Social Media Policy


This document outlines office policies related to use of Social Media. Please read it to understand how GPS
representatives and contractors conduct themselves on the Internet as a mental health professionals and how you can
expect your therapist to respond to various interactions that may occur between us on the Internet.
If you have any questions about anything within this document, we encourage you to bring them up when you meet
with your therapist. As new technology develops and the Internet changes, there may be times when GPS needs to
update this policy. If we do so, we will notify you in writing of any policy changes and make sure you have a copy of the
updated policy.

 

 

GPS representatives and contractors do not accept friend or contact requests from current or former clients on any social
networking site (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc). We believe 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 a therapeutic relationship
between you and your therapist. If you have questions about this, please bring them up when you meet with your
therapist so you can talk more about it.



GPS representatives may publish a blog on their website and/or post therapeutic news on Twitter.
We have no expectation that you as a client will want to follow any of our blog or Twitter streams. However, if you use
an easily recognizable name on Twitter and I happen to notice that you’ve followed GPS or your therapist there, we may
briefly discuss it and its potential impact on our working relationship.



GPS’ primary concern is your privacy. If you share this concern, there are more private ways to follow representatives
and/or contractors on Twitter (such as using an RSS feed or a locked Twitter list), which would eliminate your having a
public link to GPS content. You are welcome to use your own discretion in choosing whether to follow anyone.
Note that GPS’ representatives and/or contractors will not follow you back. GPS only follows other health professionals
on Twitter and do not follow current or former clients on blogs or Twitter. The reasoning is that we believe 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 our personal curiosity. In addition, viewing your online activities without your
consent and without our explicit arrangement towards a specific purpose could potentially have a negative influence on
our working relationship. If there are things from your online life that you wish to share with us, please bring them into
our sessions where we can view and explore them together, during the therapy hour.



Please do not use messaging on Social Networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn to contact GPS. These
sites are not secure and GPS may not read these messages in a timely fashion. Do not use Wall postings, @replies, or
other means of engaging with GPS in public online if we have an already established client/therapist relationship.
Engaging with GPS or your therapist 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 therapist or GPS between sessions, the best way to do so is by phone.



It is NOT a regular part of GPS or your therapists’ practice to search for clients on Google or Facebook or other search
engines. Extremely rare exceptions may be made during times of crisis. If we have a reason to suspect that you are in
danger and you have not been in touch with your therapist via our 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 we
ever resort to such means, we will fully document it and discuss it with you when we next meet.



You may find GPS or your therapists psychology practice on sites such as Yelp, Healthgrades, Yahoo Local, Bing, or other
places which list businesses. GPS Therapists often work in other offices as they are Independent Contractors. 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 GPS or your therapists’ listing on any of these sites, please know that the listing is NOT a request for a testimonial, rating, or endorsement from you as a GPS client.  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. You should also be aware that if you are using these sites to
communicate indirectly with GPS or your therapist about your feelings about our work, there is a good possibility that
we may never see it.
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 GPS or your therapist wherever and with whomever you like.
Confidentiality means that GPS cannot tell people that you are our client and our Ethics Code prohibits us from requesting
testimonials. But you are more than welcome to tell anyone you wish that GPS and your therapist is your therapist or
how you feel about the treatment we provided to you, in any forum of your choosing.
If you do choose to write something on a business review site, GPS and your therapist 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 I have done something harmful or unethical and you do not feel comfortable discussing it with us, you can
always contact the State of Michigan, which oversees licensing, and they will review the services we have provided.



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. We do not place our location 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 our office on a weekly basis. Please be aware of this risk if you are
intentionally “checking in,” from our office or if you have a passive LBS app enabled on your phone.



We prefer using email only to arrange or modify appointments. Please do not email GPS or your therapist content
related to your therapy sessions, as email is not completely secure or confidential. If you choose to communicate with
GPS by email, be aware that all emails are retained in the logs of your and GPS or your therapists’ 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.


Thank you for taking the time to review GPS and your therapists’ Social Media Policy. If you have questions or concerns
about any of these policies and procedures or regarding our potential interactions on the Internet, do bring them to our
attention so that we can discuss them.

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