My Private Practice Social Media Policy
January 13, 2019
This document outlines my office 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 meet. 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 in writing of any policy changes and make sure you have a copy of the updated policy.
I publish a blog on my website and I post psychology news on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. I also keep a Facebook and a LinkedIn page for my professional practice to allow people to share my blog posts and practice updates with other users. All of the information shared on this page will be available on my website. I have no expectation that you as a client will want to follow my blog or social media stream. You are welcome to view my sites and read or share articles posted there. However, if you use an easily recognizable name on any of these sites and I happen to notice that you’ve followed me there, we may briefly discuss it and its potential impact on our working relationship.
Please use your own discretion in choosing whether to follow me. Please note that I will not follow you back. My primary concern is your privacy. Viewing your online activities without your consent and without our explicit arrangement towards a specific purpose could potentially have a negative influence on our working 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.
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. Extremely rare exceptions may be made during times of crisis. If I have a reason to suspect that you are in danger and you have not been in touch with me via our usual means (coming to appointments, phone, or email) there might be an instance in which using a search engine becomes necessary as part of ensuring your welfare. These are unusual situations and if I ever resort to such means, I will fully document it and discuss it with you when we next meet.
I do not follow current or former clients on Google Reader and I do not use Google Reader to share articles. If there are things you want to share with me that you feel are relevant to your treatment whether they are news items or things you have created, I encourage you to bring these items of interest into our sessions.
Business Review Sites
You may find my psychotherapy practice on sites such as Google, Yelp, RateMD, 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 considered unethical for psychotherapists 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 encourage 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, please contact the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario which oversees licensing, and they will review the services I have provided.
College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario
Tel: 416-479-4330, ext. 109
Toll-free: 1-844-712-1364 (General toll-free line)
Attn: Director, Professional Conduct
College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario
375 University Avenue, Suite 803
Toronto, ON M5G 2J5
Thank you for taking the time to review my Social Media Policy. 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 my attention so that we can discuss them.