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.
CURRENT USES ABLE Counseling Services, LLC, owned and operated by, D.J. Burr, LMHC, NCC,S-PSB currently uses social media to post articles/blogs, practice updates, and relevant mental health issues. You are not obligated to “follow”, “friend”, or “like” any information related to DJ Burr or ABLE Counseling Services, LLC. If you would like to stay informed you may do so at your own discretion.
FRIENDING I do not accept friend or contact requests from current or former clients on any social networking site that is of my own personal use. However, you may subscribe to pages related to my practice at ABLE Counseling Services, LLC or related to any published material (books, articles, merchandise.) Subscribing may can compromise your confidentiality and our respective privacy. It may also blur the boundaries of our therapeutic relationship. You may do so if you so desire. If you have questions about this, please bring them up when we meet and we can talk more about it.
INTERACTING Please do not use SMS (mobile phone text messaging) or messaging on Social Networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn to contact me. These sites are not secure and I may not read these messages in a timely fashion. 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 at 206-458-2556 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need to cancel, change, or alter your appointment in some way, please email me.
I cannot receive text messages at my business line. I do not provide my personal cell phone number for client use. If you text me, I will not get the message. You may email me and I will receive it just as quick, but please note that if I am in session, your message may not be responded to for several hours.
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 (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 I ever resort to such means, I will fully document it and discuss it with you when we next meet.
GOOGLE READER 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.
LOCATION-BASED SERVICES 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. My practice is listed as a check-in location on various sites such as Foursquare, Facebook, etc. 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.
EMAIL I prefer using email only to arrange or modify appointments. You may email me content related to your therapy sessions, but you do so at your own risk 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 I receive from you and any responses that I send to you may become a part of your legal record.
CONCLUSION 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.
If you are in crisis, please call the crisis line at 866-427-4747. If this is a medical emergency call 911 immediately or go to the nearest hospital Emergency Room.