As a Licensed Professional Counselor registered with ACA, I have certain rules and ethical obligations when conducting myself on the Internet. This information will outline my social media policy and how you may expect me to respond to any interactions between us on the Internet, especially if you are, or have received therapy sessions with myself in person.
Friending and Following
I do not accept friend or contact requests from current or former clients on any personal social networking site under my name Suzanne Kelly (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc). I 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 with me and we can talk more about it.
You are welcome to view my public Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, as I share my blog posts, psychology news, and professional updates in this forum. I have no expectation that you as a client will want to follow my blog, and you are welcome to use your own discretion in choosing whether to follow me. If you would like to discuss any of this website’s content with me, you are welcome to bring it along to our sessions.
I will also not follow back any current or former clients on any social media forum. 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. 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.
If you are a client and would like to contact me in between sessions, please do so via email (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (Mobile 336-466-1053 or Office 336-677-3991). Please do not use social networking sites such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or blog comments to contact me, as these sites are not secure and I may not read these messages in a timely fashion. Also, 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.
I prefer using email or text messaging to arrange or modify appointments. Please do not email or text me content related to your therapy sessions, as email and texting 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. You should also know that any emails and/or texts I receive from you and any responses that I send to you become a part of your legal record.
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.
Business Review Sites
If you happen to find my practice or website on review sites such as Yelp, Healthshare, Bing etc, please note that these listings are NOT request for a testimonial, rating, or endorsement from you as my client. Of course, 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. But 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.
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, please do bring them to my attention so that we can discuss them.
This website may contain links to other websites. Links to third party websites do not constitute sponsorship or endorsement or approval of these websites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other websites. We encourage our users to be aware, when they leave our website, to read the privacy statements of each and every website that collects personally identifiable information.