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Melissa Park

Assistant Professor; Chercheur régulier, C.R.I.R. (Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire en Réadaptation) du Montréal métropolitain www.crir.ca

Building: Hosmer House, 3630 prom Sir-William-Osler

Office Room: H-200

Mailing Address: 3654 prom Sir-William-Osler, Montréal, QC, Canada H3G 1Y5

Office Phone: 514-398-4400 ext 09670

Lab Room: H-207

LabPhone: 514-398-4400 ext 09670

Melissa [dot] Park [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Email)


BA History of Art ~ Yale University
MA Occupational Therapy ~ University of Southern California
PhD Occupational Science ~ University of Southern California

Postdoc Fellowships (multi-perspectival ethnography: event-based & systems change focus)

University of Southern California
University of California at Los Angeles-Semel Institute
Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm SE


OCC1-551 Psychosocial Practice in Occupational Therapy
OCC1-618 Applied Theories in Psychosocial Occupational Therapy

Research Description:

Dr Park’s research interests emerged from her clinical practice working with children & adolescents diagnosed with autism and their families; and an ethnographic study using a conceptual framework on narrative to ask, “How do clinicians/professionals and persons with illness and/or lifelong disability and their families connect in those gaps between experiential worlds.” A focus on the in-between (e.g., providers, patients, their social networks in particular institutions) brackets the critical, but more elusive or difficult to capture, extra-linguistic relational aspects of rehabilitation that impact therapeutic processes and outcomes (e.g. cultural processes, imagination, bodily-sensing). Her current research trajectory focuses on transdisciplinary and international collaborations on methods, clinical reasoning, and forms of knowledge translation (formal and informal) of these multiple perspective processes impacting care. Current international projects include: “Partnering-up between persons with serious mental disorders and care professionals: An Innovative integration of methods for cross-sectional, cross-cultural study of connectedness and the therapeutic relationship,” Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research (FAS), and Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm SE in collaboration with Trondheim University College NO.

Research Keywords:

Clinical reasoning, cultural diversity, connectedness, aesthetics, chronic and long-term illness and disability experiences, embodiment, ethnographic and mixed-methods.

Selected Publications:

Erikson A, Park M and Tham K. (2010). Belonging: A qualitative, longitudinal study of what matters for persons with stroke during one year of rehabilitations. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 42(9):831-8.

Park M. (2010). Beyond calculus: Apple-apple-apple-ike and other embodied pleasures for a child diagnosed with autism in a sensory integration based clinic. Disability Studies Quarterly: Special Topic: Autism and Neurodiversity, 30(1). 

Johansson K, Lilja M, Park M and Josephsson S. (2010). Balancing the good: A critical discourse analysis of home modification services in Sweden. Sociology of Health & Illness, 32(4): 563-582.

Erikson A, Park M and Tham K. (2010). Place reintegration through daily activities: One year of rehabilitation after stroke. OTJR, Occupation, Participation and Health, 30(2), 68-77.

Park M. (2008). Making scenes: Imaginative practices for a child with autism in an occupational therapy session. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 22(3), 234–256. (Recognition: Steven Polgar Paper, Society of Medical Anthropology).

Park M. (2005). Narrative practices of intersubjectivity: An ethnography of children with autism in a sensory integration based occupational therapy clinic. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Southern California, US - California. (No. AAT 3196871). [link]