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.

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

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.)