Tele-Psych with Paddy and Carole (Video-Counselling with Doxy.me)

[Updated August 2020]

For the Fall of 2020, Paddy and Carole will be counselling, cajoling and comforting over Doxy.me, a hyper-secure teleconferencing system. (Did you see the pun? “Doc-see-me.”) As of September 1, Paddy will visit with some of his clients in-person and continue with others online.

Using Doxy, you don’t need to download anything — you just get an email from me on the time you have booked. Click that and you are in.

To go directly to Carole’s Doxy waiting room, click here.

To go directly to Paddy’s Doxy waiting, click here.

We are moving from Skype and FaceTime to something that is simpler and more secure. You can look up Doxy.me here. It will take you a couple of minutes to orient, but it is pretty basic and easy to use.

Having said this, if you wish to visit Paddy at our office, this is again being offered on his Monday and Thursday appointments and not on his Tuesday and Wednesday off-time mornings (“What the heck are those?”). In this case, please read my blog “Current Covid-19 Concerns.” This will explain our approach to minimizing contact and thwarting this disease should you visit our home office.

Prior to starting video-counselling, I want to go over a few things with you. Here is my list.

  • There are obvious benefits to video-counselling. If you are out of the Vancouver area or if you have some sickness. Some busy business folk who are trapped in meetings video-call me from their offices and cars!
  • There are some risks too. We are using technology (and wires and stuff, that I don’t know much about) to make this work. This is why we are switching to Doxy.me. It is just more secure.
  • Confidentiality still applies to all telepsychology services.
  • We will not record our sessions and I can’t see why we would wish a recording – so we won’t record. We hope that you won’t either.
  • Note that you need to use a webcam or smartphone during the session. Otherwise, it is much more difficult with simply voice.
  • It is important to be in a quiet, private space that is free of distractions (including a cell phone or other devices) during the session. Kids can be a problem too.
  • It is important to use a secure internet connection rather than public/free Wi-Fi (eg Starbucks).
  • It is important to be on time. If you need to cancel or change your tele-appointment, you must notify us in advance by phone or email. Can you give us a day or so? Sure helps us.
  • We need a back-up plan (e.g., a phone number where you can be reached) to restart the session or to reschedule it, in the event of technical problems. Make sure we have your phone number.
  • You should confirm with your insurance company that the video sessions will be reimbursed; if they are not reimbursed, you are responsible for the payment.
  • As your psychologist, I may determine that due to certain circumstances, telepsychology is no longer appropriate and that we should resume our sessions in-person.
  • Get your coffee or pour your tea and let’s get going. Connect with Doxy.me.

Best to you all and stay healthy.

Paddy and Carole

Current COVID-19 Concerns (Updated Aug. 2020)

[Updated August 30, 2020]

To our clients and friends,

With concerns around COVID-19, Carole and I will continue to meet online and Paddy will offer some sessions in-person as well. We have been using Doxy.me but we will also use Zoom Professional or another format. Doxy is much more secure than Skype or FaceTime and does not require a download on your side. We take care of all the admin.

Here are our current thoughts about visiting with you in our home office:

If you are unwell, please stay at home! We will not charge you for appointments cancelled due to sickness – but still, give us a day or two if you can. We can connect on Doxy.me if you wish. Just let us know.

Please do not bring your infant and toddler children to appointments. I (Paddy) will miss your little people, but I shall overcome!

We will sanitize throughout the day and between appointments. The bathroom has disposable paper towels and single-use cloth towels. Between appointments (usually 15 minutes), we will sanitize surfaces where germs may collect. We have hand sanitizer available for your use as well. Please bring your own masks if you wish them.

Sorry but no hugs or handshakes for a while. We can bump elbows, bow reverently or kick boots! And you can bring your own slippers if you would like.

More information about in-person therapy can be found on my website in the blog entitled “Opening the Office Door.”

That’s it! If you have any questions, please email us at life@theducklows.ca and we will respond ASAP.

  • Carole’s Doxy waiting room is called Carole’s place (“carolesplace”) and you can find it here.
  • Paddy’s Doxy waiting room is called Paddy’s place (“paddysplace”) and you can find it here.
  • For more information on telepsychology with Paddy and Carole, click here.

Be well,

Paddy and Carole Ducklow

 

Opening the Office Door: The Ducks Online and In-Person

[Updated August 30, 2020]

Paddy has now opened the office doors to in-person counselling. (Carole will continue visiting with people online.) Good news for those tired of staring at computer monitors (like me)! And for those who like the convenience and lack of commute, we are still offering counselling via Doxy and Zoom. Two more open doors!

If you decide at any time that you would feel safer or prefer to meet online, then we shall do that. Paddy will continue offering online counselling for those who prefer and his off-time appointments (Tuesday and Wednesday mornings) are online only.

Here is some info already published on our website that will orient you to our care for you during the pandemic. There are a few other blogs published on the topic as well.

If you wish to meet in-person, there are a few cautions to understand and ideas to respond to.

• You will only keep your in-person appointment if you are symptom-free. If you are feeling unwell, please cancel as quickly as you are able. No fee will be assessed for cancelled fees related to sickness. Still, give us 48 hours if you can.

• If you have any symptoms of the coronavirus (self-check), I trust that we can meet online — rebooking can be difficult for you and for me.

• Please wait in your car or outside the office door (enjoy the bench) until you are called/texted/emailed to come inside for our appointment. You may park in the carport or on the parking pad at the top of the driveway.

• We will provide hand sanitizer when you enter the office. Please leave your coats and other belongings in the waiting room.

• Bring your own coffee mug if you wish our Nespresso. Mmm.

• Please bring your own mask if you wish, or if you feel therapy in any way compromises social distancing.

• Please keep a distance of 6 feet or so — no need to bring a noodle; we can approximate. And, sorry to say, no hugs, handshakes or high-5s. Waves and bows work too.

• Please do not bring children or infants to therapy at this time.

• Please take whatever steps you can between appointments to minimize your exposure to covid.

• If you have work that exposes you to other people who may be infected, please reschedule your appointment or replace it with online therapy. Again, give us as much time as you can.

• If a resident of your home tests positive for the infection, let me know and we will continue with online appointments.

All this goes both ways. If Carole or I or anyone in our home or family bubble has covid symptoms, we will contact you as quickly as we can. Then we will discuss other possibilities including using online and screens. If there should be a resurgence of the virus, we will notify you and return to online therapy.

As you can see, we are taking your health seriously. And we are doing it for us too. We want to be able to visit with our grandchildren on our non-workdays and we sure don’t want them infected.

We look forward to accomplishing good work with each one of you.

Paddy and Carole

Couple Therapy with Individual Partners

Couple therapy is usually both persons in the same sessions working towards a common goal.

At times, it can be helpful for the therapist to visit with the individual partners and couples often request this. They have their own reasons, as do the therapists. And some of the reasons to meet individually have merit. For example, it might be helpful for one partner to talk through their “family of origin” without the other being there. Though, I have found it is helpful to have the less active partner to listen to the narrative again, even though they think they know it all.

But there are problems with the therapist visiting with individual partners and it is important to understand this prior to going one-on-one.

Triangles are a problem. “He said, she said” is what it usually sounds like. It can come back this way: “Did you really suggest that my husband leave me? Or were you working to have him finally make a decision about being with me?” “Hmm,” I muse. “Now how do I handle this?”

Spousal secrets are a big deal. “Please don’t tell Jack about what I am about to say…” I usually say something like, “I have a terrible memory of what I am supposed to forget. Are you sure you want to tell me?” They usually do tell me anyway and then we figure out how to disclose or the marriage-saving reasons to keep it a secret.

There are occasions when the partner uses the individual appointment to appraise the therapist of the spouse’s presumed faults. EG, “Did you know that Bob was diagnosed as ADD by our previous therapist? I think that is why he doesn’t help in the kitchen.”

Therapy is powerful. Deep listening results in feeling deeply understood and sometimes this results in a kind of fusion making for confusion. When the focus is on the individual, the person can experience herself differently than as a part of a couple. And say different things.

A few other thoughts when this situation arises: sometimes (seldom?), I will recommend the person wishing individual contact to visit with another counsellor while I continue with the couple work. This is helpful sometimes but it does result in another kind of triangle and a great deal of costly overlap. 

I also recommend that my clients understand the power of triangles. I have some articles on my website that I think are helpful and there is lots more on the web. When both parties figure out how doing individual work with their couple’s therapist can be a problem, they can often move forward with information and understanding. And that helps.

I think I have opened up a conversation without many conclusions in this blog. But I do want you, my client-friends, to be aware of some of this. Let’s talk about it during our next sessions.

My best to you.