MOSS PSYCHOLOGY’s SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY
This document outlines our office policies related to the use of Social Media. Please read it to understand how we 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, we encourage you to bring them up when you meet with one of our staff. As new technology develops and the Internet changes, there may be times when we need to update this policy. If we do so, we will notify you in writing of any policy changes and make sure you have a copy of the updated policy.
The mental health professionals within this service 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. If you have questions about this, please bring them up when you meet with one of our practitioners and we can talk more about it.
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 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 clinical file.
If you need to contact any of our practitioners between sessions, the best way to do so is by phone. Direct email at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 part of our practice to search for clients on Google or Facebook or other search engines. 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), we will only use the methods outlined in your initial consent agreement to find you or find someone close to you.
We do not follow current or former clients on Google Reader and we do not use Google Reader to share articles. If there are things you want to share with us that you feel are relevant to your treatment whether they are news items or things you have created, we encourage you to bring these items of interest into your sessions.
BUSINESS REVIEW SITES
You may find our psychology practice on sites such as Yelp, 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 this listing is NOT a request for a testimonial, rating, or endorsement from you as a 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 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 good possibility that the employee you are referring to may never see it.
We hope that you will bring your feelings and reactions to any work undertaken by Moss Psychology directly to the practitioner. This can be an important part of therapy, even if you decide the practitioner is not a good fit for you. None of this is meant to keep you from sharing that you are in therapy with a practitioner in Moss Psychology, wherever and with whomever you like. Confidentiality means that we cannot tell people that you are a client of Moss Psychology and our respective Ethics Codes (be that Psychology or Social Work), prohibits us from requesting testimonials.
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 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 our practice as a check-in location on various sites such as Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt, 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 regular check-ins at our offices on a weekly basis. Please be aware of this risk if you are intentionally “checking in,” from our offices 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 practitioners with content related to your therapy sessions, as email is not completely secure or confidential. If you choose to communicate with us by email, 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 we receive from you and any responses that we send to you become a part of your clinical 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 our attention so that we can discuss them.
Updated June 18th, 2018