Rita Melissano

Rita Melissano, Ph.D.,
Founder Director

Call for an appointment (309) 793-7881
Rita R. Melissano is a Clinical Psychologist from the University of Padua in Italy, who has also received a Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, USA.

During her long clinical career, Dr. Melissano has worked with individuals, couples, families and groups of every socio-economic and ethnic group, spiritual belief, gender, age, ability, sexual orientation, civil and military background. She has always felt at home in a diverse and international environment.

She is a Clinical Fellow and an Approved Supervisor of AAMFT, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and has trained many professionals to be licensed as MFT. She has performed also as a Diversity trainer, an EAP counselor, and an MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) trainer in both the clinical and corporate/organizational setting.

Dr. Melissano speaks Italian, Spanish, French, and English (has studied Mandarin Chinese, Modern & Ancient Greek, Latin, Sanskrit and Egyptian language). She has traveled all over the world and presented at national conferences, international academic settings and world congresses (e.g. China, India, Hungary, Norway, Ecuador, Canada).

She has taught a variety of graduate courses as an Associate Professor at St. Ambrose University, an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Iowa, and Western Illinois University. She has led study abroad programs to India and Ecuador. Dr. Melissano has, in fact, played multiple roles in her life as a clinician, a speaker, a workshop & retreat leader, an educator, a Mindfulness consultant and trainer, a Reiki Master-Teacher, a Light Giver, an ordained minister, a writer and a photographer. She naturally combines her theoretical and directly acquired knowledge of diverse cultures with her clinical experience and spiritual philosophy. Her career and personal life have always been intertwined. She has been writing on the art of mindful and conscious living and has dedicated most of the last fifteen years to the science, practice and teachings of Mindfulness. Among other Institutions, Dr. Melissano brought Mindfulness to the scientific world of Caltech, California, where she has offered Mindfulness programs for Faculty, Staff and Post-Docs.

An eternal student of all ancient cultures, spiritual traditions and Egyptology, she is very passionate about raising consciousness, bring change to benefit others, living and promoting a heart-centered community life supported by scientific knowledge and research. Over the years she has been consulted for her innovative and pioneer spirit (e.g. International Women’s Day, UN International Day of Peace, International Community Yoko Garden, Conferences on Science and Spirituality in hospital and university settings, open to the public etc.) and for her conflict-resolution skills in organizations (both for-profit and non-for-profit), where she has successfully helped change the existing culture.

A decade ago, she founded “Satva Center” in Rock Island/Quad-Cities (IL), that she directed offering to its diverse community an array of healing arts, spiritual teachings, retreats, and meditation practices. With Venerable Somnieng, a monastery head monk from Cambodia and Harvard graduate, living in the Buddhist temple on site, she helped bring together and serve the many families from Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Burma integrating them with the diversified local community as well.

Her success with incorporating Mindfulness principles and practices also in the therapeutic setting led her to offer Mindfulness Training to organizations, the educational system and the corporate world as well. Both the Iowa Board of Medicine and the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation invited her to work closely and train physicians on Mindfulness practices to decrease stress & burnout and enhance personal wellbeing, harmony & resilience in the workplace. She also designed (obtaining approval & CMEs from the Medical Committee), a Mindfulness Pilot Study for physicians, to be delivered in a Q.C. hospital setting. She has practiced and offered Mindfulness training in Italy as well, to groups serving the hospice population. As the executive director of an earlier special center affiliated with one of the 100 best hospitals in the Country, the Enrichment Center, in Davenport, IA, she created and organized two regional conferences on “Science and Spirituality” (offering CEUs & CMEs) to bring awareness of both ancient holistic methodologies and cutting-edge approaches in the health & mental health care system. They were open to the community as well, who embraced such an innovative program.

Dr. Melissano has been often interviewed and consulted by magazines and newspapers. She has been a frequent guest on live talk shows and local TV stations in both Illinois and Iowa and has received basic and advanced Media Training. Currently in private practice, she writes and lives in her beloved Long Beach, California, where she offers Mindfulness Coaching and Personal & Relational Consulting, while also consulting and teaching in Italy.