Interesting Jobs Therapists Had Before Becoming Therapists

7 Interesting jobs that Californa TheraPists Held before becoming therapists

7 Interesting jobs that Californa TheraPists Held before becoming therapists

Therapists often have other jobs before becoming therapists. Some of them even have entire first careers. Only later, when they’ve gained some life lessons, do they return to school to get their graduate degree and become a licensed therapist. In the meantime, they gather interesting human experiences. Therapists are humans after all. So, we asked some of our California therapists what were the most interesting jobs they had before becoming therapists. Here are there answers.


San Francisco Therapist Erma Kyriakos

Erma Kyriakos is a San Francisco therapist who pulls from a range of modalities and incorporates a variety of practices into her work. She loves this work because her client’s courage to engage in self-growth inspires her. But, before she was a therapist, she was a full-time musician. She also worked as a music teacher. She says, “definitely one of the most fun jobs one can explore in my opinion! My main instruments are the violin and my voice.”


therapist colette mercier

Colette Mercier says, “I delivered babies for families birthing their children in their homes and birth centers for 15 years. This job was totally fascinating, always changing and really rewarding. I got to know some really wonderful, unique people in a dynamic, vulnerable and exciting time in their lives. I love children and have really special relationships with some of the kids I delivered.” She brings the experience into her work as a therapist, specializing in helping people in the childbearing years with the challenges it can bring. She is inspired by “the resiliency of the human spirit and body.”

Similarly, Chris Swayne and Io Bones both worked as birth doulas before beginning their work as therapists.

Retail Clothing Buyer

Sonoma county therapist interview

Ingrid Tsong is a Sonoma County therapist who offers “authentic, relational, culturally empathic healing insight with a depth perspective.” She loves this work, and she is inspired by the “rich, unique, and deeply felt experience of the world” that each client brings to the room. And she brings something interesting to it from her previous job as a retail clothing buyer. She says, “While I changed careers to answer my calling, I did love the creative energy that I was lucky enough to be surrounded by at work. I bring my love of aesthetic beauty to my office space.”

Theater Stage Manager

Therapists Odessa Avianna Perez

Odessa Avianna Perez is a California therapist with a somatic, relational, social justice oriented approach. She does this work because she loves the human connection. But she has also found that in other ways. She shares, “Fresh out of undergrad, I used to stage manage and design lights for contemporary dance performances. I come from a theater and dance background, and I still remember how it felt to be in the belly and bones of a theater during long tech hours and performances.” She actually has “2 decades of dance experience, in contemporary performance, contact improvisation and conscious dance practices like 5 rhythms and ecstatic dance.”

Company Videographer

bay area therapist Elizabeth Dausch

As you can see, many therapists enjoyed creative careers before they became therapists. Telehealth therapist Elizabeth Dausch is no exception. She says that her most interesting pre-therapist job was “Shooting/editing employee video profiles for a global hospitality company.” These days she loves working with a variety of people including HSPs, perfectionists, and caregivers. And she really gets inspired by seeing her clients “reconnecting to their body, validating their feelings, touching childhood wounds and offering compassion, using their voice, and recovering lost parts of themselves.”

Massage Therapist

California therapist ayala kalisher

Odessa Avianna Perez also worked as a massage therapist, and she’s not the only one. Many therapists also do bodywork. For example, somatic, holistic, and experiential California therapist Ayala Kalisher says “I was a massage therapist for 13 years. That informed so much of how I relate to healing and the mind body connection.” So, it makes sense, perhaps, when she explains that “Working somatically means we will explore the wisdom of your body as a gateway to your emotions and the wealth of information about yourself that sometimes the mind can obscure.” She is inspired by her clients’ resiliency and their journeys, and that inspiration keeps her working on her own healing as she does this work helping others.

Teacher Trainer

therapist Aiden belly

Therapist Aiden Pelly explains, “I trained English teachers around the world and especially in Vietnam. I was lucky enough to effect change in the teaching practices in 100s of schools around the country. I also volunteer in a charitable foundation whose focus is work at the nexus of climate change, environmental degradation and forced migration.” In other words, he’s still doing interesting work outside of his work as a therapist.

These are just a few of the therapists that work with us. Find the therapist who is right for you by browsing through our therapist directory. Alternatively, call us for a consultation and we can recommend a therapist.

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