Saturday, November 29, 2014

Chris Kingman


Chris Kingman, LCSW began his formal study of communication theory and human behavior at the University of South Florida in 1987. His method of inquiry included skipping class, working at Busch Gardens, moving in with his new girlfriend and going to the beach.  Chris and academia parted ways after only 24 credits, and though the split was amicable the idea of reuniting in the future seemed unlikely.

Chris spent his early 20’s as a singer/songwriter in NYC and in 1993 moved to Denmark to form a folk rock band with some enormously talented Danish musicians he met in Greenwich Village. Chris’ band got to the finals (top ten) of Denmark’s annual ‘Battle of the Bands’ contest where the top three winners got record deals. Alas, the band did not place in the top three and shortly thereafter imploded from within due to personality conflicts, over-indulgence of mood altering substances and general inability to work together constructively. At age 26 Chris returned to the U.S. to find that his friends had entered adulthood (i.e. finished law school, moved into management positions, got married and had kids, etc.) while he was depressed and clueless about how to go forward.

Enter psychotherapy.

Early on in therapy Chris realized that the creative process of getting (and remaining) psychologically, emotionally and spiritually healthy was as interesting and satisfying as making/playing music – so he summarily went back to school intent on becoming a therapist. It was surreal and wonderful for Chris to be studying again – but the experience that stands out the most for him during his undergraduate and graduate work was his initial clinical internship in 1999 – doing therapy with (so called) ‘troubled teens’. Fortunately for Chris his earliest mentors practiced a relational and person-centered style of therapy that prioritized connection rather than dogma and personal growth rather than managing symptoms.  This practical, straight-forward and humanistic approach has informed and guided all of Chris’ work ever since.

During his years of clinical practice Chris developed a passion for the history of psychotherapy, the history of science, critical theory and philosophy. He taught classes for several years to graduate students at the Hunter College School of Social Work and Bank Street College, while also assuming supervisory/leadership positions in mental health clinics across NYC. But Chris’ first professional love was and has always been sitting and meeting with people to support them in the process of facing their pain, owning their stories and growing their lives.

Chris is married and lives with his wife in Park Slope, Brooklyn and has a full time private therapy practice in Manhattan, NYC – working with adults and couples.

Read Chris’s posts, here.

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