Melissa Zeligman, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Counselor Education

Office: ED 322B

Phone: 407-823-6132


Professional Summary

Dr. Melissa Zeligman is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Counselor Education and School Psychology. Prior to completing her doctorate at the University of Central Florida, Dr. Zeligman served as a mental health counselor, working in agency, medical, legal, and high school settings. Her research focuses on trauma work- including the experience of posttraumatic growth, the experiences of clients living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses, and clinical skill development for counselors-in-training. Dr. Zeligman is an active member of multiple divisions of the American Counseling Association, including ACES, AARC, and ASERVIC, where she currently serves as a board member and media committee chair.


Ph.D. in Counselor Education
University of Central Florida

Areas of Expertise

  • Mental health counseling
  • Counselor education
  • Trauma

Research Interests

  • Mental health counseling interventions for clients living with chronic illness, particularly those living with HIV
  • Trauma and posttraumatic growth
  • Clinical skills training

Recent Publications

Zeligman, M., McElroy-Heltzel, S. E., Davis, E. B., Dispenza, F., Davis, D. E., & DeBlaere, C. (2019). Posttraumatic growth and trauma in flood survivors: Contributions of attitudes toward God. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 41, 127-143. doi:10.17744/mehc.41.2.03

Zeligman, M., Varney, M.*, Grad, R.*, & Huffstead, M.* (2018). Posttraumatic growth in individuals with chronic illness: The role of Social support and meaning making. Journal of Counseling & Development, 96, 53-63. doi:10.1002/jcad.12177

Zeligman, M. (2018). Medical trauma: Assessing trauma and growth following an HIV diagnosis. Journal of Humanistic Counseling, 57, 14-30. doi:10.1002/johc.12064

Zeligman, M., Dispenza, F., Chang, C. Y., Levy, D. B., McDonald, C. P.*, & Murphy, T.* (2017). Motivational interviewing training: A pilot study in a master’s level counseling program. Counseling Outcome Research and Evaluation, 8, 91-104. doi:10.1080/21501378.2017.1342518

Zeligman, M., Bialo, J. *, Brack, J. L., & Kearney, M. A.*. (2017). Loneliness as Moderator between Trauma and Posttraumatic Growth. Journal of Counseling & Development, 95, 435-444. doi:10.1002/jcad.12158

Professional Organizations

  • American Counseling Association
  • Association for Counselor Education and Supervision
  • Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision
  • Association for Assessment and Research in Counseling
  • Association for Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Values in Counseling
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