Dr. Elliott Lawless

Elliott Lawless
Dr. Elliott Lawless B.S., Psychology, M.A., Clinical Psychology, Psy.D., Clinical Psychology
  • Psychology Department Chair



B.S., Psychology -George Fox University; M.A., Clinical Psychology -George Fox University; Psy.D., Clinical Psychology -George Fox University

Favorite Quote

I do not say that John or Jonathan will realize all this; but such is the character of that morrow which mere lapse of time can never make to dawn. The light which puts out our eyes is darkness to us. Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star.

-H.D. Thoreau

Personal Background:

I was born and raised in a Christian home in the Portland area, on a historic farm in the Western suburbs. It was a wonderful place to grow up, which is why, after all these years, I am happy to find myself back in the Portland area. Prior to Portland, I lived in several locations, from Boston to California. Most of my family still lives in the area, and my wife and I are getting settled in to the Portland lifestyle.

Professional Background:

Most of my education occurred at George Fox University, where I completed my doctorate in Clinical Psychology. My dissertation focused on the measurement of physical symptoms in depression, especially physical movement. While this is still a research interest, I have also pursued research in the psychology of religion, existential anxiety, the psychology of shyness, and the integration of psychology and theology.

Clinically, my training has focused on the treatment of chronic mental illness and psychotic disorders. I believe the chronically mentally ill to be one of the most underserved populations in our community. I hope to help equip future counselors to provide this needed service, and also dispel the many myths and fears concerning the mentally ill. The theories that I utilize most in treatment are primarily psychodynamic and existential in nature.


Though I was raised in a Christian home and confirmed my belief in Jesus as an adolescent, my faith in Jesus developed much later. The One who loves me doesn’t give up, even though I gave up on Him a time or two. Through all of my hardships, I have developed a deep, personal relationship with God.

Why I Teach

I have quite a love for psychology, theology, and the integration of the two. It is wonderful to have a place to act on these passions. Through teaching and training students, I hope to open minds and hearts in such a way that creates paths of healing in our communities.


In my free time, I enjoy fly fishing, reading, writing, playing the guitar and drums, running, and cooking. My favorite hobby, however, is picking up new hobbies.