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Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is your cancellation policy?

Please note I have a strict no show/late cancellation fee of the regular session fee should there not be 24 hours notice.

How do I book or change a session time?

Sessions can be scheduled, changed, or cancelled by clicking the "Book Appointment" button at the top of this web page. You will need to use your email to create a password to log in. You can also send me an email at HelmanKrista@gmail.com. Please give me at least 24 hours notice to cancel or reschedule to avoid you having to pay a late cancellation/no show fee.

How do I attend an online session via video e-counselling?

Shortly before the start of your online session you will receive an email with instructions and the link for your online session.

What Training do you Have?

I completed my Master of Social Worker with Carleton University and am a Registered Social Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW). I continue to expand my knowledge with professional development in areas such as, EMDR, DBT, CBT, positive psychology, working with children, abandonment, Ego State Therapy, eating disorders, Structural Dissociation, and complex trauma.

Trauma

Trauma is subjective meaning, you can experience trauma without falling under a diagnosable label. In fact, I believe we've all experienced trauma at some point and it is the individual experience and the loneliness in that experience that defines trauma, not the type of event. For example, a child falls and no one is there to scoop them up and say it is going to be okay, being bullied by other children or family members regularly, or never feeling allowed to have personal needs. Our biological temperament, what we experience, our age and how often we experience the threat contribute to unprocessed events and future perceived threats.

Clients do not need to have a trauma diagnosis to benefit from EMDR and parts work, and I use aspects of EMDR and parts work with most clients.

What modalities do you use?

I'm primarily an EMDR therapist however, my toolbox includes elements of Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) model, Attachment, and Structural Dissociation Theory. As well I use aspects of therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Narrative Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), positive psychology, Ego State Therapy, and the Safe & Sound Protocol (SSP).

SSP

Safe & Sound Protocol (SSP) is a research-based mind/body therapy that enhances social engagement & resilience by reducing stress & auditory sensitivity. It uses filtered music to train the middle ear muscles to focus on certain frequencies, using this acoustic channel as portal to neural regulation and sense of safety at the autonomic nervous system level. Clients listen to music using over the ear headphones either in office or at home, depending on where they are at with therapy and needs.

SSP Video

EMDR

Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR) supports recalling memories with lower emotional impact & reprocessing them with gained insight. It involves the use of eye movements, tapping, or hand buzzers while focusing on a specific thought/feeling/body memory sensation to transform the event on an emotional level and create adaptive neural network connections.

EMDR is an evidence-based therapy approach which is thought to activate the problem solving process, and enhance a client's ability to make links between experiences. Desensitization and processing occurs, eventually allowing the client to think about the upsetting event with no or little disturbance, as well as form new insight into the situation.


More info: ottawaemdr.com

Parts work and AIP Model

Parts work is based on Structural Dissociation Theory and Ego State Therapy. Have you ever said or heard someone say "part of me feels...and another part feels..."? We all have parts. Sometimes our parts cannot agree, or they might not have been updated with present information due to trauma. 

Think of the brain as a computer system having many folders and apps. They are created from experiences and contain information of how we think, feel, and sense the world around us. They work together and sometimes an app is launched to direct the system.

Imagine that each folder holds information for survival of the species and daily life actions. Daily life folders help us navigate activities such as play, sleep, house cleaning, attachment, socializing, reproduction, and taking care of others. This is much needed for mental and behavioural functioning! Folders are categorized so the brain knows how to respond the next time an even slightly similar situation happens. These folders essentially form our worldview. 

Apps are initiated when there is a perceived threat, and run specific defence instructions on how to react based on a perceived threat such as an injury to the body, social rejection, and attachment loss. They hold information such as survival of the individual, and are involved with fight, flight, freeze, collapse, social submission, attachment cry, and recuperation. Apps also encode and store all pieces of events that are not completely processed.

From the time we are born, our thoughts, feelings, and body sensations, as well as how we perceived others to behave and the meanings that go with those experiences are recorded and contained in these folders and apps. As we get older and add to our experiences, folders and apps evolve as they are reassessed and updated. 

When folders and apps cooperate, communicate, and work together, adaptive information is integrated and apps are updated. The person experiences positive mental health. ​When trauma happens, the app cannot be updated and it keeps repeating instructions related to past circumstances. The brain does not process the past experience and app instructions might not be appropriate for present circumstances. Think about unhealthy behaviour. It is likely that at one time the related thought/feeling/body sensation served a purpose to protect the self but when not updated, the behaviour can become socially, physically, or emotionally harmful.


Parts work can help the system work collaboratively so the system and move towards positive mental health. EMDR can help memories process and have freedom to evolve in the future.

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