About Brain Optimization Institute

In this page: (Scroll Down for Pictures)
Who are the founders. Where are we located. Our legal credentials. What we are not. What is unique about our school. A one on one approach to higher education.

Who Are the Founders?

The founders of the Brain Optimization Institute are Gian Paolo Girardi, MS, MA and Viviana Girardi, B.A. CYT.


Gian Paolo and Viviana Girardi. Santa Monica, 2011

Gian Paolo was born in 1955, to an Italian/Spanish family in Chile. From early childhood he felt a great interest in science and later for the humanities, especially for Spiritual Psychology. At age 24, he graduated in engineering from the most prestigious University in Chile. After marrying Viviana their spiritual interests brought them to the US where Gian completed a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology and obtained a California State License to practice psychotherapy. He has accumulated extensive experience, gained through more than twenty years of working with clients.

Eventually he renounced his license as a statement of personal independence from the tradition-laden mainstream, with its inherent limitations and over-regulations. He presently devotes most of his time to education and
to his vision for BOI.

Viviana was born in Southern Chile -- one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

From early childhood she felt inclined towards sports and Physical Education. She graduated from the prestigious University of Chile with a BA in Physical Education. In her early twenties she felt a deep interest in the spiritual life and Yoga and has had a personal Yoga practice for over thirty years. She is certified as a Yoga teacher by Erich Shiffman, as a therapeutic yoga practitioner by Cherri Clampett, and as a Reiki Master (level 3) by Helle Pearson.

BOI students rave about her food! As a cook her dishes are artistic, colorful and well-presented, including raw, vegetarian, and ethnic.

Viviana's raw food at one of BOI's One Day Workshops

Where Are We Located?

We recently moved to Valley View Road in Glendale California.

During the last two years our classes were broadcasted from beautiful conference rooms of The Shores Towers in Santa Monica, where a few local students were participating in person.

Lately we moved the Institute to Glendale, where we have three times the space we had available in Santa Monica -- space we need as BOI continues to grow.

Here, some pictures from the time we spent in Santa Monica:

The Shores Towers in Santa Monica

Santa Monica Beach; magnificent view from the North Tower 15th floor

Students during a presentation class on Brain Nutrition Counseling --
Conference Room North Tower

During a Class in The North Tower Conference Room


           View Towards the Towers' Gardens                 BOI's teacher Arthur Galestian and
               from the Conference Room                      Gian Paolo Girardi, founder, walking
                                                                        in The Shores' lobby, during one of the
                                                                     breaks of the last workshops presented in                                                                    Santa Monica Mr. Galestian gave an excellent
                                                                    presentation "how to use the social networks
                                                                             to market a private practice."

Valley View Road in Glendale, CA

Dirk, BOI's wizard in technology, computers and videography

What Our Students Have to Say About BOI

"The quality of education I received at BOI is beyond compare. The teacher to student ratio is exceptional, often one on one! This allows BOI to offer quality education in a uniquely personalized environment. I highly recommend Gian Paolo Girardi as a professor, and the BOI for an exceptional experience. I loved the books chosen for the course. I also really liked the emphasis in discussing real cases to help the student develop clinical skills. I enjoyed the class atmosphere and it felt always comfortable to share personal concerns and experiences."

                                        Susan S. Dr. in Nutrition

More Testimonials

What We Are NOT

Due to the spiritual nature of some of our courses with certification, we are occasionally asked whether we are connected to a church, sect or cult.  The answer is the following:

The Brain Optimization Institute is not connected in anyway with a church, sect or cult. BOI is a strictly academic institution.

Furthermore, our course in Spiritual Psychology with Emphasis in Non-Duality is presented to the student in an atmosphere absent of all dogma and spiritual paraphernalia -- unnecesary and distracting external decoration like ocre robes, golden altars, pictures of gurus, prayers, rituals, initiations and so on."

A One on One University

We have been serving our students, clients and friends since March 2005. March, 2013 will mark our 8th anniversary.

Statistics show that after 5 years, only 10% of businesses are still in business. Thus our school already overcame this challenge. We thank our students for their trust and support.

BOI approach to graduate education is unique. Participating in our school guarantees to have a very personalized training, quite difficult to find anywhere else.  

What are the advantages of a mentoring approach to graduate studies?

Mentoring offers unlimited possibilities of customized education to address the unique needs of the student.

For example, we have been able to serve students working in the film industry.  This industry demands -- at least for those with successful careers -- to work on erratic and strenuous schedules. BOI's unparalleled class schedule flexibility has allowed them to pursue studies and certifications regardless.

Only a mentoring system allows for complete customization of the curriculum according to the unique needs of the student. We have young students with great potential as counselors, teachers and coaches, but with no previous training in psychology. We have students, enrolled in the same program, that are in their sixties and have been working for a lifetime in the counseling and teaching professions.  It is the mentoring system what allows us to serve them with equal effectiveness, customizing the curriculum, even class by class, to their unique levels of training and experience.

The mentoring system allows us to address effectively during the class, psychological, spiritual, vocational or professional challenges affecting our student throughout the course. All our teachers have training in counseling. We can support and counsel our student until the issues are resolved or transcended.

We have found through the years that these challenges are extremely valuable, not only for personal development, but also for the student's professional development.

For example, in our courses in Nutrition with emphasis in Brain Nutrition Counseling, we have had students suffering from severe depression and painful dependence on pharmaceuticals. Throughout the certification course, and with the right support and counseling provided by the teacher, they were able to free themselves from the depression and their dependence on pharmaceuticals.  A student that has a personal experience like this, is bound to become a better Brain Nutrition Counselor.

Another example: we have had students experiencing difficult relationship issues. The courses in Life Coaching or Spiritual Psychology provided them with the support and counseling necessary to resolve their issues and establish healthier relationships. Such healing experience allows the student to be more effective when, in the future, their own clients face relationship difficulties.

We had a student that during the course in Spiritual Psychology experienced multiple, challenging life situations, including law suits, relationship issues, and painful childhood memories that needed resolution. The mentoring system allowed us to support and counsel him one on one, until these challenges were transcended and solved. These healing process offered invaluable educational material to help the student become an effective Spiritual Psychology Counselor.


Does BOI Offer Courses in Person?

Yes, students living in Los Angeles County can take our courses in person. Many think this is the ideal situation, however, even students living in Los Angeles , when begin to experiment with classes on skype, discover that this two-way video-phone can be extremely effective, conveying almost the same quality of in person communication. And of course, the savings in commuting time, gasoline and car expenses can be significant. 

Nevertheless, in person, one on one classes is the optimum. If you live in Los Angeles you may want to contact us for more information on this option.


Does Mentoring Education Cost More?

The answer is no. Classes are shorter in the mentoring format because it is a more efficient way to deliver the information, but whether it is in a group setting or one on one, the price for the 5-month certification is exactly the same.

For more information about BOI please call us at 310-455-6815 or write to jpgirardi@brainoptimization.com

Certification and Masters Programs




The Brain Optimization™ Institute offers information, counseling, courses with certifications on drug free solutions to ADD, ADHD, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, substance abuse and other forms of brain / mental suffering. BOI highly regarded Five Month Certifications include Nutrition with Emphasis in Brain Nutrition , Life Coaching with Emphasis in Cognitive Psychology, and Spiritual Psychology with Emphasis in Non-Duality.   The Brain Optimization Institute also offers a Certification in Holistic Life Mastery for those completing all three certifications and the ten months training on How to Create a Private Practice

Brain Optimization Institute's broadcasting studio is presently located in Glendale, Los Angeles County, California. Students from adjacent cities and locations like Glendale, Pasadena, Studio City, San Fernando Valley, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Pacific Palisades, West L.A., West Los Angeles, Brentwood, Bel Air, Santa Monica, Laguna Beach, Irvine and Orange County can take our courses in a group format via BOI's webinar platform, or in person, on Skype or phone. Students living in cities and locations further away in the States or abroad like San Francisco, San Diego, New York, North and South Carolina, Miami, London England, Paris France, Rome and Milan Italy, Spain, Madrid, Barcelona, Santiago Chile, Buenos Aires, Ecuador, Quito, Montreal, Cape Town and Johannesburg South Africa, New Zealand, Hawaií, Kauai, Maui, Kenya, Delhi, Bombay and Calcutta, India, Hong Kong, Shanghai China, Taipei Taiwan, can take our courses in the group format via BOI's Webinar platform, or one on one, on Skype or phone.





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