These sessions are 60-75 minutes of content with an allowance for 15-30 minutes of Q/A, discussion or participation depending on audience size and the goals of the hiring organization. 

Live and Lead with G.R.I.T.

Pluck. Moxy. Determination in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. “Grit” is a term used by educational czars, cross fit instructors and business leaders in reference to personal gains, athletic prowess, market acumen and physical feats the boggle the mind. Science indicates that the power of perception may trump raw physical and intellectual ability. In other words-all those burpees mean nothing if your head is not right!

Gratitude. Responsibility. Intention. Toughness.

G.R.I.T represents FOUR CORE FACTORS that Dr. Melissa has researched, observed, trained, taught and practiced herself. Learn what these FOUR CORE FACTORS look like in yourself and others (you may be surprised) and leave with action items to try and achieve your goals with G.R.I.T.

Ideal Audience: This keynote has been well received in a broad range of contexts with thousands of diverse attendees. 

Imposter Syndrome 2.0

Have you ever found yourself focusing on what you screwed up, rather than what you accomplished? Have you ever felt that somehow you landed where you are by some sort of error? Have you ever sat in a meeting and thought "I am not sure I belong here."?

Imposter Syndrome as a concept was birthed in the late 70s in reference to women who had achieved great success but somehow were unable to internalize and "own" it. We are well into the start of the 21st century and the term has experienced a sort of re-emergence. Just as many men talk about this now as women! Social media, virtual work contexts, collaboration on projects without any in-person communication, cultural shifts around values and the anxious brain can lead to what Dr. Melissa calls "Imposter Syndrome 2.0". 

Fortunately, it can be tackled and conquered. Come learn how to do this for yourself, and for others.

Queen Bee Syndrome 2.0

Every female executive I have EVER coached can share a story of a female colleague actively working to sabotage her. We think we know what this is about…but do we? Men actively work against each other and we do not have a “syndrome” for it?!

Still. There is something unique about the experience for women that deserves its own examination. Come learn with QBS is, what it is NOT, and how to manage yourself and others through the experience.

Life Launch for the NEXT GENERATION

No syllabi, no course of study, no advisor, …sounds delightful, right? The power to design your day and roadmap your life will soon be in your hands! We believe in you...but have you given much thought to your frustration tolerance? How about your impression management skills? Do you know how to set a pace for your day, your week, or even your year without the marker of “end of semester” finish line? Come to arm yourself with tools, techniques and tactics to leverage your final days of “now” for a better “next”.

Ideal Audience: This 60 minute keynote is customized for graduates in a wide range of sectors. 

***Many graduates in the 21st Century have had the blessing/curse of being “snow plow parented”. That is-adults and authority figures in their lives have been so committed to their success that they have removed barriers, frustrations, psychological uncomfortableness and disappointments in unprecedented ways. We had good intentions! We just screwed it up and gave birth to unprecedented levels of anxiety. Life Launch challenges graduates to be open to the radical possibility that the most important things to learn have yet to reveal themselves. Believe me when I tell you, the millennials and gen Zers are going to save US from ourselves if we can add some #grit to their repertoire. 

You Can be Nice or You Can Be Happy-Pick One.

“Boundaries” are an oft mentioned term in psychology circles and it has entered the pop cultural lexicon, but do you know what they REALLY are? Do you identify and deploy your boundaries strategically? This facetiously titled keynote tackles tough topics with humor and challenges attendees to flex new mental muscles and take risks in relationships in productive ways. Learn definitions, tactics and how to cultivate a mind set to effortlessly and instinctually set healthy boundaries.

Ideal Audience: This 60 minute keynote is relevant for any gathering with a focus on growth, prosperity, and wellness in personal or professional arenas.

NEXT GENERATION Emotional Intelligence: What it IS, what it is NOT and why not knowing the difference WILL cost you.

Awareness of one’s own emotions and ability to recognize emotions in others is only the beginning-They are necessary but not sufficient capacities! I have spent thousands of hours with individuals and couples in therapy and no relationship has ever imploded because of emotions. Similarly, I have never seen anyone get fired because of their feelings. Relationships implode and people get fired because of BEHAVIORS. This session focuses on the history of the concept of intelligence, the neuroanatomy of emotions, and the critical skills required to effectively and efficiently live life, in spite of, and in celebration of, our emotional selves.

Ideal Audience: This 60 minute keynote can function as a seminar/workshop for teams and can be customized to be highly interactive and participatory. This topic has broad appeal and applicability. 

Work/Life Balance, The Loch Ness and Other Modern Myths

This keynote examines the concept of “work-life balance”, the role of for-profit enterprise in employee self-care and the shifting roles/identities for 21st Century family life. Terms like “time management”, “being stressed out” and others are challenged! 

Ideal Audience: This session has been successful with employee organizations that focus on employee growth and development.

Navigating Transitions Using Radical Acceptance

Change: To make different over time. Not so scary, right? The resistance to change is a shared human phenomena, but exactly WHY and HOW it operates is deconstructed to give participants a way to frame a “change experience” more accurately leading to more productive behaviors.

Ideal Audience: Any team moving through a procedural or organizational change experience.

The Gift of Failure: I am vs. I do

Communicate. Persuade. Inspire. Produce. Motivate. Lead. If you are a leader that wants to grow personally and professionally, you have been marinating in books and blogs saturated with those terms. Living into those action verbs is a noble goal! An unintended consequence can be subtle-but transformative…We start to believe we ARE our outcomes, making us vulnerable to “I am a failure” instead of “I failed”-two very different (at least in terms of psychological impact) statements. The irony is people will take LESS risk interpersonally out of fear of failure! This keynote focuses on the deeper issues of identity, self-concept, and meaning-making. Almost an “ironic anti-motivational talk”, this session will walk attendees through the critical importance of playing without purpose, active recovery, being curious, and practicing mindfulness at red-lights (yes, it’s possible).

Ideal Audience: This 60 minute keynote has broad appeal for professionals in high demand positions. 


These sessions include 45 minutes of informational content with up to 15 minutes of guided discussion or participation, depending on number of attendees. Dr. Melissa has over two decades of experience providing seminars for very diverse populations: high school students, parents of college students, non-profit employees, sales teams, health care providers, attorneys, police academy cadets, retired military, senior leaders in organizations and employees at distribution centers to name a few! Some of these topics are more CLINICAL in nature but are included here.

Presentation Topics Include:

Sexual Harassment Inoculation for the 21st Century

Assertiveness Training for Real Life

Communication in the Workplace

Boundary Setting: Advanced Tactics

Anxiety in the Adolescent: Strategies for Parents and Teens

Change Resisters and Chaos Thrivers

Personal Parasites and Emotional Vampires

Just Because you Can, Does Not Mean You Should: The common intimate relationship trap for helping professionals

Mental Toughness: What it ACTUALLY is and how to have it

Work Wont Love You Back: Or Can it?

Eating Disorders

Women’s Health Across the Lifespan

Grief Recovery

LGBTQ Training

Diversity and Inclusion 

Understanding Implicit Bias

Career Choice and Life Planning

Stress Management

Study Skills and Adjustment to College “Freedom".