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Dylan Kersh: The Journey to Becoming a Psychotherapist Entrepreneur

Updated: May 27, 2022

Dylan Kersh started out as an english and history teacher before he became a psychotherapist. He now works as a psychotherapist with adolescents and teenagers, as well as a therapist-tutor where he is able to use academics as an entry point into getting to know his clients.

When Dylan was working at a charter school in Maui, he was teaching, coaching the JV basketball team, and running a few clubs. He was working this job as a teacher so that he could do the other stuff (JV basketball coach, club organizer) for free. He was not passionate about English and History, but was passionate about working with young people. He realized that what he truly enjoys is mentoring and guiding kids to follow their own dreams. This is where he switched career paths and started doing what he truly loves.

Dream big!

After working through and recovering from his own past traumas, Dylan started taking steps in believing in himself, dreaming big, and taking creative risks to start his own private practice.

When Dylan was in school to become a therapist, he began tutoring math as a way to make money. He made business cards, one job led to the next, and he was able to support himself through tutoring gigs.

In terms of getting new clients, Dylan recommends to first have the mindset that you can do this, get your face and name out there, invest heavily in a professional website with testimonials, make business cards, and trust the process.

Getting yourself out there means connecting with as many people as possible, meeting with experts, and finding and connecting with the people in your area who have influence and could make a difference in your career.

There are meetings that won’t work out and meetings where you really click with that person. When you have successful meetings where you really click, it is important to ask “do you have any other colleagues that you think I should reach out to?” or “who else should I get in touch with?”.

Turn your vision into a reality -- Dylan's Experience and Tips:

When Dylan started to create his own reality and business, he visualized what his ideal client would be. Visualize yourself being a client for someone that you hope to be one day so that you understand the perspective of the client. This helps develop who you want to be for your client when you are in that role of the expert.

True connections with clients are extremely important and that connection can only be possible if you take time to focus on self-care so that you are in the right shape to connect on a deeper level with your client. Another important aspect is being honest with yourself about what you need and how much work you can handle.

Being in therapy was also another resource that was helpful for Dylan as well as the basic self care elements of physical exercise, sleep, and healthy living.

The majority of Dylan’s job is working with people who are privileged. So, it has been important for Dylan to carve out time in his schedule to volunteer, provide support, and work in the world of the underserved.

If you have a vision, you can always make it a reality! Dylan especially values never taking what you have for granted and not getting too wrapped up in the success.


Sean McCormick 0:01 Welcome to the Earn More Tutoring podcast. Here you will hear the real stories of teachers tutors and other educators who took ownership of their time and money to live the life of their dreams, all serving their students and communities. If you want to earn more with your tutoring skills, this is the podcast for you. Today's guest is Dylan Kersch. Dylan was formerly a public school teacher, before becoming a therapist and creating a private practice that offers therapy, tutoring and coaching. Dylan, welcome to the show. Dylan Kersh 0:31 Hi, Sean. What's up, man? Sean McCormick 0:33 How's it going today? Dylan Kersh 0:34 It is pretty good, a little tired. You know, as you know, got a newborn at home. But you know, things are good. I feel good. I'm excited for the work week. Sean McCormick 0:47 Awesome. So just to get started. Tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do. Dylan Kersh 0:55 Could you ask a little bit broader question maybe? Yes. So who am I and what do I do? So start with what do I do? That seems a little more simple. But you know, as you as you mentioned, my first career was a as a middle school and high school teacher. single subject, teaching credential in California English and history, taught in East Oakland, for a while, taught in Hawaii for a while came back to the bay taught in you know, in public schools in Hayward, I taught a private school for a year and then ended up teaching Cameron County as a long term sub when I was in school to get my Master's in Counseling Psychology. So I have my master's in education from my previous career, and then got a Master's in Counseling Psychology to become a therapist. And I basically started an after school tutoring program, and did some private tutoring to put myself through grad school. And then as I transitioned to a private practice, therapist, I always kept part of my practice reserved for working with, with mostly high school students, middle school students, in this role that I've kind of coined Thera tutor, I think it was actually used in the New York Times at one point a couple years ago. So I didn't coin it. But, um, but I really like it. And so now, you know, I work with, I work with, you know, high school, adolescents and teenagers. And, you know, sometimes in just a purely clinical way as a therapist, but then I much prefer to work with them in this, they're a tutor role, which allows me to use academics as kind of an entry point into getting to know them, and help them with the deeper stuff going on for them. So that's what I do. In a quick nutshell, I could get way more into the details, I'm sure you'll ask me some questions about that. In terms of who I am, you know, I guess, as I'm talking and thinking, you know, I'm somebody who tries their best to be themselves, be authentic, as much as I can as much as possible. And I find that that's probably my greatest asset and working with young people is that even though I'm middle aged, they know that I'm, that I'm real, that I am, who I am. And then I'm being honest with them. And hopefully, usually, that leads to building trust. You know, I'm somebody who wants to leave a better world a better place and how I found it may that's a little cheesy, but, you know, I just want to, I want to feel like, you know, the people that I've worked with, professionally and the students that I've worked with, and the clients that I've worked with over the years, you know, that I made a positive impact on their lives. You know, I'd really like to just be remembered as somebody who who cared, cared about people. Sean McCormick 4:01 Yeah, well, thank you for sharing that. That's, you know, for me, I can't speak for anyone else, but you've definitely made a positive impact on my life. So I'm, I'm very much in appreciation of you. I wanted to look or have you share a little bit more about that transition from teaching in public schools and private schools, to jumping in and creating your own practice? And tell us about why you did that. And also how you did that, because I feel that a lot of our listeners are going to be people who are possibly teachers or in a more traditional role, and are thinking like, what else can I do with my, my teaching skill set? So I'd love to hear more about how you even thought of doing something different from teaching. And also, yeah, just the whole process Dylan Kersh 4:50 around that. That's really helpful. That's fantastic question. So I'll be super real about this. So you know, I was a you know, I like you said I In public school teachers, I, that's the hardest job I've ever had. And I have infinite respect and admiration for especially the really good ones, the ones that, you know, are fully dedicated. And, and just, it's, it's a beautiful thing, I actually feel emotional just thinking about those days in the trenches and the people that I was with...

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