Where do psychotherapists come from?

I think most people who train to become psychotherapists have probably worked in the helping professions as nurses, psychologists, occupational therapists, social workers etc. but this is not always the case. It is a vocation that people arrive at via many different routes. For people in other walks of life, who have had no personal reason to come into contact with a psychotherapist, it can appear to be a bit esoteric. I know when I meet new people outside of my circle of work friends, they often seem surprised and intrigued when they hear what I do for a living.

I imagine there are people in all walks of life who would make excellent psychotherapists but the possibility has never occurred to them. They may be styling somebody’s hair, laying bricks, working on someone’s accounts, scanning shopping or looking after home and children?  I know two former engineers, a hair stylist, a builder, a semi-pro footballer and a surf bum who are now enjoying working as psychotherapists!

It would be nice to hear comments from those who have done a variety of other jobs before finding their way into psychotherapy and a little about how they got there. Comments or questions from those in other jobs who have thought about it or are actively considering a career change would be very welcome. Kathie might also be able to shed some light on some of the previous occupations of past students at the Ellesmere Centre (anonymously of course)?