Chris Dabbs

Chris Dabbs, Ph.D., LMHC Assistant Professor College of Arts and Sciences (ASB) Room 354


Dr. Chris Dabbs earned a Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University in Counseling Psychology where he taught courses in counseling, vocational psychology, and supervised training counselors. He completed his doctoral clinical residence at the Counseling and Psychology Services center at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, where he engaged in outreach programming, program development activities, and a range of clinical services including individual counseling, group counseling, crisis work, and testing and assessment. Dr. Dabbs also holds a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from Valparaiso University, where he completed advanced training in addiction counseling alongside his degree. His foundational education was earned at Wabash College, where he received a bachelor’s degree with a double major in psychology and religious studies. Before coming to Valparaiso University, Dr. Dabbs was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology at Knox College in Galesburg, IL.

Dr. Dabbs has clinical experience in a variety of settings, including private practice, community mental health, university and college counseling, partial hospitalizations, and psychiatric facilities. His primary clinical interests are psychological assessment and working with depression, anxiety, and identity issues in college populations. These clinical interests fuel Dr. Dabbs’ research agenda. His research lab—the Clinical Research in Identity and Belief (CRIB) Lab—is dedicated to exploring the relationships between anxiety, depression, stress, and identity. Dr. Dabbs has presented his research to the larger mental health professional communities at national and local conferences and has provided several clinical trainings to counselors and psychologists in his areas of expertise. In his identity work, he mainly centers autistic identity from a neurodiversity-affirming lens and religious/spiritual identities, including non-belief.

Dr. Dabbs lives in Valparaiso, IN with his wife, Maggie, and their very large cat, Hermione. Outside of his professional endeavors, Dr. Dabbs spends his time volunteering with a nonprofit autistic advocacy group, Autistics Unmasked. You can also often find him curled up with his Kindle, reading whatever long-form epic fantasy or sci-fi novel has grabbed his attention, or flipping through the pages of a comic book.

  • Ph.D. Counseling Psychology, Oklahoma State University
  • Graduate Certificate in College Teaching
  • Pre-doctoral Clinical Internship, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis
  • M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Valparaiso University
  • Graduate Certificate in Clinical Addictions Counseling
  • B.A. Psychology and Religion, Wabash College
Courses Taught
  • PSY 110: General Psychology
  • PSY 111: Lab in General Experimental Psychology
  • PSY 235: Abnormal Psychology
  • PSY 260: Psychotherapy and Counseling
  • PSY 390: Topics: Psychology of Religion and Spirituality
  • COUN 667: Clinical Addictions Theory and Treatment
Research & Clinical Interests
  • Religious and spiritual identity development
  • Psychological sense of community
  • College student mental health
  • Autistic burnout
  • Therapeutic experiences of minoritized people
Selected Scholarly Contributions

Dabbs, C. R.,& Winterowd, C. (2023). Religious, spiritual, and secular identity and group participation in U.S. college students during the COVID-19 pandemic: Differences in quality of life and psychological distress. Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion, 19(3),

Natri, H. M., Abubakare, O., Beaud, F., Botha, M., Bottema-Beutel, K., Burr, D., Cobbaert, L., Dabbs, C. R., Denome, D., Edwards, B., Flower, R., Gassner, D., Grant, A., Hundt, A., Kapp, S., Tidd, J. L., Manalili, M. A. R., Morton, H., Nair, V., Onaiwu, M. G., … Zisk, A. (2023). Anti-ableist language is fully compatible with high-quality autism research. Autism Research, 16(4), 673-676.

Dabbs, C. R., & Baird, R. (2023). Hiring permanently remote clinical staff at university counseling centers: A multi-method exploration of barriers and implications for student mental health. Manuscript under review.

Dabbs, C. R., & Winterowd, C. Adaptation of the collegiate psychological sense of community scale to measure religious and spiritual community: An exploratory factor analysis. Manuscript in revision.

Dabbs, C. R. (2023, Aug. 3). Believer and non-believer identity and group participation impact on distress and quality of life. [Poster presentation]. American Psychological Association Conference, Division 36.

Dabbs, C. R. (2023, Aug. 3). A multi-method exploration into barriers to hiring permanently remote staff in college counseling. [Poster presentation]. American Psychological Association Conference, Division 17.

Understanding and Affirming Autistic Self-Diagnosis: Implications for Mental Health. Keynote presented by Chris Dabbs, Ph.D., LMHC at the Neurodiversity in Mental Health Conference hosted by Oklahoma State University

Not Just Angry: Conversations about Atheism and Secular Spirituality in College Students. Presented by Chris Dabbs, Ph.D., LMHC at the 2022 Social Justice in College Counseling Conference hosted by Texas A&M Counseling and Psychological Services

Professional Association Memberships
  • American Psychological Association
  • American Counseling Association
  • Psi Chi
  • Chi Sigma Iota
  • Council on Undergraduate Research