 also a mom to two very young students (ages 7 and 4) who are just starting their education journey.


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 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.  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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