I use social media to share resources and let people know about my services.
I do not follow back or friend clients who visit my social media site to avoid the perception that they are clients. I also avoid friending clients on social media to protect the healthy boundaries of our therapeutic relationship. I do follow or friend other health professionals as they may be of interest or useful resources. My blog is a more private way to access the resources I post on social media and may be a better options for clients who wish to look at these resources.
No DMs, PMs, or @replies
Please do not contact me through my social media accounts through private messaging or commenting to ask for services as social media is not confidential or private. I do my best to turn off commenting where I can.
Do not use Wall postings, @replies, or other means of engaging with me in public online if we have an already established client/therapist relationship. Engaging with me 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 me between sessions, the best way to do so is by phone. Direct email at firstname.lastname@example.org is second best for quick, administrative issues such as changing appointment times. See the email section below for more information regarding email interactions.
I also try to moderate my social media accounts to make sure they are as safe as possible. If you see something on my social media that seems like it should not be there, please reach out by email or phone.
Please Don’t Post Reviews
While you may share what you like on social media, my role as a counsellor is to preserve the confidentiality of my clients and to not solicit reviews. To that end, pease do not leave reviews or share your experiences of my services on social media sites.
You may find my counselling practice on sites such as Yelp, Healthgrades, Yahoo Local, Bing, or other places which list businesses. Some of these sites include forums in which users rate their providers and add reviews. Many of these sites comb search engines for business listings and automatically add listings regardless of whether the business has added itself to the site. If you should find my listing on any of these sites, please know that my listing is NOT a request for a testimonial, rating, or endorsement from you as my client. It is not ethical for me to solicit testimonials. Of course, you have a right to express yourself on any site you wish. But due to confidentiality, I cannot respond to any review on any of these sites whether it is positive or negative. I urge you to take your own privacy as seriously as I take my commitment of confidentiality to you. You should also be aware that if you are using these sites to communicate indirectly with me about your feelings about our work, there is a good possibility that I may never see it.
If we are working together, I hope that you will bring your feelings and reactions to our work directly into the therapy process. This can be an important part of therapy, even if you decide we are not a good fit. None of this is meant to keep you from sharing that you are in therapy with me wherever and with whomever you like. Confidentiality means that I cannot tell people that you are my client and my Ethics Code prohibits me from requesting testimonials. But you are more than welcome to tell anyone you wish that I’m your therapist or how you feel about the treatment I provided to you, in any forum of your choosing. If you do choose to write something on a business review site, I hope you will keep in mind that you may be sharing personally revealing information in a public forum. I urge you to create a pseudonym that is not linked to your regular email address or friend networks for your own privacy and protection. If you feel I have done something harmful or unethical and you do not feel comfortable discussing it with me, you can always contact the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors and they will investigate:
If you used location-based services on your mobile phone, you may wish to be aware of the privacy issues related to using these services. I do not place my practice as a check-in location on various sites. However, if you have GPS tracking enabled on your device, it is possible that others may surmise that you are a therapy client due to regular check-ins at my office on a weekly basis. Please be aware of this risk if you are intentionally “checking in,” from my office or if you have a passive location-based services app enabled on your phone.
I prefer only using email to arrange or modify appointments. Email is not completely secure or confidential and sending me more detailed information about you by email runs the risk of it not being completely private. If you choose to communicate with me by email, be aware that all emails are retained in the logs of your and my 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 I receive from you and any responses that I send to you become a part of your legal record. If you need to text me, contact me by phone or email for a number you can use to text me. You are welcome to text me at any time, but I only am able to respond to texts during office hours. I do want to know how you are doing and to be able to schedule you in quickly when difficulties happen. However I am not available in the middle of the night or on weekends and I want to make sure that during those times, for immediate help, you are contacting your support network, crisis line at 1-800-784-2433 or calling 911.
Thank you for reviewing my social media policy.