This document outlines our office policies related to use of Social Media. Please review it carefully so that you know what to expect from our psychologists and psychotherapists in relation to the internet. If you have any questions or concerns about this policy, please discuss it with your psychologist or psychotherapist so that there is a common understanding of how you will interact with us via the internet.
Our policies are based on the tenets of American Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/index.aspx) wherein we take all reasonable measures to ensure your privacy and confidentiality and avoid dual relationships (relationships where we have a relationship other than that as a psychologist/psychotherapist-client) that may negatively affect our objectivity and ability to work with you effectively. We, as psychologists and psychotherapists, are also prohibited from soliciting testimonials from our current or past clients.
Social Networking Sites:
We do not accept friend or contact requests from current or former clients on any social networking site (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc), as this may compromise your confidentiality and our respective privacy. It may also blur the boundaries of our therapeutic relationship.
Methods of Contacting Us:
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.
If you need to contact us between sessions, the best way to do so is by phone or via the patient portal, to which you will be given access at your request. Direct email via our website, Crossroads-Psych.com is second best for quick, administrative issues such as changing appointment times. See the email section below for more information regarding email interactions.
Business Review Sites:
You may find our psychology practice on sites such as Yelp, Healthgrades, Google Places, 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 it is NOT a request for a testimonial, rating, or endorsement from you as our client. The American Psychological Association’s Ethics Code states under Standard 5.05 that it is unethical for psychologists and psychotherapists to solicit testimonials: “Psychologists do not solicit testimonials from current therapy clients/patients or other persons who because of their particular circumstances are vulnerable to undue influence.”
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.
If you have feelings about your work or relationship with your psychologist or psychotherapist, it is best to discuss them in person, with your psychologist or psychotherapist. This can be an important part of therapy, even if you decide you no longer want to work with your psychologist or psychotherapist. None of this is meant to keep you from sharing that you are in therapy with us wherever and with whomever you like.
Confidentiality means that we cannot tell people that you are our client. But you are more than welcome to tell anyone you wish who your therapist is or how you feel about the treatment you receive, in any forum of your choosing. 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 feel we have done something harmful or unethical and you do not feel comfortable discussing it with your psychologist or psychotherapist, you can always contact Dr. Soni Kim, founder and director of Crossroads Institute, or the Board of Psychology, which oversees licensing of psychologists and psychotherapists in the state of California.
Board Of Psychology
1625 North Market Street
Sacramento CA 95834
If you use location-based services on your mobile phone, you may wish to be aware of the privacy issues related to using these services. 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.
Please be advised that email is not completely secure or confidential, and we discourage sharing of any clinical material via email. If you choose to communicate with us by email, be aware that 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 legal record.
*Adapted from Keely Kolmes’ website, drkkolmes.com.