Shinlay Rivera, PhD

Assistant Training Director, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Clinical Assistant Professor


PhD, Counselor Education – Marriage and Family Therapy, University of Florida

Professional Interests

Dr. Rivera strives to work with clients in cultivating their authentic self and maintaining an optimal level of wellness in their lives.  She has worked with individuals and families experiencing concerns with stress and anxiety, addictions, interpersonal relationships, adjustment issues, and trauma.  She has special interest in the criminal justice/child dependency systems, suicide prevention, and healthcare policy and advocacy.

Approach to Therapy

Dr. Rivera’s approach to therapy is person-centered and integrative, grounded in cognitive-behavioral, trauma-informed, relational-cultural, and solution-based theories.  It is important for her to offer a safe and supportive space for clients that can be used to explore the past and instilling hope for the future.  She works collaboratively with clients in using their strengths and resources to achieve positive change and to heal from painful events/memories.

Approach to Supervision

Dr. Rivera utilizes a developmental approach in clinical supervision.  She believes that professional development is a lifelong process, and can adapt to the supervisee’s current needs, goals, and skills to foster and empower continuous self-reflection and growth.  She sees her work with clients and trainees as parallel processes and values the collaborative and supportive relationship.

Approach to Wellness

Dr. Rivera’s free time is spent with family, friends, and her well-loved (and spoiled!) puppy.  She also enjoys reading, cooking, crafts, and various forms of gaming.  She is a self-proclaimed “foodie” and loves to explore new places to eat!

Other Activities

Dr. Rivera is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who has worked in various community mental health settings.  She is also a certified trainer for Mental Health First Aid and is passionate about promoting mental health awareness.