Choice Point Psychological Services

Choice Point Psychological Services Values-guided trauma therapy practice offering 1on1 & couples counselling, as well as EMDR consults.

This is for you ⬇️On Thursday last week, we had the pleasure of welcoming Janice Isaman, a Trauma Sensitive Movement Spe...
05/02/2024

This is for you ⬇️

On Thursday last week, we had the pleasure of welcoming Janice Isaman, a Trauma Sensitive Movement Specialist, to our space to learn more about one of her approaches. Find her here:

ABOUT JANICE:
➡️20 years experience as a movement trainer and body specialist
➡️Training in Trauma Sensitive Yoga from the Trauma Center (TCTSY) founded by Bessel Vander Kolk.
➡️Trained in somatic techniques (Peter Levine) and Compassionate Inquiry (Gabor Mate).

💡FYI - this is so different than standard yoga and you do not need to be flexible, experienced, or a regular yogi to benefit from this approach.

Janice is one of only two movement specialists in the city trained in TCTSY, we were honoured to welcome her to our space to learn more about the benefits of this approach.

We learned so much in Q&A and from an experiential exercise with her. We can see how choice, developing gradual capacity to be in your body in the present moment, rhythmic movement, and attunement with an attentive movement specialist could be supportive to folks recovering from trauma.

🧘‍♂️🧘DID YOU KNOW?
There’s a difference between “trauma-informed yoga” and “trauma sensitive yoga”? Trauma sensitive yoga is a regulated title whereas trauma informed yoga may vary by practitioner and does not guarantee a certain standard of care.

If you are someone who struggles with being in your body, or staying present during movement, we highly recommend looking into TCTSY and we can think of no better fit then Janice!

🌿At Choice Point, we believe in holistic care for trauma recovery and we strive to provide good fit referrals for adjunct approaches as best as we can. If you are a holistic provider and trained in adapting your approach so it is safe for folks recovering from trauma drop us your details in the comments. We would love to connect ⬇️

Learn why ⬇️Recovery from traumatic experiences is NOT just about releasing the stress and trauma stored in your system ...
10/18/2023

Learn why ⬇️

Recovery from traumatic experiences is NOT just about releasing the stress and trauma stored in your system related to the events.

In fact, in most cases, this will be unsuccessful without first:
➡️Working on getting out of survival mode and stabilizing existing crisis. A stage that may need to be revisited at different points.
➡️Developing strategies to ensure painful emotions that emerge remain manageable.
➡️Working on skills to help you keep one foot in the present moment and one in the past (also known as dual attention).
➡️Preventing overwhelm by working on using containment strategies or “pendulating” mindful attention (going in and out of the painful memory) to limit the amount of traumatic material that emerges at once.

Revisiting positive past memory to work on experiencing and enjoying pleasant sensations, emotions, and thoughts without becoming overwhelmed can be one way to do this.

⚠️ Skipping the stability phase in trauma recovery can be retraumatizing! It’s important to work with a trauma-informed and trauma-treatment trained clinician who knows the importance of adjusting the approach as needed to keep the experience manageable.

Trauma recovery is hard but it involves witnessing the pain in the safety of the present, not reliving the pain. There is a difference.

Your CP therapist can help!

Learn why ⬇️TRAUMA & AGE REGRESSION➡️Experiencing trauma at an early age can disrupt your emotional growth.➡️Age regress...
10/17/2023

Learn why ⬇️

TRAUMA & AGE REGRESSION
➡️Experiencing trauma at an early age can disrupt your emotional growth.
➡️Age regression means that later in life, younger ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving can appear again when we feel unsafe or when we encounter triggers related to previous trauma — even if we’re unaware that we’ve been triggered.

WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN? 🧠
➡️This is because, on a neurobiological level, the trauma is not properly processed. It can rewire your brain in such a way that ultimately influences your thought patterns and behavioral responses as you get older.
➡️Trauma is stored in our brain/bodies as emotional, sensory, and procedural (movement) memory.
➡️Traumatic memory is essentially time stamped. It is locked in a state that can feel like it is happening all over again as it did originally. No matter how much time has passed.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?
➡️With proper treatment and support, you can begin to understand the reasons behind your emotional responses and behaviors and move toward healing.
➡️Here are some effective ways to start to heal:
✨Reconnect with safe movement practices you enjoy (dance, yoga, Tai chi, Qigong, etc.)
✨Engage in mind-body trauma treatment approaches (EMDR, A.R.T., Somatic Experiencing, IFS, Egostate work, Hakomi, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, etc.).
✨Reconnect and spend time in nature.
✨Spend time with safe, trusted, and regulated social supports.
✨Explore other safe outlets for healing touch if you are in a place of readiness. Look for trauma-informed and trained massage or other practitioners.
✨Work on building your mindfulness skills. Look for trauma-informed trainers or YouTube videos that allow for modifications as you build capacity for tuning inward.

📩Your CP therapist can help! DM us for more. We are a trauma-informed mental health practice and all of our therapists are trained in at least one approach.

This is YOUR sign 🪧The time is NOW ⌛️You are going to want to save this to use later!Here are 5 ways to improve your men...
10/12/2023

This is YOUR sign 🪧

The time is NOW ⌛️You are going to want to save this to use later!

Here are 5 ways to improve your mental health in 15 minutes TODAY:

1️⃣Spend 15 mins outside naming and noticing everything you can 👀, 👃, 👂, 🖐️, and 👅.
WHY? This is a tool you can use to get out of your head or take a break from the distress of your inner world.
2️⃣Walk or stretch for 15 mins, depending on what is currently feasible.
WHY? Let this intentional movement practice remind you that no matter how chaotic you feel, you can control what you do in the here and now.
3️⃣ Spend 15 mins drawing, colouring, painting, collaging, or using clay. Don’t overthink, just do. Notice later what colours, shapes, textures, etc you were drawn to and see if any connections arise to what you feel on the inside.
WHY? Use this exercise to build self-trust in the language of your body.
4️⃣Spend 15 mins reflecting on your favourite character in a show, movie, or book. Notice if the traits of the character you are drawn to says anything about a side of who you are, what you value, who you want to be, or something you feel you are lacking in?
WHY? Let this exercise be a way to learn more about yourself and your needs.
5️⃣Spend 15 mins in the community engaging in an act of kindness. This could be as small as smiling to passerby’s, leaving uplifting messages in a common area, or treating the person behind you in line to a coffee by paying ahead and notifying the person at the till.
WHY? Let this be a reminder to you that you have the power to make a positive impact on others.

DOUBLE TAP if this was helpful + FOLLOW US for more 🫶

IMPROVE YOUR RELATIONSHIP⬇️It is so easy to become emotionally hijacked in conflict with people we have let our guard do...
10/07/2023

IMPROVE YOUR RELATIONSHIP⬇️

It is so easy to become emotionally hijacked in conflict with people we have let our guard down with. Especially among those of us who have had a painful past, something we are so passionate about supporting at CP.

Michele Malkewich, Therapist at Choice Point, is happy to announce an incredible condensed group program she is offering for a very affordable rate to help you improve your ability to stay connected in conflict.

“Couples Connections” is a 4 week group and the total cost of the program is $150 for all 4 weeks (70% discount off usual rate of 65/person per group).

The group is intended for adult couples in a committed LT relationship. All couples welcome 🏳️‍🌈

The group will be offered in-person at Choice Point in YYC.

The learning objective of the group is to strengthen couples relationships by learning tools to navigate conflict, create emotional safety, and meet the emotional needs of your partner.

It will run Wednesday evenings from 7pm-9pm starting Oct 18th and ending Nov 8th.

HOW TO SIGN UP:
Go to our booking page. Create an account. Select Michele as your therapist
Select “couples group” as the service and put a card on file. 1 time fee on Oct 18th. Existing clients can use their existing booking account.

If this feels like a fit for you or someone you know, please feel free to reach out to us!

WANT TO IMPROVE YOUR RELATIONSHIP⬇️It is so easy to become emotionally hijacked in conflict with people we have let our ...
10/06/2023

WANT TO IMPROVE YOUR RELATIONSHIP⬇️

It is so easy to become emotionally hijacked in conflict with people we have let our guard down with. Especially among those of us who have had a painful past, something we are so passionate about supporting at CP.

Michele Malkewich, Therapist at Choice Point, is happy to announce an incredible condensed group program she is offering for a very affordable rate to help you improve your ability to stay connected in conflict.

“Couples Connections” is a 4 week group and the total cost of the program is $150 for all 4 weeks (70% discount off usual rate of 65/person per group).

The group is intended for adult couples in a committed LT relationship. All couples welcome 🏳️‍🌈

The group will be offered in-person at Choice Point in YYC.

The learning objective of the group is to strengthen couples relationships by learning tools to navigate conflict, create emotional safety, and meet the emotional needs of your partner.

It will run Wednesday evenings from 7pm-9pm starting Oct 18th and ending Nov 8th.

HOW TO SIGN UP:
Go to our booking page. Create an account. Select Michele as your therapist
Select “couples group” as the service and put a card on file. 1 time fee on Oct 18th. Existing clients can use their existing booking account.

If this feels like a fit for you or someone you know, please feel free to reach out to us!

🚨GIVEAWAY🚨Help us spread the word of our “Couples Connections Group” to win a FREE “couples” set of custom colour Yeti  ...
10/06/2023

🚨GIVEAWAY🚨

Help us spread the word of our “Couples Connections Group” to win a FREE “couples” set of custom colour Yeti Mugs ($70 value) shipped right to you!

‼️DETAILS TO SIGN UP FOR OUR GROUP ARE IN THE POST SLIDE 6‼️

Enter by:
1️⃣Like this post
2️⃣Follow our page
3️⃣Bonus entries: Tag your friends in the comments and/or share to your story. 1 extra entry per tag or per story share.

CONTEST CLOSES: Oct 13th 2023 at 4pm MST.

We can only ship within 🇨🇦

NOTE: Colour selection may be limited depending on availability at the time of redemption of this offer. Must provide us with all details for shipping within 7 days of us announcing the winner to redeem giveaway prize.

NOTE: This giveaway is not affiliated with or sponsored by Instagram Inc. or Yeti/Yeti Distributors.

By participating in this giveaway, you acknowledge and agree to the following:
1. You are over the age of 13.
2. You agree and wave Instagram of any liability or responsibility connected to this giveaway,
3. You agree to Instagram’s terms of use.

WHAT’S NEW WITH THEM? 👀 ✨This group of dedicated humans are always walking the talk the best they can and working hard t...
10/05/2023

WHAT’S NEW WITH THEM? 👀

✨This group of dedicated humans are always walking the talk the best they can and working hard to provide you with the best possible care. ✨

✔️This means practicing what they preach
✔️Finding new ways to support the mental health needs of the folks we serve
✔️Lifelong learning
✔️Passionately pursuing projects

Top Row:
➡️Michele, top right corner, has been working hard at her “Couples Connections” group. She is so excited to see some of the interest in this offering so far! 👏
➡️Tayler, top row in the middle, has opened additional PTI spots for affordable therapy. She is nearly done her practicum somehow 🥹
➡️Rachelle, top left corner, has been practicing what she preaches taking some time off and travelling 🫶
➡️Abbey, bottom right corner, has recently completed training in and is working away at her practicum hours 🙌
➡️Pinar, bottom row in the middle, is studying for her licensing exam which is the final step before full licensing as a psychologist 🎉
➡️As for me (Karina), bottom left corner, I have launched a monthly consultation group for preverbal trauma/attachment and recently opened some more spots for EMDR consultees ☺️
➡️Not pictured (as per her request) is the lovely Christine. She provides the most inviting and warm experience to folks at CP whenever she answers the phone or greets folks in the waiting area. She is also working away at two projects that will level up this experience even more 👌
➡️Also not pictured (as per his request) is the dedicated Jon. He has warn many hats within CP as front of house and back of house operations. Among many other things he has on the go, he is plugging away at his Bachelor’s degree in psychology and crushing it 💪

So proud of and grateful for this team!

Want to improve the emotional communication in your relationship?We are finalizing the details of a couples group opport...
10/02/2023

Want to improve the emotional communication in your relationship?

We are finalizing the details of a couples group opportunity that is designed to help you do just that.

🛠️Learn tools to help when you/your partner is feeling insecure/emotionally disconnected from you in conflict and you/or they are feeling the urge to pull back.

This group will be based on techniques from Emotion-Focused Couples Therapy. This approach is designed to help couples:
✔️improve emotional intimacy
✔️strengthen emotional communication
✔️find constructive ways forward when you are engaging in reoccurring fight cycles with your partner

🗣️We would love your feedback to finalize the details of this group!

HOW? ⬇️
Please complete the poll in our IG story later this AM to give your input.

One of the ongoing impacts of unresolved trauma is emotional numbing.✔️An important step in trauma recovery can be learn...
09/29/2023

One of the ongoing impacts of unresolved trauma is emotional numbing.

✔️An important step in trauma recovery can be learning to safely feel again. For some of you, you may have never felt safe or supported to feel.

WHAT STRATEGIES CAN HELP YOU TO SAFELY FEEL?
1️⃣Build up tolerance for mindful awareness of body sensation. Often starting with comforting sensations in neutral body areas can be a good starting point. Example: mindfully paying attention to how it feels touching a soft blanket with your finger tips.
2️⃣Recognize the ways in which you inhibit or block your emotions. Guilting or shaming ourselves, as well as anxiety are common inhibitory emotions that block the core of how we are feeling. Distracting by staying busy or using numbing behaviours like over use of food, substances, etc. are common ways we block out our emotional state.
3️⃣Learn about the core emotions and develop more language to describe your feelings with more accuracy (e.g., frustrated, insecure, angry, irate, etc.).
4️⃣Learn strategies to mindfully track emotional sensations in our body. To prevent overwhelm, you can practice switching between noticing uncomfortable emotional sensations internally and noticing comforting sensory stimuli in your external environment.

Learning how to safely feel is a crucial part of preparation for trauma work. Your CP therapist can help!

📩DM us to get started or reach out via the link in our bio!

Reoccurring conflict is evidence that most relationship conflict is NOT about the content of the disagreement AS MUCH as...
09/26/2023

Reoccurring conflict is evidence that most relationship conflict is NOT about the content of the disagreement AS MUCH as it is about the process of relating as the conflict unfolds.

⚠️Clinging to the content with the goal being to convince your partner of your stance will only keep you both in a gridlock.

HOW CAN CP HELP?
➡️Michele prioritizes getting to the root of your reoccurring conflict in relationships and supports you both to understand unmet emotional needs in relationships.
➡️It’s not about always being on the same page but rather showing up for one another emotionally, including in times where you do not see eye to eye.
➡️She uses Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) to help with strengthening your emotional communication skills, displays of affection, and skills to stay present and attuned to one another.
➡️She combines EFT and EMDR to further foster opportunities for attunement, empathy, mutual support understanding, and other pro-attachment behaviours.

Reach out via the link in the bio if you have any Qs!

While we don’t need your whole childhood history to help you with what you are going through now, knowing whether or not...
09/25/2023

While we don’t need your whole childhood history to help you with what you are going through now, knowing whether or not you had attuned and supportive attachment relationships can help us assess readiness to work through traumatic events in therapy.

⚠️Trauma therapy can be ineffective without first addressing and assessing how attachment wounding has impacted you.

Did You Know?
➡️The ability to form healthy connections with others is innate. So is the capacity for self compassion.
➡️No matter how few supportive relationships you have had, healing is possible and this innate capacity never disappears.
➡️The more supportive and attuned adult figures throughout your developing years, the easier this innate capacity is for you now.
➡️Supportive attuned relationships help us to become loving/supportive to ourselves through painful experiences. Without many of these experiences, our capacity to be self loving can get blocked.

WHAT CAN YOU DO IF YOU DID NOT GROW UP WITH MUCH RELATIONAL SUPPORT?
➡️Build off positive past relational experiences. You have a memory (visual or not) of all your past supportive experiences. Choosing to recall these regularly can help rewire the brain.
➡️Regularly engage in supportive interactions with someone (pet, child, friend, acquaintance, etc) or something (plants, nature, spiritual connections, etc).
➡️Imaginal nurturing - create an internal nurturer with all the most supportive qualities based on inspiration from book characters, movies, tv shows, etc.

Your CP therapist can help! Reach out via our link in the bio to learn more!

❤️

WHY CARE AND WHAT CAN YOU DO?💛We share this to help   and to emphasize that IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT! 🫶This is not behaviour...
09/22/2023

WHY CARE AND WHAT CAN YOU DO?
💛We share this to help and to emphasize that IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!

🫶This is not behavioural. Trauma takes its toll on the mind/brain/body/spirit. There could be more to your sleep-wake and attention difficulties than “poor sleep hygiene” or being “lazy”.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?
✔️PTSD can improve and in some cases resolve with early psychological treatment. Get support today - there are many effective trauma therapies out there!
✔️ A great exercise to do is to hold your finger out in front of you. Keep your eyes focused on your fingertip, and then turning your head back and forth. As you’re continuing to gaze right at your fingertip, you can start to move your head side to side, then you can go up and down, and you can even go on a diagonal. This is a vestibular/visual activity that can help with reprogramming your RAS.
✔️ Commit to regular meditation practice with the support of your therapist - it can help direct your attention to your senses, orient to safety of your present experience and filter out whatever is unnecessary.
✔️Work through negative or blocking beliefs contributing to difficulties with sleep or focused activity. We recommend doing so with the support of a trained professional in mind-body approaches.

The team at CP can help! See the link in our bio to get started.

Are emotional memories stored by your amygdala behind your confusing emotional and physical symptoms? 🧠The amygdala is a...
09/20/2023

Are emotional memories stored by your amygdala behind your confusing emotional and physical symptoms?

🧠The amygdala is a structure in your brain that is known for signalling the fight/flight/freeze responses.

⬇️Below are some examples of what it feels like when a memory stored by your amygdala shows up:

“I notice my heart pounding strongly or my heart rate increasing significantly in certain situations”

“I avoid certain experiences, situations, or locations without intending to do so – I only realize later.”

“I keep watching or checking on certain things even when I don’t really need to.”

“I can’t relax or let my “guard” down in a specific location or type of location.”

“I can end up in a complete panic or have a panic attack very quickly – (symptoms seem to come out-of-the-blue).”

“I feel overwhelmed easily and I can’t think clearly in certain situations – (usually a feeling of overstimulation, brain fog, or just extreme stress).”

“Under certain situations or circumstances, I feel paralyzed and can’t get myself to do anything.”

“In stressful situations, I feel like I can’t breathe normally and/or I develop a lot of muscle tension in my body.”

Emotional memories like these have intense distress energy attached to them. Sometimes attending to the body (via breathing or other strategies focused on the body) in the moment can lead to a feedback loop that intensifies the experience.

Trauma therapies can help! DM us if you are interested in learning more.

💬If this was helpful, let us know in the comments!

Could there be more to what you are going through than what’s on the surface?Whether it is…✔️financial stress✔️relations...
09/19/2023

Could there be more to what you are going through than what’s on the surface?

Whether it is…
✔️financial stress
✔️relationship difficulties
✔️family conflict
✔️performance concerns at work
✔️social difficulties, etc.
I know you want to see change in what matters most!

💡BUT DID YOU KNOW?
RELEASING past stress and trauma from our system can lead to many benefits for overall health in general.

How can trauma therapy help with everyday stressors?
1️⃣Improve future resilience to stress. This would mean that you can handle more stress without it deteriorating your mental health right away.
2️⃣Reduced chance of emotional hijacking. Releasing past stress and trauma from your nervous system will decrease chances of the type of overwhelm that can cause certain brain regions to shut down and that can lead to automatic thoughts, feelings, and behaviours rooted in past pain.
3️⃣Quickened recovery - where as stress might usually set you back for days or weeks at a time, releasing stress/trauma from our system will allow shortened recovery times.
4️⃣Improve self-awareness and self soothing - this is always a part of preparation for trauma work. The skills learned will benefit you in the long term and apply to a wide variety of areas

📩DM us today to get started!


DID YOU KNOW!?Eye movement therapies can help you to make meaningful long term change in your difficult thoughts, feelin...
09/18/2023

DID YOU KNOW!?

Eye movement therapies can help you to make meaningful long term change in your difficult thoughts, feelings, and behaviours.

"Unprocessed traumatic memories are not remembered they are relived" - Ruth Lanius

⚡️When a traumatic memory has become activated by a cue in the environment, we usually are unaware and more susceptible to engaging in automatic patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving rooted in past pain.

WHY EYE MOVEMENTS AS A PART OF YOUR THERAPY?
Horizontal eye movements when recalling trauma memory can lead to:
➡️Decrease in sympathetic (fight/flight) activity
➡️Decrease in perceived intrusiveness of the traumatic memory as well as vividness of the memory
➡️Increase in activity in the frontoparietal control brain network - which plays a role in
🧠Autobiographical memory retrieval
🧠Emotion & attention regulation
🧠Regulation of goal-directed behaviour (what to focus on, what to ignore, what to do next, what not to do, how to do what should be done)
🧠Executive functioning (higher order thinking)
🧠External and internal awareness (better ability to be mindful)
🧠Dual attention (ability to recognize that you are in the present remembering the past).

⚠️As always, these this type of therapy must be done by a trained and trauma-informed therapist.

You may have wondered in the past why multiple individuals can endure the same type of traumatic event but only one or a...
09/16/2023

You may have wondered in the past why multiple individuals can endure the same type of traumatic event but only one or a handful of folks go on to develop mental health symptoms post-event.

Here is why ⬇️

It is less about what happened and more about how equipped the individual was at the time the event occurred.

What factors might put you at risk for developing a traumatic injury?

Here is a handful of possible risk factors:

➡️Age when the traumatic event occurred - often the younger you were when the event occurred the more helpless you may have felt.
➡️History of and current amount of healthy relationships.
➡️Support system available to you pre/during/post event.
➡️How much unresolved stress and trauma your nervous system was carrying pre-event (aka allostatic load).
➡️Pre existing mental health difficulties would heighten your risk.
➡️An acutely traumatic event (sudden + severe, and involving shock) or chronic traumatic circumstances may lead to more severe impact.
➡️History of protective factors (mostly supportive and loving family dynamic, reliable adult figures including teachers/coaches, living in a safe environment, financial stability, etc.).
➡️Inner resources - people who tend to be phobic of emotions or feel weak/shameful for experiencing emotions could be at a heightened risk.

🗣️ Trauma Therapists near and far, this is for you!  🌎 Questions about, interested in, new to, or experienced in EMDR?Le...
09/15/2023

🗣️ Trauma Therapists near and far, this is for you! 🌎

Questions about, interested in, new to, or experienced in EMDR?

Learning is a lifelong process! It is never a bad time to consider extra consultation. I can also help folks working towards EMDRIA basic hours or certification.

Swipe through this post to learn more about what to expect 😉 and more about my training!

HINT: I bring humour into all my work and consultation is no exception. It’s important to normalize feeling stuck in our work and not taking ourselves too seriously.

HOW CAN I HELP?
-Clarity on all 8 phases and learning the AIP model to take your case conceptualization and confidence with EMDR to the next level.
➡️Adapting the 8 phases when working with complex folks or folks who dissociate in trauma work or identify on the dissociative continuum.
➡️Additional phase 2 exercises that you did not learn in basic training.
➡️How to attract more EMDR clients in your practice.
➡️Integrating EMDR with parts work, ifs work, and/or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.
➡️Working with preverbal trauma and attachment wounds. I run a monthly consult group on this. DM if interested.

📩Shoot me a message or fill out the contact page on our website if you have questions.

🔗Link in the bio

Address

940 6th Avenue SW
Calgary, AB
T2P3T1

Opening Hours

Monday 12pm - 7pm
Tuesday 12pm - 7pm
Wednesday 12pm - 7pm
Thursday 12pm - 7pm

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