This document outlines my Social Media Policy (SMP), and how you can expect me to respond to various interactions that may occur between us electronically. Please raise any questions you may have before signing, which indicates that you have read have read and understand this policy. This SMP exists to protect your confidentiality and privacy.
Please do not use Messaging on Social Networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn to contact me. These sites are not secure and I do not read or respond to messages on these sites. This safety precaution is taken because anything you post or send me regarding our work together becomes a part of your record and will need to be documented in your chart (including emails).
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 both 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.
If you need to contact me between sessions, the best way to do so is by phone. Direct email at info[at] resolutioncounselling [dot ca] is second best for quick, administrative issues such as changing appointment times. Please ONLY use SMS (mobile phone text messaging) to schedule appointments. No other content is appropriate, as it is not confidential.
If you communicate confidential or private information via SMS (text) or e-mail, I will assume that you have made an informed decision to take the risk that such communication may be intercepted. I will not respond in kind, nor convey private or personal information except for in live telephone or Video Conferencing calls of various modes (Skype, VCee, Zoom, etc)
Please do not use email, text or fax for emergencies. Due to computer or network problems, e-mails may not be deliverable, and I may not check my emails or faxes daily. In case of emergency, call 911 or the Vancouver Crisis Line at 604 872-3311. I may not answer my phone outside business hours of Monday through Friday, 12 pm to 6 pm, and am rarely available for crisis calls even within those hours.
My electronic devices are equipped with a firewall, virus protection and passwords. The contact form on my website has SSL (Secured Sockets Layer), which encrypts all information in transit (incoming and outgoing).
It is generally my policy NOT to initiate contact or acknowledgement that we know eachother if we meet unexpectedly outside the office; however, I’m very open to a brief casual engagement if you approach me. If it is a public context, I would not reveal the nature of our acquaintance and would leave it up to you to disclose a professional relationship if you chose.
Following and Friending
I do not accept friend or contact requests from current or former clients on any social networking site (LinkedIn, etc). I do not make or respond to any social networking contact requests of former or current clients, nor do I view or follow client blogs, tweets, or other social media or internet postings unless you explicitly ask me to do so. If you would like to share aspects of your online life with me, please feel free to bring this to your sessions to discuss.
I do not have a professional Facebook page given that the potential risks of breaching confidentiality outweigh any potential gains.
I publish a Musings (a blog) on my website. I have no expectation that you as a client will follow my blog and it is only a part of your therapy if you wish to make it so.
Use of Search Engines for Your Online Content
Viewing of clients’ online content outside of a direct request during therapy can create confusion in regard to whether it’s being done as a part of your treatment or to satisfy my 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.
I do not follow current or former clients on Google Reader nor do I do share articles on such news platforms.
Extremely rare exceptions may be made during times of crisis. If I have a reason to suspect that you are in danger and I cannot reach you via our usual means (phone, email or text) I may use a search engine (to find you, find someone close to you, or to check on your recent status updates) as a necessary 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.
Business Review Sites
You may find my 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. If you write a review, please know that it is very unlikely that I will see it. I may not even know I’m listed, as 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 use location-based services on your mobile phone, be aware of the related privacy issues, as geolocation information can be gathered through social networking platforms. I do not place my office as a check-in location on various sites such as Foursquare, or 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 are “checking in,” from my office or if you have a passive LBS app enabled on your phone.
Sending Resources via Email and Dropbox
I prefer using email to send smaller resources (forms, articles, Utube links, audio files, homework assignments, etc). Larger files may need to be sent via Dropbox using your email. If you prefer NOT to have me use your email this way, please be sure to indicate this.
Adapted from © Keely Kolmes, Psy.D., original author