Meet Alma Urbiztondo - Kalandra Lecturer

Alma Urbiztondo 

Lecturer: Mental Health and Addictions programme.


Caring for others runs in the Urbiztondo family. As the youngest of four sisters, all of whom are nurses, Alma also chose a career in the Health sector, gaining her Master of Arts in Psychology in the Philippines where she worked for a number of years as a university counsellor, Professor of Psychology, Head of the Psychology Department, and as a Dean of the University. During this time, Alma ran a non-government organisation focused on the reformation of maximum security inmates through clinical and forensic psychology. 

This non-government organisation assisted inmates by using psychology as a tool for teaching self-rehabilitation aimed at reduction of recidivism. More than two hundred prisoners from the maximum security compound went through the programme taking modules and courses in psychology specifically on self-examination, anger management, family dynamics, psychospirituality and peer counselling. Psychological assessment and psychotherapeutic modalities are also utilised to achieve outcomes for the prisoners.

Since arriving in New Zealand seven years ago Alma has completed a Diploma in Counselling, worked at Lifeline and lectured on Healthcare Management. Within the Kalandra Level 4 Mental Health and Addictions programme and Level 3 health and wellbeing, Alma teaches students protection of the vulnerable, professional expectations, person-centred care practices, contributions to the workplace, communication and engagement, complex mental health, understanding mental health and addiction, relationships in health care, and cultural identity.

Alma happily shares that this line of work provides her with a lot of inner satisfaction - after talking with someone you can see their progress and how their life can change for the better.

Kalandra CE Dr Christine Clark says "Alma is the quiet achiever who adds a calmness to an event or situation and then erupts into glee and radiates a warmth and happiness enveloping everyone. This sharing nature of hers provides the students with the security of being able to ask questions and the reassurance that they will be answered. Alma is an incredibly compassionate person who lives to help others."

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