Dr. Christopher Thurber enjoys creating and sharing original content for business leaders, independent educators, and youth development professionals. He is a board-certified clinical psychologist, educator, author, and father. Chris earned his BA from Harvard University in 1991 and a PhD in clinical psychology from UCLA in 1997.
A dedicated teacher from a young age, Chris has more than 30 years of experience working with camps and independent schools. He has written numerous chapters and scholarly articles on leadership, homesickness, and youth development. An award-winning contributor to Camping Magazine and Camp Business, Chris has also shared his opinions and expertise on national and international radio, television, print media, podcasts, and webinars, including the Today Show, Martha Stewart, and CNN. Watch television appearances. Listen to radio broadcasts and podcasts. Read newspaper articles.
In 1999, after a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Washington School of Medicine, Chris accepted a position as psychologist and instructor at Phillips Exeter Academy, a coeducational, independent school in seacoast New Hampshire. Combining his love of research, teaching, and clinical work, Chris’s work at Exeter has grown to include publications and presentations for The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS) the British Boarding Schools Association (BSA) and the Australian Boarding Schools Association (ABSA).
Chris has keynoted conferences for all three associations and has delivered guest lectures on the differences between Chinese and American public education, as well as the complementary nature of schools and camps at schools in Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Wenzhou.
In 2000, Chris and his lifelong friend, Dr. Jon Malinowski, co-authored the critically acclaimed Summer Camp Handbook, hailed by psychologist and parent, Dr. John Weisz, as “a remarkable accomplishment…the best in its field…required reading for every camper’s family…the most comprehensive and scientifically sound coverage of the camp experience available.”
In 2005, Chris published the first empirical study of homesickness prevention in the Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology. The results suggested that a unique combination of positive expectations, practice time away from home, and essential coping skills reduced homesickness intensity in first-year campers by 50%, on average. Today, an updated, live-streaming version of this powerful preparatory video is available for camp-wide subscriptions here. Individual families may also purchase a live-streaming version.
Chris and his wife, Simonida, an analytical chemist and loving mother, live in Exeter, New Hampshire with their sons Danilo (born 2002) and Sava (born 2004). Both boys play violin with the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra’s premier ensemble, BYS. For a listing of upcoming performances, click here. To enjoy recordings of solo performances, click here.