Daniel Gutierrez, Ph.D., LPC, CSAC

Associate Professor, Counseling and Special Education

Daniel Gutierrez, Ph.D., LPC, CSAC


  • Ph.D. in Counselor Education, University of Central Florida, 2014
  • M.A. in Mental Health Counseling, University of Central Florida, 2009
  • B.A. in Psychology, University of Central Florida, 2005

Research interests

Mental health and addiction counseling, individual and community thriving, contemplative practices, and Positive Psychology.

Career highlights

  • Associate Editor for Quantitative Research, Journal of Counseling & Development
  • President for Association for Spiritual Ethical Religious Values in Counseling (2021-2022)
  • Three-time Recipient of Bigg-Pines Award for Outstanding Scholarly Contribution (2010, 2015, 2019)
  • Recipient of outstanding research award by Association for Play Therapy (2022)

Recent publications/projects

  • Gutierrez, D., Principal Investigator. Co-Principal Investigator, Dorais, S. (2022 – 2024). Spirituality and Client Outcomes: Investigating the Mechanisms of Religious and Spiritual Competence Training in Mental Health. Templeton Religious/Spiritual Competencies Grant. $120,000.
  • Gutierrez, D., Principal Investigator. Co-Principal Investigator, Dorais, S. (2022 – 2024). An intensive longitudinal study on a Centering Meditation: Exploring the temporal dynamics of nondual awareness and prosociality. Mind & Life Institute PEACE Grant. $100,000.
  • Gutierrez, D., Co-Principal Investigator. (Corona, R., Moreno, O. Múltiple Principal Investigators), Co-Investigator, Christine Kaestle. (2018 – 2021) Culturally enhancing a motivational interviewing intervention for Latinx adolescents. Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth. $449,912.
  • Gutierrez, D., Goshorn, J., & Dorais, S. (2022). Thriving in recovery: An exploration of thriving over a course of time in recovery. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 132, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsat.2021.108612
  • Ray, D.C., Burgin, E.E., Ceballos, P.L., Lindo, N., Gutierrez, D. (2021). Child-centered play therapy and Adverse Childhood Experiences: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Counseling and Development. https://doi.org/10.1002/jcad.12412
  • Dorais, S., and Gutierrez, D. (2021). The effectiveness of a centering meditation intervention on college stress and mindfulness: A randomized controlled trial. Frontiers in Psychology 12:720824. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.720824
  • Revens, K.E., Gutierrez, D., Paul, R., Reynolds, A.D., Price, R., & DeHaven, M.J. (2021). Social support and religiosity as contributing factors to resilience and mental wellbeing in latino immigrants: A community-based participatory research study. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 23(5), 904 – 916. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-021-01179-7


Dr. Daniel Gutierrez is an Associate Professor in the Department of Counseling and Special Education. He is also currently serving as the lead for the iCubed Urban Education and Family Transdisciplinary Core.

His research draws on his experience as a Licensed Professional Counselor and Substance Abuse Counselor working with underserved communities. He is motivated by a belief in the potential for research to be a pathway that supports positive social transformation. The mission of his research efforts has been to better understand the factors and pathways by which historically marginalized, vulnerable, and at-risk individuals thrive in response to chronic stress, systemic injustices and life challenges, for the purpose of helping develop a more just, healthy, hopeful and flourishing society. This research mission has led to two distinct but overlapping lines of research: 1) the development of cross-cultural, evidence-based mental health strategies for fostering individual and community thriving; and 2) an exploration of contemplative practices and spirituality as catalysts for self and social transformation.

Curriculum Vitae

(804) 828-1348