For this month’s blog, we would like to take a moment and introduce you to one of our therapists, Kevin King. You may have seen him in the office, read about him on our newsletter or on our social media sites, or have been one of his clients. We hope that by reading about him, you will get to know him better outside of his role as a therapist.
How long have you played basketball?
I started playing basketball in 1st grade after I saw Space Jam. I immediately put a collapsible hoop behind my bedroom door and begged my parents to put a basket in the driveway. Many hours of my childhood were spent shooting hoops in the front yard. I played on my first team in 2nd grade with my dad as the head coach. Our team name was the Bulls and you know I had to rock the #23.
Why did you move from DC to NC?
I moved from the Washington DC area to North Carolina after attending Clemson University. I had visited Charlotte a couple of times during my time at Clemson and had a blast every time. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to get around and how there were all these cool neighborhoods that have their own unique personality. I have lived here for the past 4 years and I still feel like I haven’t explored the entire city.
What drew you to the field?
I was drawn to counseling because I always felt a calling to help people. I thought about becoming a doctor for a while. I decided that I could have a more long-term impact on someone’s health if I helped them create a lifestyle that promotes their mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health. I believe that living this healthy lifestyle treats many of the roots causes that lead to poor health.
How do you stay so calm?
I try my best to stay calm, but it’s not an easy thing to do. It’s definitely something I intentionally work at. I try to spend a lot of my free time doing activities that put me in a calm state of mind. I do meditation, yoga, exercise, long baths, or alone time in nature. I find that the more time I can spend in a calm state of mind, the more accustomed I become to being calm. Being in a calm state of mind then becomes my normal default state.
How do you not become your family and friends therapist?
Friends and family are always trying to get free counseling advice from me. I understand why they do this, but the best I can do is give them recommendations for finding their own therapist. While I steer clear of diving into a full-blown counseling session, but there are a number of counseling skills that I use outside the office. Being a good listener, making the person feel safe, reflecting what they are saying. These are known as “counseling techniques” but they should be used by everyone.
How does being a therapist impact your personal life?
Being a therapist can exhaust my skills as a listener. All day long I am giving my full attention to my clients and doing my best to make them feel heard and understood. When I get home, I sometimes don’t have to energy to give my friends and family the full attention they deserve because my listening skills have been exhausted.
What is a challenge you’ve overcome?
I would say moving to a new city without a support system is a challenge I have overcome several times. I moved to Clemson without knowing a soul and was able to conquer graduate school and enjoy my time there. The challenge was not just the schoolwork; but forming new relationships, adjusting to a new way of living, and establishing myself into the community. It was the same adjustment when I moved to Charlotte. Having to set up a new life in a foreign place without a support system definitely challenged me.
What is your favorite form of self-care, and why?
My favorite form of self-care is playing or watching sports, mainly basketball and golf. I love watching live sports because the outcome is unknown which makes it exciting. I also enjoy taking long baths, spending time in nature, and listening to music after a long day. Any activity that forces my attention to be focused on the present moment.
How did you know you wanted to be in this profession?
After I graduated from undergrad, I had a job running an afterschool program for underprivileged kids. I saw a number of mental/emotional issues occurring in some of the students, but was not qualified to provide any assistance. I knew that I could make a huge difference in their lives if I was able to provide mental health counseling for those students. It was at that moment that I started applying to grad schools.
How do you balance your professional and personal life?
Some days I can work 10 straight hours and will be feeling great. Other days I can work 5 hours and be dead tired. I try my best to judge how I’m feeling before making decisions. If I’m feeling motivated today, I’m going to crank out hours of paperwork that needs to get done. If I’m not feeling it today, I’m going to carve out some time to do a relaxing activity and will save any extra work to be completed the next day.