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VCU Psychology Department

Can people have a "relationship" with the natural world?

Human behavior is at the root of the rapid pace of climate change. What leads people to perceive greater interdependence with the environment? How does their commitment to the environment predict pro-environmental behavior? read more...


What increases emergency visits in children with asthma?

How are family/culturally-based beliefs about asthma, caregiver quality of life, and emergency department use associated in pediatric asthma? read more...


Can we train students' brains to work more effectively?

Direct cognitive training in a school setting represents an important innovation for developing the underlying thinking skills needed for educational success. Can we make computers better "trainers"? read more...


Can you strengthen your character in six hours?

Religious and secular self-help experts have long helped people build character strengths. But can people achieve as much—or even more!—benefit by working through six-hour workbooks at home? 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: 808 W Franklin, rm 213


Research Interests

I’m a psychologist who elected to specialize in Counseling Psychology. As such, I study the role that work plays in peoples' lives: how people decide on which career path they’ll pursue; and, how they respond to career-related events and experiences, with a particular focus on the socioemotional aspects of work. I’m most interested in learning ways to help traditionally underserved populations (e.g., people who spent time in prison, are from lower SES backgrounds, etc.) enter and thrive in the workplace. Sometimes I find myself at the intersection of health and vocational psychology, as in exploring how trauma can impact career choice and adjustment.  I also study how to help people -- young and old-- with career decision-making and career-related transitions. This includes people in, or entering, the “STEM-H pipeline,” where social support (or a lack thereof) can be a big factor. Relative to other helping professionals, psychologists have unique skills in assessment and measurement, and these activities figure prominently in my research, teaching, and practice. Training in research methods, likewise, comes in handy for building and establishing the efficacy of psychological interventions. I developed a career-related intervention that was used in the Virginia correctional system for 10 years, and recognized as a model program. With regard to clinical work, I am a generalist. So 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!

Note: Dr. Shivy will not be admitting a PhD student for academic year 2013-2014.

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.