SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY
This document outlines my policies related to use of Social Media. Please read it to understand how I conduct myself on the internet as a mental health professional and how you can expect me to respond to various interactions that may occur between us on the internet.
If you have any questions about anything within this document, I encourage you to bring them up when we speak. As new technology develops and the internet changes, there may be times when I need to update this policy. If I do so, I will notify you of any policy changes and make sure you have a copy of the updated policy.
I do not accept friend or contact requests from current or former clients on any social networking site (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc). I believe that adding clients as friends or contacts on these sites can compromise your confidentiality and our respective privacy. It may also blur the boundaries of our therapeutic relationship. If you have any questions about this, please bring them up when we speak and we can talk more about it.
I have a professional Facebook page. I do not accept clients as friends on my page. I believe having clients as Facebook Friends creates a greater likelihood of compromised client confidentiality and I feel it is best to be explicit to all who may view my list of friends to know that they will not find client names on that list.
I may publish a blog on my website and I post on Twitter. I have no expectation that you will follow my blog or Twitter stream. However, if you use an easily recognizable name on Twitter and I happen to notice that you’ve followed me there, we may discuss it and its potential impact on our working relationship.
Note that I will not follow you back. I only follow other health professionals on Twitter and I do not follow current or former clients on blogs or Twitter. My reasoning is that I believe casual viewing of clients’ online content outside of the therapy hour can create confusion in regard to whether it’s being done as part of our work or to satisfy my personal curiosity. In addition, viewing your online activities without your consent, and our explicit arrangement towards a specific purpose could potentially have a negative influence on our relationship. If there are things from your online life that you wish to share with me, please bring them into our sessions where we can view and explore them together, during the therapy hour.
Please do not use Social Networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn to contact me. These sites are not secure and I may not read these messages in a reasonable timescale. Do not use Wall postings, @replies, or other means of engaging with me in public online if we have already established a client/therapist relationship. Engaging with me this way could compromise your confidentiality. If you need to contact me between sessions, the best way to do so is by phone on 07941 705555, or via email on email@example.com.
Please be aware that I may not read my emails every day, and I cannot guarantee a response to any emails sent. Please also be aware that email content is not completely secure or confidential. If you choose to communicate with me by email, all emails are retained in the logs of your and my internet service providers. Whilst it is unlikely that someone will be looking at these logs, they are, in theory,
available to be read by the system administrator(s) of the internet service provider.
USE OF SEARCH ENGINES
It is not a regular part of my practice to search for clients on Google or Facebook or other search engines.
I would like to thank Keely Kolmes, Psy.D as parts of this policy are taken from her own.