This document outlines New Insights, LLC’s office policies related to use of Social Media. Please read it to understand how this practice conducts itself on the Internet as a provider of mental health services and how you can expect the organization and individual clinicians to respond to various interactions that may occur between us on the Internet.
If you have any questions about anything within this document, it is encouraged you to bring them up when you meet with your clinician. As new technology develops and the Internet changes, there may be times when New Insights, LLC will need to update this policy. If this is done, New Insights, LLC will notify you in writing of any policy changes and make sure you have a copy of the updated policy.
New Insights, LLC and its clinicians do not accept friend or contact requests from current or former clients on any social networking site (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc). It is our belief 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 the therapeutic relationship. If you have questions about this, please bring them up when you meet with your clinician.
New Insights, LLC publishes a blog on its website and posts psychology news on Twitter. New Insights, LLC has no expectation that you as a client will want to follow the blog or Twitter stream. However, if you use an easily recognizable name on Twitter and a clinician happens to notice that you’ve followed, your clinician may briefly discuss it and its potential impact on your working relationship.
Our primary concern is your privacy. If you share this concern, there are more private ways to follow me on Twitter (such as using an RSS feed or a locked Twitter list), which would eliminate your having a public link to my content. You are welcome to use your own discretion in choosing whether to follow us.
Note that New Insights, LLC will not follow you back. New Insights, LLC will only follow other health professionals on Twitter and do not follow current or former clients on blogs or Twitter. The reasoning is that New Insights, LLC believes 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 personal curiosity. In addition, viewing your online activities without your consent and without an explicit arrangement towards a specific purpose could potentially have a negative influence on your working relationship with your clinician. If there are things from your online life that you wish to share with your clinician, please bring them into your sessions where they can be viewed and explored together, during the therapy hour.
Please do not use SMS (mobile phone text messaging) or messaging on Social Networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn to contact New Insights, LLC or our clinicians. These sites are not secure and we may not read these messages in a timely fashion. Do not use comments, @replies, or other means of engaging with us in public forums online if we have an already established client/therapist relationship. Engaging with us 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.
If you need to contact your clinician between sessions, the best way to do so is by phone. Direct email at info @ newinsightsllc [dot] com 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 a regular part of New Insights, LLC or its clinicians to search for clients on Google or Facebook or other search engines. Extremely rare exceptions may be made during times of crisis. If there is a reason to suspect that you are in danger and you have not been in touch with your clinician via 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 are ever resorted to such means, it will be fully documented it and discussed during your next appointment.
New Insights, LLC or its clinicians do not follow current or former clients on Google Reader and do not use Google Reader to share articles. If there are things you want to share with New Insights, LLC or its clinicians that you feel are relevant to your treatment, whether they are news items or things you have created, it is encouraged that you to bring these items of interest into your sessions.
BUSINESS REVIEW SITES
You may find New Insights, LLC or its clinicians on sites such as Yelp, Healthgrades, 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 New Insights, LLC or its clinicians listed 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.
The American Psychological Association’s Ethics Code states under Principle 5.05 that it is unethical for psychologists 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, New Insights, LLC or its clinicians cannot respond to any review on any of these sites whether it is positive or negative. You are urged to take your own privacy as seriously as New Insights, LLC and its clinicians take their commitment of confidentiality to you. You should also be aware that if you are using these sites to communicate indirectly with New Insights, LLC or its clinicians about your feelings about your therapeutic work, there is a good possibility that New Insights, LLC or its clinicians may never see it.
If you are working with us, it is our hope that you will bring your feelings and reactions to your work directly into the therapy process. This can be an important part of therapy, even if you decide we are not a good fit. None of this is meant to keep you from sharing that you are in therapy with New Insights, LLC or one of our clinicians wherever and with whomever you like. Confidentiality means that New Insights, LLC or its clinicians cannot tell people that you are a client and the APA Ethics Code prohibits us from requesting testimonials. But you are more than welcome to tell anyone you wish that you have a therapist with New Insights, LLC or the name of your clinician, or how you feel about the treatment was provided to you, in any forum of your choosing.
If you do choose to write something on a business review site, it is our hope that you will keep in mind that you may be sharing personally revealing information in a public forum. It’s urged that 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 New Insights, LLC or its clinicians have done something harmful or unethical and you do not feel comfortable discussing it with your clinician, you can always contact the Board of Psychology, which oversees licensing, and they will review the services New Insights, LLC or its clinicians have provided.
Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services
1400 E. Washington Avenue
Madison, WI 53703
FAX #: (608) 266 – 2264
Phone #: (608) 266 – 7482
E – Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
LOCATION-BASED SERVICES (LBS)
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. New Insights, LLC or its clinicians do not place the 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 the New Insights, LLC office on a weekly basis. Please be aware of this risk if you are intentionally “checking in,” from the office or if you have a passive LBS app enabled on your phone.
New Insights, LLC and its clinicians prefer using email only to arrange or modify appointments. Please do not email content related to your therapy sessions, as email is not completely secure or confidential. If you choose to communicate with us by email, 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 New Insights, LLC or its clinicians receive from you and any responses that are sent to you become a part of your legal record.