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This document outlines office policies related to use of Social Media and other forms of electronic contact. Please read it to understand how Dr. Robert Stevens and Clinical Associates conduct themselves on the Internet as mental health professionals and expected responses to various interactions that may occur between client and therapist on the Internet.

 

The primary concern regarding this social media policy is your privacy and confidentiality. Viewing of client’s online content outside of the therapy hour can compromise the clear and distinct client-therapist boundaries and could have a negative influence on the therapeutic working relationship. If there is content from your online life that you wish to share with your therapist, please bring this to the therapy session, where it can be viewed and explored together, during the therapy hour. If there are any questions about anything within this document, please bring them to your therapist’s attention so they may be discussed.

Friend or contact requests from current or former clients on any social networking site (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn) will not be accepted. Adding clients as friends or contacts on these sites can compromise your privacy and our respective privacy. It may also compromise the boundaries of the therapeutic relationship.

Please do not use messaging on Social Networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn as a method of contact (e.g. Facebook messages, Facebook wall postings, Tweets). These sites are not secure, messages will not be read in a timely fashion, and this form of contact may also compromise your confidentiality.  These exchanges may become a part of your treatment file as any form of contact between client and therapist is to be documented and archived in to a client’s records.

If you need to be contacted between sessions, the best way to do so is the preferred method of contact indicated by Dr. Stevens and his associates, which is either phone or email.

Clients will not be searched on Google or Facebook or other search engines, with the exception of rare circumstances, such as a 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 (e.g. 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, etc.) becomes necessary as part of ensuring your welfare. These are rare and unusual situations that will be documented and discussed together at the next appointment.

We prefer that email only be used to arrange or modify appointments. Please do not use email to communicate content related to therapy sessions, as email is not completely secure or confidential. Please 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 become a part of your treatment file.

A blog is published on this site and is updated periodically with new content. There are no expectations that clients follow this blog. You are welcome to read and share these blog articles on Social Media at your own discretion. Please be aware that sharing the blog content may compromise your privacy as you will be making a public link to my website and its content. If you have any questions or concerns regarding blog articles, clients are welcome to raise them during the next session so it may be discussed.

 

As new technology develops and the Internet changes, there may be times when this policy is updated. Please refer to this policy regularly for updates.