Melissa Park

Contact Information

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

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

Lab Room: Hosmer 207

Lab Phone: 514-398-4400 ext 09670

514.398.4400 x 09670
Email address: 
melissa.park [at]
Assistant Professor

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

Postdoctoral Fellowships

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

Teaching areas: 
  • OCC1-551 Psychosocial Practice in Occupational Therapy
  • OCC1-618 Applied Theories in Psychosocial Occupational Therapy
  • POTH-616 Special Topics: Qualitative Methods (Ethnography, Narrative, Phenomenology, Aesthetic) 
Current research: 

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, family members 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. 

Her current research focuses on building capacity for self-sustaining and generative mental health promotion initiatives, which are responsive to the priority concerns of, and in partnership with, persons with invisible disabilities, their families and the mental health professionals who work with them. She has developed and is currently evaluating the use of first person, multiple perspective, and participatory research approaches to collectively create transformations in mental health systems and in the community. 

Selected publications: 

Lee, K., Lambert, H., Wittich, W., Kehayia, E., & Park, M. The use of movement-based interventions with children diagnosed with autism for psychosocial outcomes - A Scoping review. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders (2016),

Asaba, E., Laliberte-Rudman, D., Mondaca, M., and Park, M. (2015). Visual methods: A focus on photovoice (chapter 11). In Stanley, M. & Nayar, S. (Eds.), Qualitative Research Methods in Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, London Routledge.

Park, M., Lencucha, R., Mattingly, C., Zafran, H., & Kirmayer, L. J. (2015). A qualitative study on the ethics of transforming care: examining the development and implementation of Canada’s first mental health strategy. Implementation Science

Park, M., Zafran, H., Stewart, J., Salsberg, J., Ells, C., Rouleau, S., Estein, O., Valente, T. (2014). Transforming mental health services: a participatory mixed methods study to promote and evaluate the implementation of recovery-oriented services. Implementation Science, 9(1), 119

Schwartz, R., Estein, O., Komaroff, J., Lamb, J., Myers, M., Stewart, J., Vacaflor, L., Park, M. (2013). Mental health consumers and providers dialogue in an institutional setting: A participatory approach to promoting recovery-oriented care. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 36(2), 113-115

Johansson, K., Rudman, D., Mondaca, M., Park, M., Luborsky, M., Josephsson, S., & Asaba, E. (2013). Moving beyond ‘Aging In Place’ to understand migration and aging: Place making and the centrality of occupation. Journal of Occupational Science, 20(2), 108-119.

Park, M. (2012). Pleasure, Throwing Breaches, and Embodied Metaphors: Tracing Transformation-in-Participation for a Child With Autism to Sensory Integration-Based Therapy Session. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health, 32 (1 Suppl), S34-S47

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). 

Occupational Therapy