Melissa Michaels

Melissa Michaels, EdD, guides individuals and communities through major life transitions. As a “soul midwife” and mentor to emerging leaders around the world, she has created Surfing The Creative, a rite of passage process that links somatics, youth development, and peace-building. Her recent book, Youth On Fire, tells the story of this life-changing work as it has unfolded in diverse settings ranging from inner-city schools to college campuses, and from refugee settlements to the United Nations.


Melissa is also the founder of Golden Bridge, a nonprofit organization dedicated to our collective renewal through the liberation of the creative Spirit. She is a first-generation teacher of the 5Rhythms® and a registered Somatic Movement Educator and Therapist. Her doctorate in Education, Leadership, and Change is from The Fielding Graduate University. She also held a post-doctoral fellowship at Fielding’s Institute of Social Innovation.

Melissa was one of the core visionaries that helped to birth the Youth Passageways movement, convening a large multi-cultural and multi-generational gathering I attended in 2008. Since then, I have had the privilege to learn from Melissa as a student in her courses, as an advisor to Youth Passageways, and through her one-on-one guidance and mentoring. Her body of work has deepened my understanding of somatic trauma work, and the importance of the body and creative expression in initiatory experiences. 

To learn more about Melissa’s work, visit the Golden Bridge website.

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Melissa Michaels

Melissa Michaels