VCU Psychology Department

Does forgiving others affect your meaning in life?

Relationships are a vital source of meaning in life. But conflicts are inevitable in every relationship. Might forgiving an offense by your partner increase or restore how meaningful you feel your life is? read more...


How can we track the psychosocial functioning of patients?

Understanding a patient’s psychological profile over time can aid in diagnosis, assessment, and treatment planning. What method can we use to track the psychosocial functioning of patients? read more...


How important are routines for our well-being?

William Blake suggested that we "Think in the morning, act in the noon, read in the evening, and sleep at night." How critical is the timing and regularly of our daily activities for our well-being? read more...


Dr. Victoria Shivy

Associate Professor (tenured)

Counseling Psychology


PhD (1994), University at Albany, State University of New York

Licensed Psychologist, Virginia (Clinical) and New York

Contact Information

Phone: 804-828-0294

Office: 800 W Franklin, rm 107


Research Interests

I study the role that work plays in peoples' lives: how people decide on which career and educational paths they’ll pursue, and how individuals respond to a range of career-related events and experiences, with a particular focus on the socioemotional aspects of work. I design ways to help traditionally underserved populations enter, adjust to, and thrive in workplace settings [i.e., first-generation college students; underrepresented minority students; people from lower SES backgrounds; and, those who have spent time in prison]; so, sometimes I find myself at the intersection of health and vocational psychology, as in exploring how trauma can impact career choice and adjustment. A more recent emphasis is exploring how and where students in the biomedical sciences find support –the emotional, material, informational, and social companionship supports that facilitates their training and entry into the working world. This line of research uses a social network analysis approach.

I like that my unit is housed within a Department of Psychology. The subspecialty of vocational psychology is assessment and measurement-oriented. Hence, these activities figure prominently in my research, teaching, and practice. Work and career issues, as well, blend nicely with approaches seen in social, clinical, and developmental psychology. With regard to clinical practice, I am a generalist.  My practice goes well beyond the career-related concerns. Finally, I love to teach – especially when I am able to offer students service learning and community engagement opportunities. For several years I’ve taken undergraduate students into the outdoors (the James River Park System in Richmond) working with community partners to study how humans interact with their natural environment.

Selected Publications

Shivy, V. A., & Guion, D. B. (2012). Forensics and the legal system. In N. A. Fouad (Ed.), APA handbook of counseling psychology: Vol. 2. Practice, interventions, and applications. Washington DC: APA.

Shivy, V. A. (in press). Trauma, identity, and the workplace. In C. R. Figley (Ed.), Encyclopedia of trauma. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Shivy, V. A., & Guion, D. (in press). Trauma and incarceration. In C. R. Figley (Ed.),
Encyclopedia of trauma. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Shivy, V. A., & Guion, D. (in press). Childhood trauma and the juvenile justice system. In C. R. Figley (Ed.), Encyclopedia of trauma. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Shivy, V. A., Wu, J., Moon, A. E., Mann, S., Holland, J., & Eacho, C. (2007). Ex-offenders reentering the workforce. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 54, 466-473.

Recent Courses
Recent Grants

Pixie's Pen Pals: A Program for Virginia's Inmates. July 2011-June 2012. Studies the outcomes associated with pairing rescued shelter dogs with inmates serving time in Virginia Correctional facilities. $20,000.

INTUIT: Work and Careers. July 2000-June 2010. Virginia Department of Correctional Education. $305,940.