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Faculty Spotlight – Dr. Kevin Keenan

Kevin Keenan, PhD is core faculty at MSP, teaching classes in the doctoral program.

Where did you grow up?Kevin Keenan, PhD

Buffalo, NY

What or who influenced you to study psychology?

My Psych 101 professor. I had been an engineering student, but I didn’t feel it was things I was trying to understand, it was people. This professor was very charismatic. He was a former priest and he had a real personality.

I dropped out of college in 1970 when college campuses were in revolt.  I didn’t feel I had the motivation to go to grad school.  I took some time off to find myself; I had some adventures. Then I came back to the DC area and got a job at a psychiatric hospital to explore if I wanted to work in a clinical setting.

What appealed to you most about teaching here at MSP?

I have been teaching here since 2000. My wife graduated from the program and they needed someone to teach the more traditional courses – statistics, ethics, and testing. I had been through a more traditional program. The doctoral program particularly appealed to me because I wanted to work with people for more than one year.

Please share a moment when you felt proud to be a teacher.

At the Psychoanalytic Conference in January a former student gave a presentation, and I felt good about the long term impact I have had on her development and the help I gave her on this specific presentation.

What are your research and/or clinical interests? What are you most passionate about in your professional life?

A textbook that I edited (and co-wrote a chapter) was just published by the APA titled Humanistic Psychotherapies: Handbook of Research and Practice.  My chapter is called “The Good Therapist: Evidence Regarding the Therapist’s Contribution to Psychotherapy.”

What is your favorite non-academic book and why?

I read the New York Times Review of Books often.  The Sunday Times I read over the course of a week.  Also, after seeing the movie, I read Jonathan Swift’s Waterworld.  It was a masterpiece.

What sage advice would you like to share with students?

Never let go of your passion and your ideals.  But you have to reconcile yourself with being in the world.  You have to BE, and be IN the world to be fully yourself and be fully alive.