Psychology Department

Faculty & Staff - Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Dr. Katherine Helm

Professor & Graduate Programs Director
Counseling Psychology

Office: BE-133
Phone: (815) 836-5604
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Dr. Katherine Helm is a Professor of Psychology and Director of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program (CMHC).  I have been a proud member of the Lewis community since 2001.  I am a licensed psychologist and counselor educator. I primarily teach graduate courses in the CMHC.  I teach through a narrative approach incorporating real live case examples from my own clinical practice to help the topics I am teaching about come alive.  I actively use students’ input to improve my courses and make our mutual learning experience as interactive and engaging as possible.   I teach a wide variety of courses and am passionate about teaching and learning.  I have authored several publications about cultural issues in mental health, couples’ issues, and pedagogy in multicultural counseling courses.  I have participated in counselor training at multiple levels, including directing a practicum program at an outside agency.  I maintain a client case load and I am an active member of Illinois Counseling Association (ICA).

I am interested in helping our students reach their full professional potential and in actualizing their many talents. Students education at Lewis and their experience in our program and department is very important to me.  Please reach out to me if you have any questions about our graduate program or graduate school in counseling programs in general.  I always enjoy talking to and learning from our students!  I can be reached through email at:

Dr. Lisa Brown

Assistant Professor
Office: BE-135
Phone: (815) 588-7178
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Welcome to Lewis University! I am Dr. Lisa Brown and I teach both undergraduate and graduate courses within the Psychology Department. At the undergraduate level, I enjoy teaching Human Sexuality and Psychology of the Minority Experience. At the graduate level, I enjoy teaching Interviewing Skills, Introduction to Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Group Dynamics and Counseling, Multicultural Issues in Counseling, Models and Theories of Clinical Supervision in Mental Health, and Practicum in Counseling. As a clinician, I specialize in working with children and adolescents, survivors of domestic violence, and the LGBTQ+ population. I value the education of our students and strive to assist them in meeting their education and career goals. I actively seek students' input to ensure that class is interactive and engaging.  To provide students with a practical understanding of the mental health field, I incorporate examples from my work as a clinician. My goal as an instructor is to provide a learning environment that is engaging, safe and respectful.

Dr. Lili Burciaga

Assistant Professor
Counselor Education and Supervision
Office: BE -136
Phone: (815) 836-5762
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Hello! I am Lili Burciaga, core faculty in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program.  I am a licensed clinical professional counselor (LCPC) and certified clinical trauma professional (CCTP) with over 15 years of experience in the mental health field.  I have worked in numerous settings as a mental health professional, counselor, training coordinator, psychotherapist, clinical supervisor, and mental health consultant.  My background has been in community mental health, hospitals, juvenile detention, and primary care, where I have served marginalized populations in the city of Chicago and surrounding suburbs.  Presently, I provide bilingual, on-site critical incident response as a consultant across Illinois and surrounding states.

I became a counselor educator because my passion is making a difference for marginalized groups. I wanted to make a difference beyond my counseling office.  I view my role as a counselor educator as helping counselors in training become socially responsible practitioners.  I do this through being faculty advisor of Lewis Counselors for Social Justice, but also by integrating socially responsible practice into the courses I teach.  Overall, the goal in my teaching philosophy is to prepare students for the challenges and rewards that the counseling field has to offer by teaching practical clinical skills and to be social justice advocates for the clients we serve.  I have an interactive teaching style that uses experiential activities, discussion, and real-world clinical examples to facilitate students’ learning.  I aim to empower students to be curious and motivated to learn.  My research interests and areas of expertise include: mindfulness, trauma, parenting, and social justice.

I love connecting with students.  Please stop by my office (BE-136) or shoot me an email so we can connect.  I look forward to meeting you at Lewis! 

Dr. Kimberly Duris

Counselor Education and Supervision
Office: BE-131
Phone: (815) 836-5783
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Dr. Kimberly Duris is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) and a Certified Alcohol and other Drug Abuse Counselor (CADC).  Her educational background includes a doctorate of education specializing in counselor education and supervision (Ed.D. in CES) and a master’s degree in counseling psychology.  Her counseling experience includes over 15 years of work in the mental health field, including work with dually diagnosed adolescents (mental health and substance abuse diagnosis), severe-chronically mental ill adults, private practice work setting, and multiple positions providing clinical supervision to masters level interns and masters degreed professionals seeking licensure. Dr. Duris is an associate professor in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) program in the Department of Psychology where she teaches a variety of courses.  In addition, she is the Director of Training for the CMHC program’s field placement courses.

Dr. Touwana Edwards

Associate Professor
Clinical Psychology
Office: BE-127
Phone: (815) 836-5746
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Dr. Edwards is an Associate Professor and the Director of the Advanced Training Program in Addiction Studies, which prepares students for counselor certification in the area of alcohol and other drug abuse.

As a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and a Certified Addictions Counselor, Dr. Edwards specializes in family-based interventions, couples therapy, issues of diversity, and the treatment of substance abuse.  Over the years, she has worked in community mental health, intensive outpatient substance abuse treatment facilities for pregnant and parenting women, social services agencies, provided school-based mental health services, been in private practice, and has conducted forensic research.  Additionally, she is an alumna of the Chicago area Christian Training Consortium where she received specialized clinical training in the integration of faith-based practice and psychology.

Dr. James Morris

Assistant Professor
Counselor Education and Supervision
Office: BE-134
Phone:  (815) 836-5556
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My name is James Morris and I am currently an instructor in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Graduate Program. I am a licensed clinical professional counselor and I bring 10+ years of practical experience in various settings and in varying capacities to the classroom. I have worked primarily with the child and adolescent population providing trauma informed clinical care and supervision in the Chicago Public School system, integrative, evidence based approaches with clients in inpatient hospitals and residentials, consultation at Cook County Juvenile Detention Center and more. However, I have also had the privilege of providing clinical interventions for our military families and veterans while an inpatient therapist in a civilian behavioral health setting.

While I have found clinical work extremely rewarding, I am excited and looking forward to being a part of students’ journeys toward becoming ethical and socially responsible practitioners. The underlying premise of my teaching philosophy is fairly simple in its focus on practical learning. As an instructor I believe that I play a critical role in creating a learning space where you are a part of the process, have real problems to solve with information acquired, feel your experiences are valuable, and ultimately you have a meaningful experience of the material that stimulates your curiosity and generates new questions. As a facilitator of the learning experience I bring a passion and enthusiasm that is meant to encourage you from being merely passive recipients of knowledge towards becoming active co-participants in the learning process.

I have a wide range of research interest which include but are not limited to:  trauma interventions for the multi-generational transmission of trauma and reproductive trauma, neuro counseling and brain based counseling interventions, and the perception of social support and its relationship to academic self-concept among male students. I currently teach primarily in the graduate program, however, I periodically teach General Psychology in the undergraduate program. My greatest experiences at Lewis have come through my interaction with students!!!!!! You can reach me at, or feel free to stop by my office (BE 134).