GET TO KNOW KRISTY

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 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. 

My Story

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. 

My Approach

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), 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. 

 

 EDUCATOR

  • 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

 PSYCHOLOGIST

  • Masters of Counselling Psychology

  • Registered Psychologist with the College of Alberta Psychologists

  • Clinical Supervisor for University of Calgary Psychology Students

  • Supervisor of Provisional Psychologists

  • EMDR American 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

 RUNNER

  • 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!

 

GET TO KNOW JENNIFER

Hello! I am a Registered Provisional Psychologist who has over 15 years experience working with children, adolescents, and adults. I am passionate about helping individuals be their best selves. Whether you are experiencing anxiety, depression, substance use, stress, or are having difficulty with meeting the demands of daily life, counselling can help. Together we will develop attainable and customized goals that meet your needs, develop useful coping strategies, and create some forward momentum. I use a variety of modalities including cognitive and behavioral therapy, solution-focused counselling, and motivational interviewing.

My style is calm and compassionate. By collaborating with Off The Beaten Path Psychology and Wellness, I am able to combine movement (walking/running) with psychotherapy for individuals who are looking for a less traditional approach to counselling. I also offer psychoeducational assessments for children and youth.

Combining the healing aspect of nature with the positive endorphins that are released through activity, can allow clients to develop additional clarity and better self-esteem. A safe, therapeutic environment will be maintained regardless of fitness level, and for those who prefer, office appointments are most welcome!

 

GET TO KNOW CHRISTINE

Hello! I’m Christine Cimolai, R. Psych.. Over the past 20 years I have had the privilege of working with children who have exceptional needs and their families. No two steps are the same, and the unique circumstances of each child, adolescent, and parent needs to be honoured. Anxiety, depression, grief, stress, trauma, and the overall navigation through the milestones of life can catch anyone off guard. For example, a parent who has a child recently diagnosed with a disability, an adolescent experiencing a life changing event, or a child having difficulties regulating.

Trauma can be about impactful events that shake us but also the little things that add up over time. My aim is to support you in your ability to adapt to life and move forward. EMDR is a comprehensive treatment modality that includes components of cognitive behavioural, family, attachment, and psychodynamic therapy.

As an EMDR therapist, we will find strategies, set goals, and resource your strengths. My professional perspective incorporates best practice alongside humour, compassion, and kindness. I combine walking with psychotherapy in south east Calgary for those who need to move and feel more at ease under big skies. Office hours are available in Airdrie.

 

OFF THE BEATEN PATH PSYCHOLOGY AND WELLNESS

KRISTY MCCONNELL, R. PSYCH., FOUNDER

JENNIFER MCINTEE-LEINWEBER, R. PROV. PSYCH.

CHRISTINE CIMOLAI, R. PSYCH.

AIRDRIE AND CALGARY, ALBERTA PSYCHOLOGISTS

RUN WALK AND TALK, EMDR THERAPISTS

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