I didn't start my career as a psychotherapist. Initially, I worked as a courier at a museum, as a nurse, and later as a cardiologist. I sometimes wish I had explored other professions, like being a pilot or a singer.


But my initial ambition was to become an art historian, so I enrolled in the preparatory training department of the Faculty of History of Art at Moscow State University. During this time, I also worked as a courier at the Museum of the Revolution.


After six months, I left the museum job and began working as a nurse in a children's hospital. Life in the hospital was more appealing, so I made a decision: I left Moscow State University and used my nursing salary to fund tutoring in chemistry and biology. This led me to enter the I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University (MSMU) at the medical faculty, where I later completed my residency and postgraduate studies. During my postgraduate studies, I interned at Columbia University (NY, USA) in the Department of Behavioral Medicine.


By my fourth year in MSMU, I was intrigued to find that most patients discussed their somatic ailments in relation to their mental state and overall life functioning. It was fascinating to draw parallels between the two. As a result, I became keen on psychiatry and cardiology and completed my Master's Thesis in both specialties.


Eventually, I became a psychotherapist, a supervisor, and a tutor. For over 20 years, I balanced my psychotherapeutic work with cardiac surgery, although my focus remained on psychotherapy.