California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University
MA in Marriage and Family Therapy, Irvine Campus
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist at Sanctuary for Compassion and Connection, Costa Mesa, CA
Q: How did your Alliant experience prepare you for your career path?
AIU provided a rigorous program that validated my passion to support people on their journeys back to wholeness, as well as stretched my personally. It also created an atmosphere where I could connect and collaborate with my peers, providing a built-in resource after graduation for consultations, referrals, and general support. It is mission critical that individuals stepping into such healing arts positions do their own work of healing, which starts with awareness and moves you to a greater understanding. Without doing your own work, burnout will be inevitable. Alliant did a fantastic job of ensuring this inner work was weaved into the academic program, including reinforcing the need for self-care as an integral part of maintaining mental health ourselves.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your work?
What I enjoy most is sensing when my clients are doing the hard work and feeling the results. It takes great courage to make your way into a therapist's office and great strength to continue to return to it and to make a change in your life. This courage and strength are a constant reminder to me that human suffering is optional and how resilient the human spirit really is. By simply being a compassionate witness and remaining fully present with clients, I continue to experience awe-inspiring growth and transformation in my clients.
Q: What inspires you to make a positive difference in the world?
What inspires me is knowing that there is post-traumatic growth as I experienced it myself. We live in a traumatizing world and being a part of creating sacred space, even in a small way, one person, couple or family at a time, for healing is an absolute honor and privilege. I truly believe that if just one person makes a change, it creates a ripple in the pond that touches an unknown number of others, perhaps inspiring them to embark on their own healing journey.
Q: Any advice you have for current students.
Do your own healing work first! And, along that journey, embrace your worthiness of care too. If you carry a belief that you must work hard to prove your value in order to receive love and care, or that self-care is selfish, then there is work to be done. If this work is not done and you don't take good care of yourself, the longevity of your career will be in jeopardy. When the balance between care giving and care taking is lopsided, you will quickly start to feel powerful emotions that overwhelm you. Work to build your own resilience muscles through such self-care practices, including healthy connections, self-compassion, and gratitude.