Melissa Diaz, M.P.S., ATR-BC
- Home ›
- Melissa Diaz, M.P.S., ATR-BC
Melissa Diaz is a community-oriented artist and a licensed, registered, board-certified art therapist. She holds a BFA in Painting from The University of Central Florida, an MPS in Art Therapy & Creativity Development from Pratt Institute and a certificate in Integrated Mental Health/Addiction Treatment. Melissa has 14 years of experience and has worked as a primary therapist, group therapist, and program director.
She has utilized art therapy in a variety of settings, including inpatient and outpatient mental health, family shelters, schools, and museums. Through these experiences, Melissa has had the opportunity to support individuals experiencing mental health barriers related to depression, anxiety, trauma, mental illness, developmental disabilities, addiction, familial issues, life transitions and stigmatization.
Melissa practices an eclectic, person-centered, art therapy approach, utilizing Humanistic, Attachment-Based, Relational, and Pyscho-Educational Frameworks; tailoring each therapeutic experience to meet the client or group where they are at. Throughout all her work, she weaves in mindfulness practice and self-compassion, while encouraging the unpacking of collective and systemic issue that impacts the community. She is currently a Senior Art Therapist, a part of a group Creative Arts Therapy practice, based in Brooklyn, NY, NY Creative Arts Therapists
In addition to her therapeutic practice, Melissa founded Open House BK (est. 2010), a Brooklyn-based, community arts initiative that provides affordable pop-up events, emerging artist
exhibitions, and therapeutic workshops. Open House strives to shed light on the arts and community as integral for social justice, personal healing, and progress.
For the past 4 years, Melissa has served as a visiting instructor for Pratt Institute’s Art Therapy Department, where she teaches a variety of courses (Dynamics of Materials, Art Diagnosis, Ethics, Professional Development, and Supervision/Practicum for 2nd-year students). Further, she sits as BIPOC Affinity group leader, Continued Education Program Manager, Social Media Coordinator, and an active member of the department’s DEI Council. Previously, Melissa held the position of Chapter Delegate to the New York Art Therapy Association and former member of the Art Committee of AATA. Melissa is also a practicing studio artist, exhibiting in galleries, universities, and alternative spaces. In her artwork, she creates interactive installation art as a source of viewer engagement.
Melissa believes creativity exists within everyone, serving as a gateway to heal, transform and explore the impact of one’s internal and external experiences.