Social Media Policy
Our Private Practice Social Media Policy
This document outlines our office policies related to use of Social Media. Please read it to understand how we conduct ourselves on the Internet as psychologists and how you can expect us to respond to various interactions that may occur between us on the Internet. If you have any questions about anything within this document, I encourage you to bring them up when we meet. As new technology develops and the Internet changes, there may be times when we need to update this policy. Please check back here for any future changes.
We do not accept friend or contact requests from current or former patients on any social networking site (Facebook, Linkedln, etc). We believe that adding patients as friends or contacts on these sites can compromise your confidentiality and our respective privacy. It may also blur the boundaries of our therapeutic relationship. If you have questions about this, please bring them up when we meet and we can talk more about it.
Bright Mind Psychology has a Facebook Page which allows patients to gain resources as we may post and share certain mental health-related articles or links from time to time and for us to see how Facebook is developing as a technology for connecting. You are welcome to view Bright Mind Psychology Facebook Page and read or share articles posted there and even Like this page, but we do not accept patients as Fans of this Page. We believe having patients as Facebook Fans creates a greater likelihood of compromised patient confidentiality and we feel it is best to be explicit to all who may view my list of Fans to know that they will not find patient names on that list. In addition, the Australian Psychological Society's Ethics Code and the Australia Health Practitioner Regulatory Agency (AHPRA) prohibits our soliciting testimonials from patients, or publishing letters or emails of patient satisfaction and successful outcome. Therefore, there are no review options for this Page. If there are any concerns regarding our therapy content, we would like to emphasize the importance of using our sessions to discuss this. You will find on the top of the Page a permanent post which summarizes the purpose of the page.
From time to time you may see us post comments to other people's blogs, on Twitter, or on other sites. Please be aware that if you post a comment identifying yourself as a patient, you may be compromising your own confidentiality which may intrude on our clinical work. As would usually be the case, think carefully before posting anything on the internet. For your safety, we will not be responding to any comments from patients online (including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Instagram etc.).
We publish a blog and Instagram. We have no expectation that you as a patient will want to follow the blog, or Instagram. However, if you use an easily recognizable name and we happen to notice that you've followed the accounts, we may briefly discuss it and its potential impact on our working relationship. Again, our primary concern is your privacy. If you share this concern, there are more private ways to follow us on Twitter for example (such as using an RSS feed or a locked Twitter list), which would eliminate your having a public link to our content. You are welcome to use your own discretion in choosing whether to follow our account. Note that we will not follow you back. We mainly follow other health professionals, journalists and various people of professional interest to us on and we do not follow current or former patients on blogs, Twitter or Instagram. Our reasoning is that we believe casual viewing of patients' online content outside of the therapy session 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 session.
We all use social media and online platforms to keep in touch in some way or another. We believe that this could potentially compromise your confidentiality and also create the possibility that these exchanges become a part of your legal record and will need to be documented and archived in your notes. Believe it or not, this includes phone calls and SMS method of interacting. You will know by now that our practice uses an SMS system (where applicable) to keep in contact about appointments. I would strongly discourage to talk about any therapy content via SMS or the voicemail system on the phone. Please do not use messaging on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, blog or any other online channel to contact us. These sites are not secure and we may not read these messages in a timely manner. You are to refer to your risk management plan, emergency contacts and your friends and family for urgent matters.
The best way to make appointment changes is to call 03 9704 7244 where a receptionist can do that for you during working hours. Direct email at firstname.lastname@example.org is good for quick administrative issues only. See the email section below for more information regarding email interactions.
Use of Search Engines
It is NOT a regular part of our practice to search for patients 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 me 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.
Business Review Sites
You may find our psychology practice on sites such as Google Reviews, Yelp, Healthgrades, Yahoo Local, Bing, Good Therapy, 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 the listing is NOT a request for a testimonial, rating, or endorsement from you as our patients. Of course, you have a right to express yourself on any site you wish, including your own if you're sharing your journey in therapy. 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 my commitment of confidentiality to you. You should also be aware that if you are using these sites to communicate indirectly with us about your feelings about our work, there is a good possibility that we may never see it. If we are working together, we 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 us wherever and with whomever you like. Confidentiality means that we 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 we are your therapists 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, 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 use location-based services on your mobile phone, you may wish to be aware of the privacy issues related to using these services. Facebook, Google, Yelp, Flightradar24 or Apple Maps may show our practice address as we use them occasionally to ethically advertise our services. 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, and send you materials such as questionnaires and occasional articles or other resources of direct relevance as indicated in our sessions. Please do not email us 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 we receive from you and any responses that we send to you become a part of your legal record.