About Dr. Arias-Valenzuela

Dr. Melisa Arias-Valenzuela, Psy.D. / Ph.D., C. Psych., PMH-C is a clinical psychologist licensed in the provinces of Ontario and Québec. She is also a certified perinatal mental health clinician with Postpartum Support International (PMH-C). She founded the private practice Uprise Psychology & Wellness and works primarily with people struggling with eating disorders, body image concerns and perinatal mental health.


Dr. Melisa Arias-Valenzuela holds a bachelor degree specialized with honours in Psychology from the University of Ottawa and a doctoral degree in Psychology (Psy.D./Ph.D.) from the Université du Québec à Montréal. Her doctoral thesis focused on understanding how multicultural people identify to their cultural groups and negotiate their cultural differences as well as the repercussions of these processes on their psychological well-being. Her doctoral thesis was awarded a doctoral fellowship by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

Training and Experience:

Throughout her doctoral training, Dr. Melisa Arias-Valenzuela has trained in various clinical settings, including a university clinic, a mental-health hospital and private community clinics. Her pre-doctoral internship was accomplished at the McGill University Health Centre in the Cognitive-Behavioural Service. Since then, she has received additional training from the Training Institute for Child and Adolescent Eating Disorders, the Contextual Psychology Institute, the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion, the Compassionate Mind Foundation, Radically Open LTD, and Postpartum Support International.

Over the course of her clinical training, she has primarily trained in Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) as well as in Third Wave Psychology approaches, including Acceptance-Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical-Behavioural Therapy (DBT) and Radically Open Dialectical-Behavioural Therapy (RO-DBT). Dr. Arias-Valenzuela has also received training in Family-Based Therapy for Anorexia (FBT or sometimes called Maudsley). She has developed an interest and passion for compassion-focused intervention approaches, particularly for Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT) and Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC). Dr. Arias-Valenzuela is also currently developing an expertise in Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training (MB-EAT) with the Mindful Eating Training Institute.


Dr. Melisa Arias-Valenzuela’s therapeutic approach is collaborative, compassionate, trauma and social justice informed, as well as evidence-based. Working with her clients, she uses psychological interventions backed by scientific data to help them make meaningful changes to their lives, ease their suffering, and enhance their well-being.


She offers services in English, French and Spanish.

Professional affiliations:

Peer-reviewed publications

Arias-Valenzuela, M., Amiot, C. E., & Ryder, A. G. (2019). Identity configurations and well-being during normative cultural conflict: The roles of multiculturals’ conflict management strategies and academic stage. European Journal of Social Psychology, 49(5), 970-991. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.2566

Arias-Valenzuela, M., Amiot, C. E., & Ryder, A. G. (2016). Which one to take on? Immigrant’s identity acquisition in the context of hyper-diversive Montreal. Canadian Ethnic Studies/Études ethniques au Canada, 48(1), 123-140. doi : 10.1353/ces.2016.0002

Miranda, D., Blais-Rochette, C., Vaugon, K., Osman, M., & Arias-Valenzuela, M. (2015). Towards a cultural-developmental psychology of music in adolescence. Psychology of Music, 43(2), 197-218. doi : 10.1177/0305735613500700

Valenzuela-Pérez, A., Couture, M., & Arias-Valenzuela, M. (2014). Exploring refugee children’s psychological needs through storytelling: A case study of two Latino American children. Journal of Latina/o Psychology, 2(3), 172-186. doi:10.1037/lat0000022

Other publications

Arias-Valenzuela, M. & Pitre-D’Iorio, M.P. (2021, October 18). Favoriser la relation saine de ses enfants avec la nourriture et son corps. EducoFamille. Retrieved from: https://educofamille.com/troubles-du-comportement-alimentaire/