GET TO KNOW ME
Greetings! My name is Kristy McConnell and I am the founder of Off the Beaten Path. Thank you so much for taking the time to visit the site. I am a Registered Psychologist with the College of Alberta Psychologists with years of experience- see below for more on that. I provide services to clients in Calgary and Airdrie.
Off the Beaten Path introduces unique mental health treatment methods that utilizes movement by walking or running together during the therapy session. Office appointments are available as well. The link between mental and physical health is well established. Addressing your unique challenges with a unique and personalized approach is where I find my stride. Let's move forward, together.
Deciding to see a therapist can be nerve-racking and overwhelming. Off the Beaten Path aims to take typical therapy off of the couch and out into nature. Rather than sitting across from each other, let's walk or run alongside each other. For those who may have a hard time sitting with their emotions, being present in the moment, or those who have not tried therapy before, this might be just what you are looking for. If you want the option to be inside or outside, that's okay too! Office appointments are available.
I received my clinical training in counselling psychology. I began counselling men and women who had successful careers but were stuck for various reasons: relationship difficulties, grief, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, or postpartum depression. Exercise and connecting with nature has long been established as a powerful way to release endorphins, improve self-esteem, and increase creativity and problem solving. My own personal journey of self-improvement has involved running. As such, I began to wonder how combining therapy with exercise might benefit my clients who were already hard workers, but needed something more. This is how Off the Beaten Path was developed. I became a certified Endurance Running Coach in order to provide a safe, therapeutic environment that can be tailored to my clients at any and every fitness level, including those who may want to start off indoors.
As a therapist, I believe that each human is unique. We all come with a collection of experiences, values, and beliefs that make up our worldview. My focus with clients is to help you achieve optimal wellness: intellectually, emotionally, and physically. Together we will explore how your thoughts contribute to your intellectual wellness. We will use our therapeutic relationship to consider your emotional wellness and how you can grow with others. Lastly, by running or walking together, we will build a foundation for optimal physical wellness.
Walking and running is about forward motion, from one point to another. In therapy, our relationship is at the core, and the place from which all of our work will be done. I use a variety of approaches that look at how your thoughts, emotions, and actions interact, including Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Solution Focused Therapy (SFT), Narrative and Parts work, and attachment understandings. Moving forward together provides the perfect metaphor for identifying and resourcing your strengths. Along the way, we will also discuss coping strategies, and set manageable goals. Lastly, my style always incorporates humour, compassion, and appreciation for your commitment to your own health and wellness.
Master of Counselling Psychology
Registered Psychologist with the College of Alberta Psychologists
Clinical Supervisor for University of Calgary Psychology Students
Supervisor of Provisional Psychologists
EMDR Trained Therapist
Previous Employee and Family Assistance Counsellor
Brain Story Certified and Change Agent for the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative
Previous Associate Editor of the Canadian School Counselling Review Journal
Former Victim Service Advocate volunteer
Running Coach Certified with the United Endurance Sports Coaching Academy
The Practice of Coaching Certified by the Roy Group
First Aid Certified
Completed 3 full marathons
Completed numerous half marathons
Have had the same running coach and mentor for the past 5 years
Top finisher: Once, in grade seven, on the beep test. It was then that I realized I wasn't fast, but I had endurance!
More than 15 years experience in the education system
Bachelor of Education
Edwin Parr Excellence in Teaching Award recipient
Project Lead and Campaign Catalyst for large scale research grants
Long time volunteer with the Alberta Teachers Association of School Counsellors
PREPaRE Trainer: School Safety and Crisis Preparedness Curriculum
Student Threat Assessment Trainer
The Mandt System Trainer