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Alumni Spotlight:
Q&A with Natalia Olarte Staunton

California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University
MA in Marital and Family Therapy
San Diego Campus

Professional Information

Clinical Psychologist at the Heritage Center and Private Practice in Los Angeles

Q: How did your Alliant experience contribute to your career growth?

A: Alliant allows me to try a variety of practicum opportunities which helped me develop my skills, learn about what populations I was interested in working with, and develop cultural humility.  The classes provided a very strong foundation to working as a therapist and provided a space to self-reflect on my own experiences, my values and how those might seep into a therapy session. The professors were kind and were able to highlight strengths that I was not aware of.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your work?

A: Getting to know other people, learning about their beliefs, values and experiences expands my worldview and enhances my life. I love helping clients find their own strengths and watch as their self-confidence increases.

Q: What inspires you to make a positive difference in the world?

A: I always think to myself that I am one person, and just showing up can be impactful to the client. If I can help someone, even in a small way by listening or smiling at them, maybe that person will increase their hope and faith in humanity and will begin to see more positive actions, as opposed to focusing only on what is missing in their lives

Q: Any advice you have for current students.

A: Do not limit your learning to psychology only. Explore different interests, and activities because your clients will live and work in a variety of fields and experiences. Expose yourself to business, science, finance, religion, music, art, dance, food, languages, etc... Growing yourself will help you better serve your clients.

If you would like to share your reflections in an Alliant alumni spotlight, please click here or email

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