Stocks & Commodities V. 23:7 (68-75): Interview: Brett Steenbarger by Jayanthi Gopalakrishnan
No matter how you look at it, Brett N. Steenbarger keeps busy; he is director of trader development of Kingstree Trading and clinical associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY. Not only that, he is the author of The Psychology Of Trading and numerous articles in trading publications, many of which are archived on his website at www.brettsteenbarger.com. Steenbarger’s writings on brief therapy have been featured in standard reference works in psychology,
including "The Encyclopedia Of Psychotherapy" and "The Psychologists’ Desk Reference"; his most recent book, "The Art And Science Of Brief Psychotherapies," has been adopted as a core training text in psychiatric residency programs. In addition to applying short-term
change techniques to trading, Steenbarger coordinates a training program for new traders modeled after the medical education system.
STOCKS & COMMODITIES Editor Jayanthi Gopalakrishnan interviewed Brett Steenbarger via telephone on May 5, 2005.
Q: How did you first become interested in trading?
A: My background is as a clinical psychologist, and for 19 years I taught at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse and directed a student counseling program. In that program, I was working with medical students and their counseling needs. During that time I became acquainted with — and proficient at — short-term [brief] therapy, working with people in quick ways to help them make changes in their lives. I taught that to people who were learning to be therapists, and to our own students in the student counseling, and it became a major focus of my academic work.
At the same time, I was interested in trading and had followed the markets since the late 1970s. My very first experience with the markets was as a graduate
student at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, when I attended a seminar offered by someone named Joseph Granville. I was intrigued by the markets, and followed them, and traded them on and off — obviously in a part-time mode, since I was a graduate student and worked full time as a psychologist.