Mark Karris, LMFT

Adjunct Professor, MACC
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, LMFT #85177

For over 12 years, Prof. Karris has been a counselor working with youth, families, couples, and individuals. He began in NY working as a therapist intern at Nyack College performing individual and group therapy with adolescents. At the same time, he was an intern at Mental Health of Rockland County in NY, performing individual and group therapy with the severely mentally ill population.

Karris moved to San Diego in 2010 and had the privilege of working as a therapist intern at Point Loma Nazarene University in their Wellness Center. He also worked at the Alliant Couple and Family Clinic in San Diego, specializing in Emotionally Focused Couples therapy. He then began to work at Kathryn de Bruin Family Therapy and Training.

He recently moved back to San Diego after three years living in Yokosuka, Japan where he worked on a military base leading mindfulness and process groups. He also performed individual, couple, and family therapy. During his time in Japan Karris worked as a Domestic Abuse Victim Advocate. He also traveled internationally for the Red Cross performing workshops on stress, trauma, anger, and communication.

Karris is an ordained pastor and has been serving and ministering in various communities for over 20 years. He has a diverse and eclectic background, which gives him the ability to view the faith experience from many different vantage points. Karris has been involved with, and served within, many different denominations such as Christian & Missionary Alliance, Methodist, Southern Baptist, Pentecostal, including working in a Korean Presbyterian Church for four years. He has been taught and trained by extraordinary therapists, psychologists, pastors, spiritual leaders, and theologians.

His education includes a Bachelor of Science in Pastoral Ministry/Psychology at Nyack College in Nyack N.Y. and a Masters of Counseling at Alliance Graduate School of Counseling in Nyack N.Y. He also received a Master of Divinity at Drew Theological School in Madison, N.J. He is currently finishing his PsyD at Alliant International University, where he is an adjunct professor.

Karris and his wife, Bianca, are happily married. They have an incredibly adventurous one-year-old son, Alexander.


  • Psy.D., Marriage and Family Therapy, Alliant International University, In Progress
  • M.Div., Drew University, 2011
  • M.A., Counseling, Nyack College, 2006
  • B.S., Psychology, Nyack College, 2003

Courses Taught

PSY625 Counseling Theories and Faith Integration I

PSY626 Counseling Theories and Faith Integration II

Experience in Field

Teaching Experience

  • Point Loma Nazarene University, Adjunct Professor, 2018-present
  • Alliant International University, Adjunct Profesor, 2013, 2017-present
  • Nyack College, Adjunct Professor, 2005-2006

Clinical Experience

  • Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan, Military Family Life Counselor, 2016-2017
  • Mental Health Hospital Yokosuka, Marriage & Family Therapist Volunteer, 2016
  • Fleet and Family Support Center, Family Advocate Support Specialist, 2015
  • Kathryn de Bruin, Marriage & Family Therapist, 2012-2012
  • Alliant Couple and Family Clinic, Marriage & Family Therapist Intern, 2012-2014
  • Point Loma Nazarene University, Therapist Intern, 2011
  • Nyack CollegeCounseling Intern, 2005-2006
  • Mental Health Association of Rockland CountyCounseling Intern, 2005-2006


Professional and Community Involvement


• Red Cross Reconnections Workshop Certified Facilitator- Educative Groups for young children, youth, and families
• Certified Domestic Violence Specialist (NAMA)
• Member of National Anger Management Association
• International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy
• California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
• Prepare/Enrich Certified Facilitator for Pre-Marital and Married Couples

Dissertations, Presentations, and Publications


Karris, M. (2019) Death and Life by a Thousand Cuts: Lessons Learned from the Deconstructive/Reconstructive Journey. Counseling and Family Therapy Scholarship Review: Vol. 2: Iss. 1, Article 2. 

Karris, M. & Arger, K. (2019) "Religious Couples Re-Storying After Infidelity: Using Narrative Therapy Interventions with a Focus on Attachment," Counseling and Family Therapy Scholarship Review: Vol. 2: Iss. 1, Article 5. 

Karris, M. (2019). Tragedy, Trauma, and Triumph: Raised from the Ashes by an Uncontrolling, Loving God. In Stories of Uncontrolling Love, Lisa Michaels, (ed.), SacraSage Press.

Karris, Mark. (2018). Divine Echoes: Reconciling Prayer with the Uncontrolling Love of God (Quoir Publications, Orange, Ca)

Karris, Mark. (2017). “Rethinking the Phrase “God Allowed,”” In Uncontrolling Love: Exploring the Uncontrolling Love of God, Baker, C., Coffin, G., Durey, Craig., Kirksey, G., Michaels, L., Ward, D. F. (Eds.), (SacraSage Press).

Karris, Mark. (2017). Season of Heartbreak: Healing for the Heart, Brain, and Soul (Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI)

Karris, M., Caldwell, B. (2015) Integrating Emotionally Focused Therapy, Self-Compassion & Compassion-Focused Therapy to Assist Shame-Prone Couples who have Experienced Trauma. The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families (Peer Reviewed).