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Maria Elena Oliva, PhD, LCSW

Assistant Clinical Professor, Connecticut Mental Health Center

Contact Information

Maria Elena Oliva, PhD, LCSW

Mailing Address

  • Yale School of Medicine

    Connecticut Mental Health Center, 34 Park St.

    New Haven, CT 06519

    United States


Dr. Oliva is a child immigrant from Cuba and raised in the Bronx, NY. She is the Director of Social Work at the Connecticut Mental Health Center and is an Assistant Clinical Professor at the Yale School of Psychiatry. She has worked for the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services since 2006, starting at Greater Bridgeport Mental Health Center in Bridgeport, CT. Dr. Oliva has been an adjunct professor at Smith College, Southern Connecticut State University, UConn, Quinnipiac and the University of St. Joseph Schools of Social Work. She maintains a small private practice where she sees children, adolescents, and adults focusing on Spanish speaking individuals who would otherwise not be able to access private therapy. Dr. Oliva's research interest is the experience of bilingual Social Workers in Supervision and the challenges of being a bilingual Social Worker in the profession. She is also interested in the experience of the bilingual individual in psychotherapy and the impact of the duet of two languages. Dr. Oliva has presented this material at the state conference for the the National Association of Social Workers in both New Mexico and Connecticut, as well as the Women's Consortium and the Connecticut Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology. An area of interest is the ability to hold difficult conversations on race and privilege and the impact it has on clinical work.

Education & Training

  • PhD
    Smith College School for Social Work, Social Work (2012)
  • MSW
    Fordham University at Lincoln Center , Social Work (1984)
  • BA
    Lehman College, Sociology and Psychology (1980)