Pandemic

Pandemic

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.
 
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
 
Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
 
–Lynn Ungar 3/11/20

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

For the coming weeks, 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.”) If you have made in-person appointments with me or Carole, these will be changed to tele-psych appointments over Doxy unless you email me. I don’t recommend longer than an hour, so longer appointments might be abbreviated as needed.

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 need to visit us at our office, this can be arranged for exceptional circumstances (“What! You don’t have a webcam or a smartphone?!”). 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

To our clients and friends,

With concerns around COVID-19 (“coronavirus”), Carole and I want to provide you with our response to meeting with you and your family over the coming weeks. Almost all of our sessions will be changed from in-office meeting to meeting online through Doxy.me. 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.

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.

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

 

Please Change (David Ducklow)

As I was waiting for the 240 bus at Georgia and Granville in downtown Vancouver this evening, a street person walked in front of each transit traveller in our line. As he walked along the edge of the curb, like a gymnast on a balance beam, he looked at us in the eye and asked: “Please change.” Because we were at a central travel hub in Vancouver, and his bare hands were cupped open, we all understood his question as “Please give me some change” though he did not utter the three words in the middle.

But after a few minutes, I thought of his plea as a different request. “You, don’t act in your normal way, please change.” “You, well-dressed business-woman, please change. Don’t just be concerned about your busy-ness, be concerned about mine too.” “You, cool, self-focussed teenager, who is on his way home after a night of partying, please change. Can you contribute to my party?” “You, well-dressed chaplain, please change. Don’t simply be a bringer of religious gobbledygook – as you were a few hours ago. Please bring true good news, and you can start with me.”

About a minute after he asked me this simple but penetrating question, I regretted how I thought, “I don’t need to change as much as you do.” Thankfully, my mouth is not as fast at expressing what my mind is thinking.

But as I sat on the bus, now many miles away from the man who changed the thought pattern of my evening, I realized “I am the one who needs to change.” I need to change to become more caring, I need to change to become poorer in spirit, I need to change to become more like the beggar who asks for small things.

Now, these questions linger: How do I need to change? What do I need to change into? Who may be able to help me change? Do I want to become more like the one who asks me to change? Or maybe more importantly, can I watch the change around me and join in it?

(This post is by David Ducklow, spiritual director, chaplain and a bringer of religious gobbledygook. You can read his other blogs at https://davidducklow.blogspot.com. If you wish to question or correct this post or anything on this website, please contact Paddy at life@theducklows.ca.)