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Melissa Wasserman

Assistant Professor of Psychology
Psychology Division, Graduate School of Education and Psychology


Dr. Melissa Wasserman is a licensed clinical psychologist and assistant professor. She co-directs the Jerry Butler Pepperdine Union Rescue Mission Counseling Center, a student training clinic that provides services for Los Angeles' homeless, where she also facilitates group supervision. Dr. Wasserman’s areas of scholarship include war-related trauma, cultural, historical, and intergenerational trauma, post-traumatic growth, and resilience. She teaches courses on psychological assessment, interpersonal skills and group therapy, and the diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders in the MA programs. In addition, she teaches doctoral practicum and dissertation intensive within the PsyD program.

After graduating from University of California, Santa Barbara, with a BA in Religious Studies, Dr. Wasserman went on to earn her master’s degree in Psychology and PsyD in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University. She completed her predoctoral internship at UCLA Semel Institute and a formal two-year postdoctoral fellowship at UCLA’s Nathanson Family Resilience Center, working primarily with military and veteran families and individuals who have experienced trauma. Dr. Wasserman maintains a private practice where she specializes in post-traumatic stress disorder, sexual trauma, intergenerational trauma, and military/veteran behavioral health. She is trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, Families OverComing Under Stress, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and integrates these practices in work with her clients. Since March 2020, she has worked with APA's Interdivisional COVID-19 Task Force as the co-chair of the Professional Support for Psychologists working group. Here she developed and implemented the Clinician Support Collaborative, a supportive space for mental health clinicians to join and provide mutual support during the pandemic.



  • PsyD, Pepperdine University 
  • MA, Pepperdine University 
  • BA, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Wasserman, M., Dodge, J., Barrera, W., Alaris, H., Woodward, K., & Lester, P. (in press). The impact of changes in family communication on sustained mental health symptom improvement in parents/caregivers following a military family intervention. Military Behavioral Health.
  • Wasserman, M., Ford, J. D., Steinberg, A. (in press). Supporting Mental Health Clinicians in Navigating Pandemic Related Challenges through the Professional Support for Psychologists Working Group at the APA Interdivisional Task Force on the Pandemic. In C. Figley, L. Walker, & I. Serlin (Eds.), Pandemic Providers: Psychologists Respond to COVID. Springer Nature.
  • Wasserman, M. (2022, June). Building Family Communication in Military Families. Presented at Pepperdine Graduate School of Education & Psychology’s Annual Research Symposium, Los Angeles, CA.
  • Siegel, C., Hendlish, R., Mandel, A., Wasserman, S. E., & Wasserman, M. (2022, March). Community Event: Stories of Holocaust Survivors. Invited panelist at Milken Community School Office of Alumni Relations, Los Angeles, CA.
  • Wasserman, M. (2021, November). Managing Trauma Reminders in the Modern Day. Invited lecture at Hillel Ontario, Toronto, Canada.
  • Wasserman, M. (2021, April). Intergenerational Trauma and the Holocaust. Invited lecture at Hillel Ontario, Toronto, Canada.
  • Ford, J., Martin, J., Sammons, M. & Wasserman, M. (2021, March). Transition to Telepsychology: Practical, Ethical, and Risk Management Issues. Webinar sponsored by the National Register of Health Service Psychologists.
  • Wasserman, M. (2021, March). Intergenerational Trauma in Second- and Third-Generation Holocaust Survivors. Invited lecture at Holocaust Museum Los Angeles, Los Angeles.
  • Hajal, N.J., Aralis, H.J., Kiff, C.J., Wasserman, M., Paley, B., Milburn, N.G., Mogil, C. and Lester, P. (2020), Parental Wartime Deployment and Socioemotional Adjustment in Early Childhood: The Critical Role of Military Parents’ Perceived Threat During Deployment. Journal of Traumatic Stress. doi:10.1002/jts.22475
  • Wasserman, M. (2020, December). Managing Compassion Fatigue in the Pandemic Era. Invited lecture given at Bexar County Psychological Association, San Antonio, TX.
  • Wasserman, M. (2020, November). Military Trauma. Invited lecture to Loyola Marymount University undergraduate level trauma psychology course, Los Angeles, CA.
  • Wasserman, M., Saleem, F., Jackson, J., & Leithman, E. (2020, February). Racial Stress & Trauma: A Conversation About Social Justice, Racial Stress & Trauma, and Resilience. Invited panel at Holocaust Museum Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA.
  • Wasserman, M. (2019, August). Building Resilience during Reintegration: Utilizing a Community Participatory Approach in the Development of a Transition Program for Veterans and their Families. Invited lecture at UCLA’s Stress, Trauma, and Resilience Seminar, Los Angeles, CA.
  • Van Horn, R., Karnik, N., Sheth, N., & Wasserman, M. (2019, May). Shining A Light on Military Sexual Trauma. General session presented at the American Psychiatric Association’s Annual Convention, San Francisco, CA.
  • Wasserman, M., Schembari, B., & Hunter, S. (2018, August). Integrating a Family Centered Care Model with Military Personnel and Veterans. Symposium presented at the American Psychological Association’s Annual Convention, San Francisco, CA.
  • Wasserman, M. (2018, January). Risk and Resilience in Second- and Third-generation Holocaust Survivors. Oral presentation given at UCLA’s Stress, Trauma, and Resilience Seminar, Los Angeles, CA.
  • Ellingsen, R., Wasserman, M., & Modir, S. (2017, October). Promoting Resilience in Trauma-Exposed Children and Caregivers: The UCLA STAR Family Group. Oral presentation given at the Inter-Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect’s NEXUS: Violence Within the Home and Its Effects on Children, Los Angeles, CA.
  • Wasserman, M. (2017, June). Families OverComing Under Stress (FOCUS). Oral presentation given to the UCLA CAPS staff, Los Angeles, CA.
  • Wasserman, M. (2017, March). Intergenerational Trauma and Resilience. Invited lecture at University of California, Santa Barbara’s Religion and the Impact of the Vietnam War (RS155) course, Santa Barbara, CA.
  • Modir, S., Wasserman, M., & Marlotte, L. (2017, February). Families OverComing Under Stress (FOCUS): A Resilience-Building Approach to Grief and Loss. Oral presentation given at the 13th Annual Childhood Grief and Traumatic Loss Conference, Los Angeles, CA
  • Wasserman, M. (Host). Managing with Dr. Meli [Audio podcast
  • Wasserman, M. (Contributor) & Weinstein, E. (Host). Past, Present, and Future, Can Trauma be Passed Down? w/ Dr. Meli Wasserman. The Dude Therapist [Audio podcast]. 2022, December 5. 
  • Wasserman, M. (Contributor) & Weiss, A. (Host). Cultivating Resilience with Melissa Wasserman. Growing Careers and Companies [Audio podcast]. 2022, March 31. 
  • Wasserman, M. (Contributor) & Scherer, S. (Host). Mental Health: Trauma. Impact of Leadership [Audio podcast]. 2021, October 31. 
  • Wasserman, M. (Contributor) & Robay, D. (Host). Pretty Traumatizing: How to Spot and Heal Generational Trauma with Dr. Melissa Wasserman. Pretty Smart [Audio podcast]. 2021, April 8.  


  • PSY 600: Diagnosis and Treatment of Mental Health Disorders
  • PSY 601: Assessment of Intelligence
  • PSY 603: Assessment of Individuals, Couples, & Families 
  • PSY 770: Series Doctoral Practicum: Clinical Skills Intensive (A, B, C)
  • PSY 791: Series Dissertation Intensive (A, B, C)
  • PSY 710.20: Cognitive Assessment