10/10 — A Sanity Prescription

Ten minutes in the morning and ten minutes in the evening. This is a sanity prescription. 10 minutes talking to yourself, journaling your thoughts, praying or pondering before you get on with the busyness of your day.

Works well in your marriage too. 10 minutes of face-to-face conversation at (say) 7 am and 10 pm. In the morning, sharing your emotional geography as you anticipate your day. And in the evening, catching up your partner on your thoughts and experiences for the hours in between. Researchers tell us that “great couples” have at least 20 minutes of conversational intimacy every day. And in a month, you have enjoyed 4200 minutes (7 hours) of intimacy. More than many couples have in 5 years.

By the way, doing 20/20 is usually way too much. Keep it brief and important.

Here is what you can do in your 10/10. Try an ancient Ignatian discernment practice: consolations and desolations.  If you want to dump the Catholic part, call it roses and thorns. Either way, look at the events that are opportunities (consolations) for growth and wisdom and those interruptions (desolations) that make your worry and ruminate.

This is sanity. It is about thinking rather than ruminating; planning rather than obsessing; creating intimacy rather than avoiding and hiding.

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

By the middle of summer, we should be opening our doors to in-person counselling. 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. Reimbursement for telehealth counselling with extended health insurance has not been a problem; however, if your insurance plan disallows a claim you will be responsible for payment.

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.

• We will provide hand sanitizer when you enter the office.

• 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 are infected, please cancel your appointment and 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 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 working with you.

Paddy and Carole

Counselling / Consulting Services: Times and Costs

We do not have a “flat” rate for our counselling / consulting services. Mine (Paddy) is more complicated, so I will outline my times and costs first.

  1. My basic rate is $180 per 60-minute hour. This is the cost on my regular counselling days, Mondays and Thursdays. The recommended College of Psychologist’s rate is $225 per hour and this is usually a 50-minute hour. (My rate has not increased in 8 years.)
  2. My off-time rate is $225 per 60-minute hour or the recommended rate of the College. I allow a few sessions on my non-regular-counselling-days where appropriate or necessary. This is at my discretion.
  3. I offer a 9-11 am (2 hour) appointment on some Friday mornings due to urgency or crisis. This time is often taken by out-of-towners who are visiting the Vancouver area (during non-Covid-19 weeks). The rate for this block is $450 (or 2 x $225).
  4. My group consultation rate is higher than the above. It works out to $750-1000 per block (a 2-4-hour block of time). This is offered to organizations but sometimes extended families as well. Again, non-Covid-19 weeks though I have done this on Zoom as well.

When you book an appointment, the times and costs are specified on vCita.

Carole’s rate is $165 per 60-minute hour, on her workdays (Tuesdays and Wednesdays) or other times as agreed. She works this out with you as she does not use vCita. Contact Carole at carole@theducklows.ca.

We offer subsidized fees for those who do not have insurance coverage and have financial need. We call it Thirds because we reduce our fee a third, ask the client to pay for a third and invite an organization (e.g. church or social service agency, as examples) to pay a third. You can read about this here. Note: we do not subsidize fees where an insurance company is involved. And, we do not offer Thirds for group consultation or off-time rates.

During Covid-19 we are promoting our Thirds program for those with less income and reduced employment. We are also sensitive to the anxiety of families during this pandemic time and we are responsive to requests for an adjustment of times and costs.

Regarding fees generally, please see “Counselling Can Be Expensive.”

We do not have a “flat” rate for our work because we are attempting to charge proportionately to your needs and financial ability.

If you have any questions at all, please let me know — paddy@theducklows.ca. Thanks.

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