Meet Dr. Vigil


Tampa-born and Harvard-educated, Dr. Ashley Vigil-Otero’s search for knowledge and training has led her all over the country and back home. After graduating from the Academy of the Holy Names in Tampa, Dr. Vigil began her undergraduate studies in psychology at Tulane University, where her curiosity in human development grew, as well as her love for New Orleans culture and music. As an undergraduate active in community service, Dr. Vigil was inducted into Mortar Board, a distinguished national honor society recognizing students for their exemplary scholarship, leadership and service. Following graduation from Tulane, Dr. Vigil worked in the non-profit sector, which included work as a case manager in the New Orleans Lower 9th Ward, an experience that solidified her desire to help individuals recover from adversity and seek advanced study in psychology.

Dr. Vigil received her Master's and Doctorate in clinical psychology from Nova Southeastern University, where she trained in both outpatient and inpatient settings with individuals across the lifespan. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School, Cambridge Health Alliance, where she received intensive training in psychological treatment and assessment of adults, children, and adolescents. While holding an appointment as a clinical fellow at Harvard, she trained with leaders in the field of psychiatry and psychology and had the opportunity to present a Harvard grand rounds with national trauma experts. Dr. Vigil also completed her American Psychological Association-accredited internship at Vanderbilt University, where she trained in evidence-based therapy at Vanderbilt School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and the Vanderbilt University Counseling Center.

Dr. Vigil’s research has focused on mood disorders as well as cultural sensitivity within the field of psychology.  During her graduate studies, she held a research assistantship for a CDC-funded study and presented research nationally at the the American Psychological Association Conference and internationally at the Interamerican Congress of Psychology in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Dr. Vigil has also held an appointment as an adjunct instructor at the University of South Florida, where she taught psychological assessment in the clinical psychology doctoral program.

Prior to studying psychology, Dr. Vigil was an avid dancer throughout the first part of her life. From dance, she first learned the importance of discipline and the mind-body connection, values that still influence her today. Dr. Vigil also credits dance with originally teaching her the value of having a passion and living a balanced life. In 2009, Dr. Vigil returned to Tampa, where she lives with her husband and son - her biggest inspirations to live well and find balance.


  • Harvard Medical School, Cambridge Health Alliance
    Department of Psychiatry, Cambridge, MA
    Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Clinical Psychology

  • Vanderbilt University
    Vanderbilt Medical School, Department of Psychiatry, Nashville, TN
    Pre-Doctoral Internship in Clinical Psychology
    APA Accredited Program

  • Nova Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    Psy.D., Clinical Psychology
    M.S., Clinical Psychology
    APA Accredited Program

  • Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
    B.A., Cum Laude, Psychology Major

Presentations and Publications

Ma, M, Kibler, J, Vigil-Otero, A et al. (2013, Jan). Correlates of Willingness to Participate in Microbicide Research Among African Americans. Journal of Health Psychology, Vol 18, no 1 65-74.

Vigil, A.A., (2009, April). Poverty Through a Child's Lens: The Intersection of Culture, Immigration and Trauma. Grand Rounds presentation at Cambridge Hospital with discussants Judith Herman, MD and Jana Smith, LICSW. Cambridge, MA.

Ma, M., Vigil, A.A., Kibler, J.L., Marker, C. & Washington, S. (2009, April). Correlates of willingness to participate in HIV vaccine trials among African Americans: Examining regional differences in the U.S. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 37 (Suppl), S60.

Vigil, A. A., Tellez, G. L., Rosen, J.P., Dorfman, W. I., Marker, C. & Padilla, A.F. (2007, August). Development of a Severity Rating Scale for Pediatric Bipolar Disorder. Poster presented at the American Psychological Association Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA.

Vigil, A. A., & Tellez, G. L. (2006, May). Early-Onset Bipolar Disorder. Speech presented at the 2006 Miami Children’s Hospital Mental Health Fair: Mental Health Challenges for Today’s Youth, Miami, FL.

Vigil, A. A. (2006, July). Bipolar Disorder Across Lifespan and Culture: A Review of Psychosocial Interventions. Poster presented at the Florida Psychological Association Conference, Sarasota, FL.

Vigil, A. A., Tellez, G. L., Rosen, J.P., Padilla, A. F. & Dorfman, W. I. (2006, August). Group Treatment of Early-Onset Bipolar Disorder: A Replication. Poster presented at the American Psychological Association Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA.

Behbahani, S. M., Vigil, A. A. & Lewis, J. E. (2005, June). From New York to Miami: Does the TEMAS travel? Poster presented at the 30th Interamerican Congress of Psychology, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Richardson, N. C., Vigil, A. A., Smalley, K. B., Mancini, G. M., Kuemmel, A., Lewis, J.E. (2005, June). Disaster and Diversity: The Cultural Sensitivity of Florida Relief Efforts. Poster presented at the 30th Interamerican Congress of Psychology, Buenos Aires, Argentina.


FL Psychology License PY7979

Professional Associations

  • American Psychological Association (APA)

  • Florida Psychological Association (FPA)

  • Division 53 of APA, Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology

  • Division 42 of APA, Psychologists in Independent Practice

Honors and Awards

Nova Southeastern University

  • Gold Circle Scholarship Recipient
  • Humanitarian of the Year Scholarship

  • Geertz Endowed Scholarship

Tulane University

  • Mortar Board Honor Society, a national honor society recognizing distinguished achievement in scholarship, leadership and service

  • Psi Chi Psychology Honor Society


“My passion for resilience blossomed many moons ago at Tulane University. I still remember exactly where I was sitting in an undergraduate classroom when the mental spark went off as I first learned about positive psychology, the study of strengths that enable humans and communities to thrive. Rather than solely learning how to to identify and reduce what was wrong with human behavior, there were researchers studying what was right.

I was inspired. Throughout my undergrad and graduate studies, I was particularly inspired by the idea that the field of psychology could move beyond reducing problems and help people reach their maximum potential.

As a psychologist, I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to witness this type of growth and recovery with my patients.  Although many years, travels and degrees have passed since that first spark went off at Tulane, I remain inspired and intrigued by resilience. Additionally, I remain invested in helping us all find more of it.“