Looking Ahead

Hello Friends,

Thank you for trusting us with your life stories, deepest hurts and affections, profound decisions and wild and wonderful questions. We have loved working with you.

Just think of this: Carole and Paddy have each worked in therapy, consulting, teaching, clinical pastoral care, etc. for 40-50 years each, close to a combined 100 years of face-to-face work. We know that is a long time, and we are 75 years of age. (Actually, Paddy is 75 and Carole is 74 and 3/4.)

We are both giving up our registration in our professional associations. So that is clear. Carole will no longer be a Registered Clinical Counsellor and Paddy will no longer be a Registered Psychologist. But we don’t want to give up on people or our professional work entirely. Perhaps we are ready to try something new. We still have energy, plenty of life experience and lots of accumulated wisdom.

Paddy wonders what a “Psychology Coach” would be like (whatever that is) and Carole is wondering about being a “Clinical Counsellor” (without the Registered part). A friend recommended that Paddy be a “Communication Shepherd” and that would be interesting too.

We like the idea of a changeover to something smaller and simpler. We are not entirely sure what form that will take. If you would like to keep in touch with us, send us an email at life@theducklows.ca and we will let you know where we are in our transition.

Best to you.

Paddy and Carole

Battery at 1%

As you can perhaps see from our ball caps, our batteries are down to about 1%. This is ageism as a result of workism. We started this psychology business in 1978 which is a long time ago. I am 75 years old now and Carole is a year following. Our internal batteries tell us that this is enough. Note: we not rechargeable but we are disposable.

Some thoughts from Paddy: 

I never thought that I would retire. I thought I would keep going on like the Eveready bunny and then just fade. Now I have to plan my future, avoid hospitals, tolerate ordinaryness, dig in my garden, that kind of thing. I will still hang around coffee shops talking to strangers. I will invest my life in my grandchildren and stand behind my kids. I will probably holiday in safe places. I will walk my dog, Penny.

Retiring itself is not new for me. I have retired from pastoral ministry (CapChurch) and university teaching (Carey Theological College, Regent College), but this is different. I have made a deep investment in many of you, as you have in me. I will not have the privilege of hearing your story and walking with you to further wholeness. I have learned so much from you and I am deeply indebted to you for sharing your lives and welcoming my involvement.

Carole’s considerations:

This transition is harder for Paddy than for me. I have long accepted contentment. I have made peace with having less to do. I want to be empathic with myself as I have endeavoured to be with you. If any of you wish for a closing conversation, I would be happy to have coffee with you and/or a Seaview walk with my dog.

In conclusion:

We will be ending our collected counselling practice at Christmas time this year. No appointments in 2024. If you would like us to assist you in finding another counsellor or psychologist, please ask. See our list of “recommended counsellors”.  This is a good place to start.

David Ducklow continues as a spiritual director and chaplain. He is great to talk to and well-informed. Please send him a note at david@theducklows.ca and begin a new beginning. And his sister, Christine McLaren, is training to be a Registered Clinical Counsellor. Should be a couple of years before her academic completion. And then more counselling ducks.

Best to you. 

Updates to our Counselling Practice, 2023

Hello Client-Friends, this is an update (January 2023) about our counselling practice and this may impact your visiting with us. We are reducing our counselling work with the idea of retirement. We will both retire in December 2023. Here are a couple of commitments we are making.

First, Carole and I will not be visiting with new clients (eg intake). We will continue to see individuals, couples, and families that we have worked with before 2023. (If you wish to refer friends or family to us, please see our “Counsellor Referral List” below.)

Second, we will not reopen our at-home office for face-to-face meetings. We will continue online using Doxy.me for our counselling and consulting services.

Third, we can help you make a great counselling match if you ask. For a link for counsellors we work with and trust, go to the Tools section on our website and see the Counsellor Referral List. Also, if you wish for a personal recommendation for another counsellor or psychologist, send us a note with some information about your concerns. You can use the Intake Form for this.

I hope this note finds you well.


Keep On Keeping On

Carole and I are working out how to “keep on keeping on” in the midst of increasing demands for our counselling time. We are both concerned about our long waiting lists and the urgencies caused by the covid crises. And we are also aware that we can’t work as hard as we have up until this point.

We love the work of listening, wondering, consoling and challenging and we hope to continue our work with you for some time to come. So, to be able to do this and to do so effectively, we are making some changes. Here they are:

  • First — we are going to limit the number of new clients so that we can better serve the people we visit with now. This started on April 1, 2021.
  • Second — we are going to re-package our workdays so that we are not carrying as many hours each day. This will be in effect by September 2021.
  • Third — when covid restrictions have lifted, and this looks like it is coming shortly, we are going to limit in-office visits and keep much of our work online. We will probably open for in-office visits around October 1st. Watch the calendar and this blog for updates.
  • Fourth — we will actively refer people who inquire about working with us. We have an extensive network of counsellors and we think we can match clients and counsellors quite effectively.

In summary, this means that we want to continue to work with you because we have a commitment to you, and we value the work we have accomplished together. But we are going to restrict new commitments to others.

Let us know your thoughts. Write to us at life@theducklows.ca. We will be sure to get back to you. And thanks.

(Updated July 1, 2021 — Happy Canada Day!)