Empowering girls and women for life.
  • Therapy and educational services for today’s girls, women, families and professionals

    Welcome to the Institute for Girls’ Development!

    Established in 2004, the Institute is dedicated to empowering girls, women, families, and their circles of community through engaged, strength-based programs. Our services include educational workshops for girls and parents, professional trainings for educators, mental health professionals, and others, as well as a wide range of therapeutic services. To learn more about our educational workshops for girls and parents or our Training Institute for professionals, visit our Education link above or in the main menu under Services.

    Therapy and Assessment: Our expert clinicians offer caring and comprehensive therapy for girls, women, and families. We draw on research-based, relational approaches that have been found to help. Individual, family and group therapy options are designed to restore zest, encourage meaningful connections and foster skills for hardiness, mindfulness and authenticity. We collaborate with you to determine the best methods to assist you and/or your daughter to heal and reach goals. We work with girls from 0 on up into adulthood. The box (right) lists our range of programs. Explore our site to learn more — or call us at 626.585.8075, ext 108.

  • Fun workshops and professional training

    Stand Up! Speak Out!®

    Stand Up! Stretch Out! Family Adventures



    Mindfulness Tools

    Stand Up! Speak Out!Curriculum Training


    Our workshops for parents and caregivers provide practical tools and great information in a comfortable, fun, supportive environment.

    Planning for summer? Check out our summer workshops for elementary and middle school girls. We offer Stand Up! Speak Out!® for girls entering 3rd-5th grades, and Stand Up! Stretch Out! Family Adventures for girls entering 3rd-5th grades and their parents or adult caregivers!

    About Our Training Institute: Our Training Institute is part of our initiative to share expertise with fellow professionals in mental health, education, and organizations serving girls and women. We offer engaging, effective trainings covering a range of topics — including continuing education programs available for mental health professionals. You can register online for our summer educator trainings, Stand Up! Speak Out!™ Curriculum Training; or Mindfulness Tools: Helping Children & Teens Stress Less & Connect More.

  • Shop our new online store for insightful products and great gifts!


    The Institute is pleased to announce the addition of our NEW store featuring unique gifts and accessories as well as a convenient place to register and pay for workshops and training courses. Visit us often as we grow our product line in the months to come!

    Take me to the store…


  • Come visit our all new site – just for girls!

    For Girls Only

    For Girls Only is the Institute’s new website designed for girls, with empowering, age-appropriate articles and activities to read, learn and explore! It’s almost ready; sign up for our newsletter and you’ll be the first to hear when it launches!





Free IFGD Talks

Join us this Fall & Spring! Dr. Melissa Johnson, Founder, CEO and Psychologist, will be giving several FREE talks in the community and at the Institute. Dr. Vicki Chiang, Clinical Director and Faculty Member of the Child and Adolescent Specialty Practice, will also be giving a talk on fostering emotional IQ in your child. Additional topics include Cliques, Conflicts, Connections, Grit, etc. Families, educators, and all caring adults, we invite you to come out and bring your questions, curiosity, and care. Click here to learn more!


family counseling therapy for girls teens women
Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Many teens struggle with intense emotions. Along with overwhelming feelings, teens may experience symptoms and behaviors that are worrisome: panic attacks; tearful, angry outbursts; self-injury; suicidal thoughts. They may have difficulty focusing on school or maintaining meaningful relationships. DBT is a type of treatment that has been found to help teens build skills to effectively deal with strong feelings and relationship challenges. Our DBT program provides individual, group, and family therapies, as well as skills coaching. Watch this video to learn more about DBT.

Watch Video: What is DBT?


IFGD Gender Inclusion Statement

Here at the Institute, we find that parents, teens and young adults are asking more frequently about services for youth who may be questioning or who may not identify with their gender assigned at birth.  We thought it would be helpful to share about our approach to working with gender diversity.  This spectrum of gender diversity includes but is not limited to gender non-conforming, transgender, non-binary and gender-questioning youth. We describe our practice here at the Institute as trans affirmative. Read our complete statement here. Read about our Rainbow Grit Group for LGBTQ teens here.


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