Therapy Thoughts: Role of Social Media & the Therapy Relationship

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Therapy Thoughts: Role of Social Media & the Therapy Relationship

In my work as a therapist, there is something that is not often discussed in the therapeutic community, but I believe is important for me to address as an ethical concern.

That is: Social Media.  Specifically, in this post, social media as it pertains to my private therapy practice.

As a psychotherapist, I have a responsibility to protect and respect the privacy and confidentiality of my clients, whether they be current, past or future.

I take this responsibility very seriously and as a result, have had complicated concerns about how I can engage with various social media sites for my therapy practice.

They are complex concerns based on the potential impact it can have in the therapeutic work and relationship, in addition to the possible breach of privacy, I have been grappling with for quite some time.

Because of my concerns, my interactions with social media have been limited up to this point.  But I have been increasingly aware about the need to address and be open about my concerns due to the realities of how social media plays a large role in many of our every day lives.

While social media is a powerful way to interact with our family, friends, work, businesses and brands, how can a relationship which is meant only to exist in a protected, safe and controlled environment like it is in therapy exist alongside our every day lives? Especially when social media can be a vehicle to connect those who may be considering this process to find out more about it, and shared information can be supportive and educational to those engaged in personal development and growth.

After much thought and consideration, I have decided to write this post and to craft a forthcoming social media policy that I will be sharing with all of my current clients.

tornto therapist social media notice

This social media notice now appears on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

It is also my plan to be explicit in each of my social media profiles to notify clients that actively engaging with any of my profiles may compromise identity and privacy, “actively engaging” may include sharing, liking or following a profile, page, tweet, or post.

Additionally, any requests to add as a “Friend” on Facebook, “Follow” on Twitter, “Link” on LinkedIn or any other requests to connect publicly will not be returned to protect confidentiality.

Further, any direct communication with me will only be available via my email address, website contact form or phone.  I will not respond to any messages sent thorough any of the social media sites or apps.

Posts and messages I will be sharing on the social media sites will be quotes, news and information I hope will be of interest, and which may be useful resources regarding the therapeutic process.

Moving forward, it’s my intention to increase my presence on various social media sites, and I believe strongly that my concerns to provide clarity is crucial to protect the integrity and boundaries of the therapeutic process.  I will undoubtedly keep updating my thinking and policies as technology changes, and as I continue to learn from my experiences.

If you have any questions about my psychotherapy practice, please refer to my main website Toronto Therapist.  Or if you have any questions regarding my Social Media policies, please feel free to contact me using the Contact Form on my website.

 

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The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional advice or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat an issue, problem or concern without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have.

Mio Yokoi, RP DipTIRP
Mio Yokoi, RP DipTIRP
My name is Mio, Registered Psychotherapist in downtown Toronto. If you are looking to make changes in your life or relationship, I strive to provide the attention, empathy, and compassion which can be valuable to navigate the direction toward lasting growth and self-discovery. My work lies in my understanding that every person is unique with a valuable perspective. If you are seeking a new level of personal growth and understanding, I may be able to help by identifying your strengths while uncovering the nature of your challenges and concerns.
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