Author: Veronica Lichtenstein, LMHC
Jan 23, 2021
Since I use social media for my practice, I have created a social media policy in order to truly protect our relationship and your confidentiality. It is a wonderful tool to help people get informed and engaged and I want you to understand how it could impact you and our relationship.
If you have any questions about my policy, I encourage you to bring them up when we meet. Social media is also constantly changing and there may be times when I need to update this policy. If I do so, I will post the policy online and inform you of the changes in our session.
Let’s talk about confidentiality for a moment. You are the person that can decide what you want to keep confidential. I must keep my relationship with you completely confidential except in cases of where you might harm yourself or others (see informed consent for details). Thus, if you post on my page, you are opening up the possibility of people inferring about our relationship or asking you about your connection to me. You get to decide what you tell people. You have a choice as to what you reveal about yourself online, however I will not reveal my connection to you.
Confidentiality means that I cannot tell people that you are my client. Although I cannot and will not solicit testimonials from clients, 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.
This is how I handle different social media options:
FRIENDING: To respect your privacy and confidentiality, I do not accept friend requests on my personal Facebook page from current or former clients on any social networking site.
FANNING: You may “like” my Facebook business page. If you “like” my page, you are choosing to reveal that you are connected to me in some way. My business page exists to be a forum of information and inspiration. I will not engage in conversations with you on that page. However, if you find it helpful then that is great!
FOLLOWING: I sometimes publish a blog on my website and I post psychology news on my Instagram or Facebook business pages. I have no expectation that clients will want to follow my blog or social media stream. You are welcome to use your own discretion in choosing whether to follow me. Note that I will not follow you back. I mainly follow other health professionals and I do not follow current or former clients on social media. 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.
INTERACTING: Please do not use messaging on Social Networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn to contact me. Also, if there were an emergency, I would not be able to respond timely as I do not check these accounts regularly. The best way to interact with me is by email (V@VeronicaListens.com, or Talk@VeronicaListens.com) or phone (561-903-8255). If you post on my wall 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.
Of course, you have a right to express yourself on any public forum you wish. If we are working together, I hope that you will bring your feelings and reactions to our 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 me wherever and with whomever you like.