Jill Vella, PHD

Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Clinical Assistant Professor



  • M.Ed/Ed.S in Mental Health Counseling, University of Florida
  • Ph.D. in Counseling and Counselor Education (August 2018), University of Florida

Professional Interests

Some of my specific interests include working with survivors of trauma, working with those experiencing grief and bereavement, and multicultural and diversity issues; however, I am glad to work with people across a wide variety of issues and concerns. Additionally, I am interested in mental health recovery, the role of peer support in mental health, and providing supervision to counselors in training. I enjoy working with both individuals and groups.

Approach to Therapy

My approach to therapy is best described as existential in theory and eclectic in application. I aim to create a safe and collaborative relationship with clients that honors the individuality of each person, while also staying connected to shared qualities of the human experience. I believe that wellness is facilitated through the meaning-making of life events and in living more closely in accordance with our authentic selves. I seek to empower clients and use a strengths-based approach to counseling. In addition to exploring individual factors, I also find value in exploring socio-political factors that influence a person’s perspectives and experiences.

Approach to Supervision

My approach to supervision is a constructivist and therapist-centered approach. For me, trust, support, and recognition of strengths are important qualities of the supervisory relationship. I believe that personal and professional growth are related and encourage consistent self-reflection. I take level of training into account and believe that my role as a supervisor is fluid as supervisees’ needs and experiences grow and change.

Approach to Wellness

My approach to wellness revolves around maintaining a work-life balance. Outside of work I enjoy time with family, friends, and pets. I also find it helpful towards my mental health to be physically active and to pursue creative outlets such as making art or writing. It is also common to find me unwinding with a cup of tea and a good book.