Couplespeak™ Blog

Moving forward with therapy amidst Covid -19

To all current and prospective clients,
 
I hope you and your family are all well and managing this crisis reasonably well.
 
In the interest of safety and social responsibility I’m no longer seeing clients at the office, but instead via either
phone or video conferencing through Doxy.me, an easy to use, HIPAA compliant setup. 
All you’ll need to do is to wait for an email from Doxy.me/SusanLager telling you I’m ready to begin
your session, click on the link enclosed and you’ll be in my virtual “waiting room” until I let you into your session.
There’s no need for you to download any software or join anything. A Chrome or Firefox connection is best, but
Safari works as well. A laptop or iPad provides much better reception than an iPhone.
 
If you prefer, we can do a phone session if you don’t have access to a computer or would be more comfortable
with that. Just let me know what number you’d like me to call. 
 
*You will just need to call my VM at 603-431-7131 ahead of time to let me know your preference,
so we don’t take up your session time with these logistics.
 
I’m recommending that all clients who would be coming in for sessions under normal circumstances continue
their therapy this way, especially in these times of uncertainty, fear, anxiety, loss and isolation. All you’ll need
will be a private space and a laptop, iPad or phone for 50 minutes. This will allow you to continue our work in
the safety and comfort of your own home or private space.
 
If your are a current client I would expect us to maintain all sessions moving forward, especially in light of the
possibility that this crisis will persist for the next several months, according to infectious disease experts. Waiting
until this pandemic recedes to schedule a next session at the office may just be too ambiguous, creating a prolonged
limbo state for your relationship work. The same is true if you are a prospective client.
 
It’s of paramount importance to me that my clients have tools for support and continued growth during this highly
stressful time which challenges everyone’s fanciest coping skills, especially for couples who have already been
wrestling with relationship or family issues.
I hope you’ll avail yourself of this “new normal” way of working. 
 
Stay healthy and safe,
Susan

Piano Folly – Are You Afflicted With It?

Most of us have talked about wanting to do or achieve certain things in our lifetime – learn to speak Spanish, remodel the house, write a book of poems, volunteer for a humanitarian cause, take a trip to India, etc. There’s also often a sense of what needs to happen first to make that possible – quit my job, earn six figures, retire, get married, etc. – some future point in time when the stars will align perfectly to facilitate the doing of the thing we claim is important. In the psychotherapy world we call this “destination addiction.” 

My “thing” was to be regularly playing our beautiful Mason & Hamlin grand piano with ease and competence. Early in our marriage my husband and I had been fortunate enough to buy the piano for a small sum after it made its way here, supposedly from a castle in Ireland. It was a magical event!

I used to take lessons, and MaryJoyce, my teacher, would exclaim about my large hands and how I was perfectly equipped to play Franz Liszt. It seemed that the piano and I were meant to be a team. Sadly, a few years later, MaryJoyce died and I was so pregnant that it was uncomfortable to sit at the bench, especially now with no accountability to anyone who could witness my musical strivings and ability. So, I stopped playing, and there the sad, majestic piano still sits, unused, reminding me daily of my unfulfilled “commitment.” I look at it regularly with longing from my desk in the “piano room” (which also functions as my home office). I’m reminded daily of my “piano folly.”

I now realize that playing the piano competently has been a sweet story I’ve told myself – a lovely idea, without any renewed infrastructure or resources to back it up, especially since I’ve been taking guitar lessons this last year, honoring a precious gift my family gave me long ago. With my full time private practice and the other realities of my life there aren’t enough hours in the day to dedicate myself right now to both instruments. So, realizing that we make choices in life about where to put our energy and time, I’ve accepted that for now, playing Franz Liszt with facility is part of my “piano folly.” Unlike my commitment to play the guitar, I’ve not hired a teacher, dug up the sheet music, or scheduled in regular tunings and the time to play the piano. A passion without a plan to make room for it, is just a dream.

So, if you’ve also dreamed about doing or achieving certain things in your life, make sure you avoid self delusion, (“piano folly”), by creating some accountability, first to someone else who will take you seriously and hold you to your dream when you get discouraged, but most importantly, accountability to yourself – an action plan, tools, markers of stagnation or change, so you make your dream come alive.

In my case, it’s not the end of the road for the piano and me. When I’m ready to fully commit with not just longing, but with action, Mason & Hamlin and I will make lovely music again together.

 

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Susan Lager

I am a licensed, board certified pyschotherapist and relationship coach in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Through my psychotherapy or coaching services, I can provide you with skills and tools to transform your life.

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