Lead Art Therapist for Creative Forces

Melissa S. Walker MA, ATR serves as the Lead Art Therapist for Creative Forces®: National Endowment for the Arts’ Military Healing Arts Network and Healing Arts Program Coordinator at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE), a directorate of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Melissa helped to develop the Healing Arts Program at the NICoE, where she works with military service members (SMs) diagnosed with traumatic brain injury and associated psychological health conditions. She and her team treat SMs using creative arts therapies, allowing them to effectively express the invisible wounds of war. Masks made by NICoE SMs were highlighted in a 2015 edition of the National Geographic, and the art therapy program is also discussed in Melissa's 2016 TED talk. Melissa actively engages in therapy research and was listed as one of "100 Women in Science" by Taylor & Francis. Melissa received her Master's Degree in Art Therapy from NYU.


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