The following outlines our policies related to the use of Social Media. Please read it to understand how we conduct ourselves on the Internet as mental health professionals and how you can expect us to respond to various interactions that may occur with clients on the Internet. If you have any questions about anything within this document, we encourage you to bring them up when you meet with your counselor. As new technology develops and the Internet changes, there may be times when this policy will be updated. If we do so, we will notify you in writing of any policy changes and make sure you have a copy of the updated policy.
Friending: We do not accept friend or contact requests from current or former clients on any social networking site (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc). We 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 questions about this, please bring them up when we meet and we can talk more about it.
Interacting: Please do not direct message (DM) us on Social Networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. These sites are not secure and we may not read these messages in a timely fashion. Do not use wall postings, @replies, or other means of engaging with us in public online if we have an already established client/therapist relationship. Engaging with us this way could compromise your confidentiality. It may also create the possibility that these exchanges become a part of your legal medical record and will need to be documented and archived in your chart. If you need to contact your counselor between sessions, the best way to do so is by direct email for quick administrative issues, such as changing appointment times. See the email section below for more information regarding email interactions.
Use of Search Engines: It is not a regular part of our practice to search for clients on Google, Facebook, or other search engines. Extremely rare exceptions may be made during times of crisis. If we have a reason to suspect that you are in danger and you have not been in touch with us via our usual means (coming to appointments, phone, or email) there might be an instance in which using a search engine (to find you, find someone close to you, or to check on your recent status updates) becomes necessary as part of ensuring your welfare. These are unusual situations, and if we resort to such means we will fully document it and discuss it with you when we next meet.
Google Reader: We do not follow current or former clients on Google Reader, and we do not use Google Reader to share articles. If there are things you want to share with us that you feel are relevant to your treatment.
Email: We use email to arrange or modify appointments. Please do not email us content related to your therapy sessions, as email is not completely secure or confidential. If you choose to communicate with email, be aware that all such messages are retained in the logs of yours and our Internet service providers. While 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. You should also know that any emails we receive from you and any responses that we send to you become a part of your legal record. For these reasons, we do not use email for any reason other than for administrative purposes.
Websites: Zoom is the tele-mental health video conferencing we will utilize. It is HIPPA compliant and completely free for you to use. At your scheduled appointment time, ensure your computer or mobile device has the camera pointed toward you and direct your browser to the link sent by your therapist. Click to allow the website access to your microphone and camera, and then you are considered to be in the “waiting room.” Simply wait for the therapist to initiate the video session.
If you have questions or concerns about any of these policies and procedures or regarding our potential interactions on the Internet, do bring them to your counselor’s attention so that it can be discussed.