At OneYou, we assist individuals, families, and corporations in communicating needs and solving problems effectively. We do this by identifying patterns of self-sabotoging behavior. As people discover their own adaptive styles and how these effect their interactions with others, the games we play outside of our awareness are quickly exposed. Through this process, we can experience career, academic, and personal success as we learn to live authentically.

OneYou guides adults and youth to realize their intellectual and creative potential. Our work and joy is to uncover and develop the unique gift of every person so that she/he lives a life of purpose and meaning.

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.” — Martha Graham


Our vision for the global community is that people experience themselves and others as inherently okay. By believing in the basic worth, value, and dignity of every human being, we open ourselves to life’s opportunities. When we meet ourselves with compassion, we can extend empathy to others and ultimately live free of judgement, shame, and fear.

People ultimately will work together in cooperation, rather than competition, resting assured that there is no scarcity of the basic things we need: love, appreciation, and acknowledgement.


“Since you are like no other being ever created since the beginning of time, you are incomparable.” — Brenda Ueland


Blue shirt - Ilona

Ilona Merli

Ilona is an outstanding educator with over 20 years of experience helping children ranging from 1st grade through 12th grade who are struggling in their school, social, and/or home environment. She focuses on alternative learning plans and strategies; Ilona approaches children and families from a perspective that emphasizes the “normalcy” of struggle, conflict, and negative feelings as a part of life rather than as symptoms of an illness that requires a diagnosis and medication. Ilona is an expert in understanding and communicating what is involved in various learning processes, as well as in identifying the root causes of kids’ and adolescents’ struggles. Her caring heart and experience also focuses on collaboration with parents, and helps to organize and guide families as part of the treatment plan. Ilona is certified in Transactional Analysis, and has been called a catalyst, counselor, advisor, and mentor for families and their children.
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It is not uncommon today to find that even students who are not academically struggling, lack passion and motivation, and do not have a direction or interest in future planning; they feel lost, uninspired, often anxious and depressed. The relevance, and certainly the joy, of education is diminished for most of them, and it is Ilona’s purpose to restore their natural curiosity and enthusiasm for learning and living.

Young people are our future, at the risk of cliché, and education and introspection are essentials to living a joyful, fulfilled life.

In creating the programs within OneYou she has incorporated the science behind learning, that is the result of studies in neuroscience, with her professional experience over the past twenty years. She has reared her own children, step-children, worked with children as a classroom teacher, as well as within organizations as a volunteer, so that her experience has been both personal and professional in nature. Every day she looks forward to working with young people: redirecting their energy and focus, bringing enthusiasm to their educational journey, and helping them understand their autonomy and personal power.

Educational Background
BA Literature MA Education Training LBLP – reading, comprehension, and writing disabilities, evaluation/treatment

Areas of special interest and study:
Learning and memory, adolescent neurological development, reading and comprehension, communication

California Teaching Credential: Specialization – Teaching in a Global Society Transactional Analysis/ Southeast Institute EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique

Experience in Education
Teaching Public/Private Schools Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes (various positions) Academic Testing – training and application Private Mentoring/Coaching Families and Adolescents

Member and Active Participant
International Dyslexia Association New York Academy of Sciences

Southeast Institute, Chapel Hill, NC
TA Transactional Analysis Certification


Rearing children in today’s fast-paced, competitive, and often complicated environment can be overwhelming and confusing. Knowing when to push and when to let go, balancing freedom and protection, understanding the competition and resisting the urge to participate in social game-playing — there is pressure from all directions.


The list of concerns and questions is seemingly endless: What kind of education is best for my child? How do I help my struggling child? Is the school doing the right thing for my child? What role do parents play? How involved or hands-off should we be? Is this behavior normal? Is my child being bullied? Why doesn’t she like to read? What is auditory processing disorder? Does my child really need medication? What are the alternatives? What is dyslexia? Does it matter if my child is not as fast in computation? How much computer time should my child have? Does watching TV impact her brain functioning? How do I get my child to sleep more? Why does my child refuse to eat breakfast? Does my child have too much homework? Should he take the SAT? What if she doesn’t get into any good colleges? Why doesn’t he like sports? How do I get my child to choose better friends?

Although these questions must ultimately be left to each of us individually to ponder and then to bring to our immediate school community, circles of friends, business partners, family members, etc., OneYou provides parents with information, resources, and workshops that can offer insight and knowledge, as well as support. Our programs address a variety of concerns from the evolving parent-adolescent relationship to finding the right evaluation process for young people struggling in academia.

Helping parents and children create a successful education and life plan is a primary focus of OneYou. Children today spend approximately eight hours a day at school, excluding any additional time for athletics or extracurricular activities: eight hours more each week than twenty years ago. In addition, homework can range an additional two to four hours a day depending on grade, age, and varying school requirements. If a child needs additional help or struggles academically, even more time is required. When parents turn to find help, they are often met with a barrage of sites that all promise to motivate, educate, and remediate the child. It is a daunting task to embark on the search for answers in the pages and pages of information that is often indiscernible and misleading, pushing one or the other program, method, formula without sufficient explication or support.

A child’s academic development, social and emotional well-being begins before birth, and we, as parents, are continually reminded of the many things we need to be addressing, accomplishing, practicing, and preparing on behalf of our children. OneYou workshops answer questions about education myths, brain facts, reading and comprehension processes, how to create a healthy learning environment, and what we know about early child development and adolescence.

“Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their environment and especially on their children than the unlived life of the parent.” — C.G. Jung



Academic Training and Coaching

  • specific skills development: organization skills, time management, focus strategies, study techniques, test anxiety, test preparation
  • writing: essay writing, developing a personal statement and personal narrative, literary analysis and analytical essays
  • Lifetime skills development: creating new habits, developing goals and creating achievement plans

Parents and Adolescents

  • building bridges of understanding using communication strategies – Transactional Analysis/How to change the way we interact
  • understanding body language, tone, and power within the communication exchange
  • how to set up clear expectations and experience natural rewards and consequences/ creating a ‘contract’ between family members
  • interdependence vs. codependence within the relationship/ How to ask and give help and guidance/ receive help and guidance appropriately
  • letting go and navigating the path to adulthood: how to relinquish control without being out of control/ trusting the process / changing the relationship gradually and appropriately

Academic Skills Assessment and Development

  • reading
  • reading comprehension
  • written and verbal communication

“The most significant skill you will learn in life is the ability to communicate…to build bridges that allow you to connect to the minds, hearts, and lives of others.” — Randy Fujishin


It is essential to the well-being of each child that she is presented with material in the most effective and appropriate methodology. Learning is the result of compassionate and enthusiastic teaching, coupled with deep engaging and understanding of material, and the access and understanding of the sensory-cognitive processes. What are the environmental and genetic factors that affect learning and at what stage of development are specific pathways ripe for developing and pruning? OneYou is committed to helping students acquire necessary skills to grow in knowledge and understanding, as well as nurturing a curiosity and love of learning and the power of ideas.

Our passion is what we believe is necessary to achieve this goal, but not sufficient: passion without knowledge and skill will not help to bring about deep understanding of material, concepts, and a mastery of subject matter. We ask that you join us in researching, understanding, and applying the most current, scientific research available to better know and navigate the workings of our children’s minds: the root of their understanding.

We look forward to, are energized by, and excited about creating opportunity for competence, self-respect, and love of learning for our children.

Below please find a list of leading scientists, researchers, and educational psychologists along with links to their works. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or additions that you feel would improve our understanding.

Reading for Parents

Psychology, The Subconscious Mind, and Learning

Mindsight (Amazon)
Daniel J. Siegel, M.D.

Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain (Amazon)
Daniel J. Siegel, M.D.

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (Amazon)
Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.

Boys Adrift (Amazon)
Leonard Sax, M.D., Ph.D.

Thou Shalt Not Be Aware: Society’s Betrayal of the Child (Amazon)
Alice Miller (heavy reading)

Banished Knowledge (Amazon)
Alice Miller

For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence (Amazon)
Alice Miller

Doing School: How We Are Creating a Generation of Stressed Out, Materialistic, and Miseducated Students (Amazon)
Denise Clark Pope

Bolts from the Blue: Art, Mathematics, and Cultural Evolution (Amazon)
Ralph Herman Abraham

Brain Development, Learning, Creativity

Endangered Minds: Why Children Don’t Think and What We Can Do About It (Amazon)
Jane Healy, Ph.D.

Failure to Connect: How Computers Affect Our Children’s Minds — For Better and Worse (Amazon)
Jane Healy, Ph.D.

Your Child’s Growing Mind: Brain Development and Learning from Birth to
 Adolescence (Amazon)
Jane Healy, Ph.D.

Imagery and Text: A Dual Coding Theory of Reading and Writing (Amazon)
Mark Sadoski and Allan Paivio (technical/theory)

Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative (Amazon)
Ken Robinson

Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life (Amazon)
Ken Robinson

Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain (Amazon)
Maryanne Wolf


You are in the perfect position to get there from here.





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