PHOTO: Lennis G. Echterling

Lennis G. Echterling, Ph.D.



  • Ph.D. Purdue University
  • M.S. Purdue University
  • B.A. Rockhurst College


  • Licensed Clinical Psychologist
  • Since my graduation, I have provided crisis intervention, consultation and training in response to many catastrophic events, including tornadoes and floods throughout the United States, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in Mississippi and Texas, the tsunami in India, the 9/11 attacks at the Pentagon, the shootings at Virginia Tech, violence in Mexico, and landmine explosions in Jordan, Kurdistan, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon.
  • I am a member of a volunteer team that offers support to fire fighters, law enforcement officers, and emergency medical service providers.
  • I received the Madison Scholar Award, James Madison University’s Distinguished Faculty Award, JMU Altogether One Award, Virginia Counselors Association’s Humanitarian Award, the national Counseling Vision and Innovation Award from the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, and the State Council for Higher Education of Virginia’s Outstanding Faculty Award.
  • I am the oldest of six children in a working-class family and was raised by loving parents. Growing up in St. Joseph, Missouri, a block away from the home of the famous outlaw Jesse James, my early dream in life was to appear on a Wanted poster. Mary Lou Wylie, my wife of over 45 years, inspired me not to pursue the career of a scoundrel and brigand. In recent years, I have been comforted by the fact that if I ever did become a desperado, I could rely on my son Caleb, who is an attorney, to keep me out of the slammer. Fortunately, I now have channeled my criminal impulses into singing lullabies, doing patty-cake, and playing peek-a-boo with my grandsons James and Gabriel.
  • For over 25 years, I have been blessed to have the JMU Counseling Programs as my learning community. My colleagues here – the professors, staff and students – are wonderful sources of inspiration, support and encouragement.

Scholarly Interests/Research Topics