Chris A. Thurber

Associate Director of Counseling and Psychological Services
Chris A. Thurber


A.B. Harvard University

Ph.D. University of California - Los Angeles


Dr. Christopher Thurber is a board-certified clinical psychologist and an educator, author and father. He earned his bachelor's degree from Harvard University in 1991 and a doctorate in clinical psychology from UCLA in 1997. A dedicated teacher from a young age, he has taught elementary school French, undergraduate courses in psychology, and swimming and sailing to people between the ages of 8 and 80. As a learner, his favorites are woodworking and scuba diving.

During a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington School of Medicine, Dr. Thurber worked with child burn survivors, a population he continues to support through work with the International Association of Burn Camps and the Phoenix Society.

Dr. Thurber has more than 30 years of experience working with schools and camps. He has written numerous book chapters and scholarly articles on leadership, homesickness and youth development. An award-winning contributor to trade journals for independent schools and camps in the U.S., U.K., Australia and China, he regularly shares his opinions and expertise on television, radio and WeChat.

He has served as a psychologist on the faculty of Phillips Exeter Academy since 1999. He has a broad range of clinical interests, including depression, anxiety, sexuality, homesickness, attention deficits, substance use and interpersonal conflict. Along with his colleagues in Counseling and Psychological Services, he works with student leaders and provides training and consultation to faculty, both at PEA and at other independent schools. Dr. Thurber is also one of the instructors for PSY550: Introduction to Psychology. He and his wife, Simonida, an analytical chemist and musician, live in Exeter with their sons Danilo, born in 2002, and Sava, born in 2004.