California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University
MA in Marital and Family Therapy, Online Campus
Psychiatric Counselor (AMFT) at Kaiser Permanente
Q: How did your Alliant experience prepare you for your career path?
A: My experience at Alliant prepared me for my journey as a Marriage and Family Therapist by introducing me to case studies and vignettes, which helped me to be able to differentiate between various diagnoses. Diagnosing is key when working for a health plan organization or private practice because everything has to tick-and-tie to ensure proper treatment for patients. Additionally, Alliant taught me that understanding a variety of evidence-based practices/models is imperative to have a robust arsenal of techniques and interventions to help patients with various symptoms and disorders.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your work?
A: I enjoy seeing my patients evolve and grow. I love when my patients get excited about using newly learned coping skills and strategies to manage their emotions, rather than turning to unhealthy previous ways they coped with issues. It is extremely rewarding to hear from a patient who may have been suicidal come and tell me that they used a skill instead of resulting to self-harming behaviors or decided to practice mindfulness instead of allowing themselves to be enraptured with suicidal ideation.
Q: What inspires you to make a positive difference in the world?
A: I am inspired to make a positive difference in the world because I am a survivor, I am a survivor of ACE’s (Adverse Childhood Experiences), I am a heart attack survivor, I have survived major surgeries, and I have survived so many other life challenges. However, I decided several years ago that I no longer wanted to just be a survivor, but also a THRIVER. I chose to work through my personal issues with grace and grit, and I feel like my life’s purpose is to help other people work through theirs. Even as a young child, I knew that somehow, I would be a conduit for change and that I would motivate and inspire others. The journey getting here has not been easy; however, it has certainly been worth it!
Q: Share your advice for current students.
A: As a student, you might come to Alliant with various degrees of education, life, and career experiences. You may come with certain biases, thought processes, and cultural and ethnic backgrounds with the idea that I am just here to learn and move on. If that is you, I invite you to come to this experience with an open mind, curiosity, and a willingness to examine your own diverse perspectives with the mindset that there is so much more for me to learn and understand. Be open to constructive criticism from your peers, because how people experience you gives you the opportunity to learn new things about yourself. Also, connect with your fellow cohorts and bounce ideas off each other, practice with each other and you will find that connecting with others will help you develop confidence and empathy.
Additionally, start practicing self-care and showing yourself some compassion. If you don’t take care of yourself, how can you be there in support of others?
Lastly, adhere to the feedback from your instructors, and look at all of it as an occasion to grow and become the clinician you know that you can and will someday be!