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Counseling Service

Meet the Staff

John Hancock, Ed.D., serves as Chief Psychologist and Associate Dean of Students for Health and Wellness.  Dr. Hancock supervises the Counseling Service, Student Health Service, and Health Promotion & Wellness office.  He earned his doctorate at West Virginia University in Counseling Psychology.   Dr. Hancock completed an extramural training program at the Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy & Research and has been granted diplomate status by the Academy for Cognitive Therapy.  He has directed college counseling services for almost 20 years. His professional passion is suicide risk reduction and intervention, and he is a trainer for the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.  

Michelle J. Kirton, Ph.D., Associate Director of Counseling/Training Director, is a licensed psychologist specializing in career and professional development, women’s issues, and multiculturalism. Her Ph.D. is from Arizona State University–Tempe, and her M.S. from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Since higher education settings have been a focus for Dr. Kirton, she has also worked with students at OHSU, and has created and taught courses for both Pacific University and Portland State University.

Jeanne M. Lilly, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist with an M.A. and a Ph.D. from Ohio State University. Her professional interests include positive psychology, the treatment of trauma, psychospiritual approaches to counseling, and Eastern psychology. She has taught courses for both Lewis & Clark College and Marylhurst University.

Bobbi Mihara, Psy.D., is a licensed psychologist from Pacific University. She specializes in working with LGBTQ, multicultural, and creative students, and with couples. She takes a humanistic approach to mental health, which explores the student’s individual, interpersonal, and cultural strengths to increase insight into challenges that students may face. In addition to her work at Lewis & Clark College, Bobbi has worked in counseling centers at Portland State University, Pacific University, and Oregon State University. She has also created and taught courses for both PSU and OSU.

Tim Beecher, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist with an M.Ed. from Washington State University and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of North Dakota. Tim has worked at several university and college counseling centers; his expertise includes working with students to improve their relationships, teaching students mindfulness skills, and helping students who want to address substance abuse problems. Tim’s therapeutic style is empathic, supportive, open and direct, and he identifies as an LGBTQ ally.

Melinda Brooks, Psy.D., is a licensed psychologist from Pacific University. She has worked at student counseling centers at Pacific University and the University of Washington. Melinda’s professional interests include helping students with mood and anxiety disorders, interpersonal relationships, grief and loss, and trauma and abuse issues. Her approach to therapy is integrative and addresses identity development, career, and education issues into the therapeutic work with students.

Maria Marshall, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist with an M.S. in Clinical Psychology from Illinois State University and a Ph.D. from Fielding Graduate University. Besides working at Lewis & Clark, Maria has also served at the Illinois State University and the Johns Hopkins University student counseling centers. She is passionate about helping college and graduate students deal successfully with a wide array of psychological issues, including depression, anxiety, relationship and family of origin issues, identity development, grief and loss, and trauma. Maria’s approach to therapy draws on interpersonal, emotion-focused, existential, and positive psychology influences.

Kara Powers, M.D., is a board-certified psychiatrist.  She graduated from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and did her residency training at University of California, San Francisco.  In addition to her work at the Counseling Service, Dr. Powers has practiced in a variety of settings including community mental health and private practice, and has served as clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UCSF.  She has experience treating a broad range of mental health issues within culturally diverse populations using both medication management and psychotherapy.  She has a particular interest in mindfulness practices and in applying these to her psychotherapeutic work.  She especially enjoys working with students as they grow and discover their paths in life.

Aimee Polzin, LPC, LCSW, is a licensed professional counselor with an M.A. from Lewis & Clark.  Before joining the team in the Counseling Service, Aimee worked in community mental health centers, in private practice, and in a pediatric/adolescent eating disorder treatment program.  Aimee has two distinct roles at the Counseling Service: as Case Manager and also as Mental Health Counselor.  As a Case Manager, she supports community members by connecting them to appropriate on-campus and off-campus resources, helping them to continue to attain their academic and co-curricular goals, and supporting them in dealing with difficult life experiences.  As a Mental Health Counselor, she works with students to successfully manage psychological distress including depression, anxiety, trauma, life transitions, grief and loss, relationship issues, and identity issues.  Her practice includes mindfulness techniques, interventions based in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, mindful self-compassion, and meditation.

Allison Chambers, M.S., CADC-I, is a 5th-year psychological trainee at Pacific University’s School of Professional Psychology. She earned her B.S. in biology and psychology at Portland State University, and her M.S. in Clinical Psychology at Pacific.  She is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Level I.  Allison’s professional interests include treatment of substance abuse and dependence and treatment of anxiety and mood disorders.  She is also interested in multicultural counseling, group therapy dynamics, gender and sexual identity development, trauma resolution, life transitions, and building healthy relationships.  Allison uses the Gestalt Therapy approach, which emphasizes improved self-regulation via increased personal insight and awareness.

Rachel Duda, M.S., is a psychological trainee from Pacific University. Besides her master’s in Clinical Psychology from Pacific, she has a B.A. in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Rachel works with clients struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, and substance use, and those with body image issues, relationship difficulties, and phase-of-life adjustments.  Her work is integrative, drawing from client-centered, skills-based, and interpersonal approaches; her therapeutic style is supportive, empathetic, and open.  She is passionate about helping students identify and explore issues and/or values related to identity development.  Rachel identifies as an LGBTQ ally.  She is  experienced with Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), which emphasizes validating individual experiences and developing skills to help people become more effective in their lives, both emotionally and interpersonally.  

Paul Knackstedt, M.A., M.S., is a psychological trainee from Pacific University with a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Pacific and a master’s degree in kinesiology - specializing in Sport & Exercise Psychology - from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Before returning to school, Paul worked with Division I student-athletes on the mental side of performance, as well as helping those dealing with the stress and anxiety of being a college student.  He has a specific interest in working with students going through life transitions, especially those encountered during young adulthood.  Paul has worked with persons struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, adjustment, sleep disorders, and interpersonal relationships.  Paul has experience working with clients from a Gestalt Therapy orientation, emphasizing individual exploration, support, and increasing awareness.

Mary Kitchel, counsel@lclark.edu, Administrative Coordinator, schedules client appointments, facilitates students, and serves as office manager.

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