Who Is Doctor Michele

For some people it’s easy to answer the question: Who are you? Because I’m dedicated to serving others, I’ve done – and do – a lot. Spend some time clicking tabs, scrolling down, double-clicking links here on Doctor-Michele.com. I welcome you to explore where we may work together to make your life the best it can be.

Doctor Michele works to help people — women, in particular — build life skills that empower them to become their best selves. She is an award winning licensed clinical psychologist, researcher, author, speaker, founder, and podcast host who is on faculty at both UCLA and Johns Hopkins University. Doctor Michele has designed and directed multi-million dollar research projects funded by the National Institutes of Health, served on numerous advisory boards, editorial boards, review panels, and consultancies. Doctor Michele has a private clinical practice for therapy, life, career, and executive coaching clients. She has a mentoring series for career professionals. She gives keynote speeches and personal appearances. Doctor Michele has appeared on numerous national television news programs, talk shows, and radio shows.

Doctor Michele is a wife, mother, fitness enthusiast, and local elected official. All that she does is with the is with the intent to help people become their best selves.

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Real Optimal Living with Dr. Michele


If you’re on this page, chances are you’ve been thinking about making some changes in your Life… for the better.

Albert Einstein defined insanity as ‘doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’ Since you’re considering getting some help, you’re already doing something different. Real Optimal Living is here to assist you.

If you choose to work with Doctor Michele — through either Life, Career, or Executive Coaching (to attain a specific goal) or therapy (for more general issues) — the aim is similar: Real, optimal living. Together, you will work to build sustainable skills to help you move towards a personally fulfilling Life.

We will work collaboratively to help you become aware of your strengths, use them to mitigate challenges, problem solve, and make choices that are personally satisfying and ultimately rewarding.

Doctor Michele is a cognitive-behavior therapist who believes that one’s thoughts affect one’s feelings, which affect one’s behavior. She uses deductive reasoning to understand you, places great value in authenticity, and considers context and culture in individualizing interventions.

Services are provided both in-person and distance (a convenient and secure option via telephone and/or web- or app-based conferencing). Contact Real Optimal Living to explore whether working with Doctor Michele would be beneficial for you in becoming your best self.

Book Your Appointment with Doctor Michele

If you are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a free 24-hour hotline at 1-800-273-8255. If your issue is an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to your nearest hospital emergency room. Doctor Michele TM does not offer crisis counseling or emergency services.

Doctor Michele’s Social Community

Let’s become better together.
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To find out more, explore Doctor Michele’s Mighty Network.

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About Dr. Michele

Michele Cooley-Strickland, M.Ed., Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist with over 20 years of clinical experience. She is a community-based clinical researcher, preventive interventionist, and UCLA faculty member. Dr. Michele has successfully treated children, adolescents, women, and men with a variety of emotional and behavioral disorders. Dr. Michele is a cognitive-behavior therapist — believing that thoughts affect one’s feelings, which affect one’s behavior – who places great value in authenticity, and considering context and culture in individualizing interventions. As an “optimal realist,” Dr. Michele believes that each client possesses inherent strengths, yet may benefit from the expertise of a competent therapist who values action and accountability in assisting clients in becoming their best selves.

Dr. Michele is licensed to practice psychology in California (CA 28297) and in Maryland (MD 0273).


She earned a Master’s degree of education in clinical and school psychology from the University of Virginia and a doctorate of philosophy in clinical psychology from the University of Virginia. She completed her clinical internship at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina.

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El Mentors

Professional women today have unprecedented opportunities, but often feel they are without sufficient support and investment from their firm or corporation — or even other colleagues — in climbing the “ladder” of success. Women have the talent, training, and education to succeed, but the perceived nuanced elements that facilitate job satisfaction, favorable workplace climate, and work/personal balance may be lacking. These qualities may interfere with achieving the fastest and most secure route to maximizing one’s career goals, as well as the employer’s return on investment in hiring and retaining their employee.

In past years, formalized mentoring programs were in place in male-dominated fields to help female professionals transition and steadily progress in their careers. Today the assumption is that there are fewer barriers to success therefore formalized mechanisms of professional support and guidance are superfluous.

We at El Mentors disagree. Certainly, the road to professional success is an open one, but why navigate the pathway alone when you don’t have to? We have experienced, award-winning leaders in their respective fields who are interested and willing to provide a formalized series of mentoring sessions designed specifically for the unique challenges women face in the professional world.

Click on the tab to learn more about how El Mentors can help you, your corporation, or your organization.

Book Your Appointment With Doctor Michele

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If you are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a free 24-hour hotline at 1-800-273-8255. If your issue is an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to your nearest hospital emergency room. Doctor Michele TM does not offer crisis counseling or emergency services.

A Few Moments with Doctor Michele Cooley-Strickland

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Doctor Michele E-Books, Podcasts, Keynotes, Workshops & Webinars

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