Just Mind Social Media Policy
This document outlines our practice’s policies related to use of Social Media. Please read it to understand our therapists’ conduct on the Internet as mental health professionals and how you can expect our practice to respond to various interactions that may occur between us on the Internet. If you have any questions about anything within this document, we encourage you to bring them up. As new technology develops and the Internet changes, there may be times when we need to update this policy. If so, you will be notified in writing of any policy changes and you will receive a copy of the updated policy.
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 the therapeutic relationship. If you have questions about this, please bring
them up when you meet with your counselor and you can talk more about it.
Just Mind keeps a Facebook Page to allow people to share our blog posts and practice updates with other Facebook users. All of the information shared on this page is available on our website. You are welcome to view our Facebook Page and read or share articles posted there, but we urge caution for clients as Fans of this Facebook Page. There is a chance that having clients as Facebook Fans creates a greater likelihood of compromised client confidentiality. We feel that the term “Fan” comes too close to an implied request for a public endorsement of our practice. Note that you should be able to follow to the page via RSS without becoming a Fan and without creating a visible, public link to the Page. You are more than welcome to do this.
Just Mind publishes a blog on our website and we post psychology news on Twitter. We have
no expectation that you as a client will want to follow the blog or Twitter stream. However, if you
use an easily recognizable name on Twitter and we happen to notice that you’ve followed us
there, your counselor may briefly discuss it and its potential impact on your working relationship. Our primary concern is your privacy. If you share this concern, there are more private ways to follow us on Twitter (such as using an RSS feed or a locked Twitter list), which would eliminate your having a public link to the content. You are welcome to use your own discretion in choosing whether to follow us. Note that Just Mind 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. The 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 personal curiosity. In addition, viewing your online activities without your consent and without an explicit arrangement towards a specific purpose could potentially have a negative influence on the working relationship. If there are things from your online life that you wish to share with your counselor, please bring them into your sessions where you 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 your counselor. These sites are not secure and your messages may not be read in a timely fashion. Do not use Wall postings, @replies, or other means of engaging with your counselor in public online if you have an already established client/therapist relationship. Engaging with your counselor in 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 phone. Direct email is second best 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 or Facebook or other search engines. Extremely rare exceptions may be made during times of crisis. If your counselor has a reason to suspect that you are in danger and you have not been in touch with them via your 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 your counselor ever resorts to such means, they will fully document it and discuss it with you when you next meet.
BUSINESS REVIEW SITES
You may find Just Mind 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 our listing on any of these sites, please know that the listing is NOT a request for a
testimonial, rating, or endorsement from you as our client. 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 confidentiality to you. You should also be aware that if you are using these sites to communicate indirectly with your counselor about your feelings about your work, there is a good possibility that they may never see it. None of this is meant to keep you from sharing that you are in therapy with Just Mind wherever and with whomever you like. Confidentiality means that we cannot tell people that you are our client and our Ethics Code prohibits us from requesting testimonials. But you are more than welcome to tell anyone you wish about your counselor or how you feel about the treatment 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.
If you have location-based services on your mobile phone, you may wish to be aware of the privacy issues related to using these services. 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 our office on a weekly basis. Please be aware of this risk if you are intentionally “checking in” from our office or if you have a passive LBS app enabled on your phone.
We prefer using email only to arrange or modify appointments. Please do not email your
counselor content related to your therapy sessions, as email is not completely secure or confidential. If you choose to communicate with your counselor by email, be aware that all emails are retained in the logs of your 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 Just Mind receives from you and any responses that Just Mind sends to you may become a part of your legal record.
I have read and understand the Just Mind Social Media Policy.
Client’s signature Date
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons AttributionNoncommercialShare Alike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/byncsa/3.0/us/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA. © Keely Kolmes, Psy.D. – Social Media Policy – 4/26/10