This document outlines RMB Psychology office policies related to use of social media. Please read it to understand how the staff of RMB Psychology conduct ourselves on the internet as mental health professionals and how you can expect us to respond to various interactions that may occur between us on the internet. If you have any questions about anything within this document, please bring them up when you next meet with your clinician in session.
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.
We keep a Facebook Page for the professional practice to allow people to share our posts and practice updates with other Facebook users. All of the information shared on this page is available on RMB's website. You are welcome to view our Facebook Page and read or share articles posted there, but we do not accept clients as Fans of this Page.
We believe having clients as Facebook Fans creates a greater likelihood of compromised client confidentiality and we feel it is best to be explicit to all who may view our list of fans to know that they will not find client names on that list.
We may post psychology news on Twitter. We have no expectation that you as a client will want to follow our Twitter stream. However, if you use an easily recognizable name on Twitter and we happen to notice that you've followed us there, we may briefly discuss it and its potential impact on our working relationship. Note that we will not follow you back. We only follow other health professionals on Twitter and we do not follow current or former clients on blogs or Twitter.
Our reasoning is that we believe casual viewing of clients' online content outside of the therapy hour can create confusion in regard to whether it's being done as a part of your treatment or to satisfy our personal curiosity. In addition, 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.
Please do not use SMS (mobile phone text messaging) or messaging on Social Networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn to contact us. 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 clincian between sessions, the best way to do so is by phone. Direct email at email@example.com is second best for quick, administrative issues such as changing appointment times. See the email section below for more information regarding email interactions.
It is NOT a regular part of our practice to search for clients on Google or 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 ever resort to such means, we will fully document it and discuss it with you when we next meet.
You may find my psychology practice on sites such as Yelp, Healthgrades, Yahoo Local, Google 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.
The Australian Psychological Society Code of Ethics states that it is unethical for psychologists to solicit testimonials.
Of course, you have a right to express yourself on any site you wish. But due to confidentiality, we cannot respond to any review on any of these sites whether it is positive or negative. We urge you to take your own privacy as seriously as we take our commitment of confidentiality to you. You should also be aware that if you are using these sites to communicate indirectly with us about your feelings about our work, there is a strong possibility that we may never see it.
If we are working together, we 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 RMB Psychology is your therapist or how you feel about the treatment we provided to you, in any forum of your choosing.
If you do choose to write something on a business review site, we hope you will keep in mind that you may be sharing personally revealing information in a public forum. We 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 we have done something harmful or unethical and you do not feel comfortable discussing it with me, you can always contact the Board of Psychology, which oversees licensing, and they will review the services we have provided.
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. We do not place this 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 LBS app enabled on your phone.
We prefer using phone to arrange or modify appointments. Please do not email me content related to your therapy sessions, as email is not completely secure or confidential. 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 we receive from you and any responses that we send to you become a part of your legal record.
Thank you for taking the time to review our 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.