Van K. Tharp, Ph.D.: Trader's Psychologist by John Sweeney
In purely technical terms, Van K. Tharp is a psychological researcher and counselor specializing in
neurolinguistic programming. In the lay language of his clients, he's the specialist who helps them
unearth and change their unprofitable states of mind.
"Why I got into psychology, I have no idea. It just interested me," says Dr. Tharp, recalling the first
decisions that led him to a bachelor's degree in psychology from Beloit College and a doctorate in
biological psychology from the University of Oklahoma. He found, however, that his keen interest in
discovery was stifled in traditional psychological research that "requires you to work for the government,
at least indirectly. I wanted to do something fairly independent which was my own."
A workshop on trading psychology and the release of Jake Bernstein's book, The Investor's Quotient,
stimulated his researcher's mind. "Bernstein's book gave me the idea of developing a questionnaire, but a
much more thorough and elaborate instrument than the 25 questions he presented in his book," says Dr.
Tharp. After approximately six years of research and testing, his results are not only as copyrighted
psychological test, but a deep understanding of the mental aspects of trading and a private practice
devoted to helping individuals become more profitable traders and investors.