The BCACC requires Registered Clinical Counsellors (RCC) who use Social Media to have a Social Media Policy. 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 potential 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 of any policy changes. Any changes of policy will be updated on my website accordingly.
I accept and unaccept requests for connecting on my professional Counselling Facebook page and Professional Instagram accounts (my Twitter is currently deactivated due to difficulty in maintaining boundaries between professional and personal, and confidentiality issues). All other requests will be rejected. When I accept a request to connect to my professional page it is done for professional reasons. We are not friends and I will not follow your personal social media pages in return. If I ever accidentally find myself having connected to your personal social media, I will immediately remove my connection to your social media.
If we do not terminate, I have not heard from you in 30 days and there has been no communication, I will remove you as a contact from my professional pages in order to establish clear boundaries, until such time the nature of our therapeutic connection is resolved and boundaries are established.
Should we commence working together again you are welcome to reconnect to my page at anytime. Should we conduct a termination meeting we will discuss the connection to my professional page as part of our termination discussion. I have had experience with ex-client's being creepers on my pages and it had generated negative outcomes and culminating in threats to my safety; as such this is my policy to ensure boundaries are clear and there is no conflation between "professional" and "friend" and that the integrity of the therapeutic frame is maintained.
My personal Facebook is fully private and inaccessible to the public. I also do not interact with clients on social networking. If you need to contact me between sessions, the best way to do so is by phone, or by email. If you have questions about this, please bring them up when we meet and we can talk more about it.
I occasionally post articles related to wellness and psychology on my website, my professional Facebook page or my professional Instagram I will from time to time post blogs regarding insights I have into wellness and the healing process. I may from time to time include my personal experiences as part of that work. When I include personal information it is for professional reasons and I disclose in accordance to the BCACC Code of Ethics.
I have no expectation that you as a client will want to follow my public Professional pages. Comments have been disabled on my website but are available on my professional Fracebook page. However, if you use an easily recognizable name on Twitter or Facebook and I happen to notice that you’ve followed me there, we may briefly discuss it and its potential impact on our working relationship. My primary concern is your privacy. If you share this concern, there are more private ways to follow me on Twitter (such as using an RSS feed or a locked Twitter list), which would eliminate your having a public link to my content. You are welcome to use your own discretion in choosing whether to follow me.
I only follow other health professionals on Twitter and I do not follow current or former clients on blogs or Twitter. My reasoning is that I 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 my personal curiosity.
I will never view or search your personal online activities without your consent and without our explicit arrangement towards a specific purpose. Doing otherwise 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.
If you have concerns in between sessions you are welcome to email me but if they are therapeutic in nature, or require extensive processing rather than a clarification, or a request for resources, I will respond that the material is better processed in session and will invite you to bring it with you when we next meet.
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.
I do not ask clients to post a review of me or our work, and will never ask you for a testimonial. The British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors (BCACC) Standard for Promoting and Advertising Services states, “an RCC should never solicit testimonials, expressly or by implication, from clients or other persons who, because of their particular circumstances, may be vulnerable to undue influence” (BCACC Code of Ethical Conduct and Standards of Clinical Practice and Guidelines for Registered Clinical Counsellors, 2011).
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. I am not a mindreader, I am not responsible for your assumptions and cannot support you in your process if you do not communicate them to me - especially assumptions or fantasies you may have over the course of our therapy vis a vis social media.
Working on how you experience me vis a vis social media 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.
If you are happy with our work together 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 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 such as Foursquare, Facebook, etc. 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 your location.
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.