HAWAII CENTER FOR PSYCHOLOGY’S

SOCIAL MEDIA GUIDELINES

This document outlines Hawaii Center for Psychology’s office policies related to the use of Social Media.  Please read it to understand how provider’s here conduct themselves on the Internet as psychologists and how you can expect them to respond to various interactions that may occur between client and provider on the Internet.

If you have any questions about anything with this document, you are encouraged you to bring them up in session.  As new technology develops and the Internet changes, there may be times when it is necessary to update these guidelines.

FRIENDING

Providers at Hawaii Center for Psychology do not accept friend or contact requests from their current or former clients on any social networking site (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc).  Adding clients as friends or contacts on these sites can compromise confidentiality and the privacy of both client and provider.  It may also blur the boundaries of the therapeutic relationship.  If you have questions about this, please bring them up in session.

If you are in social media contact with a provider at Hawaii Center for Psychology and you become a professional client of that provider, you can expect that provider to disengage from social media contact for the same reasons as stated above.

INTERACTING

Please do not use SMS (mobile phone text messaging) or messaging on Social Networking sites such as Facebook or LinkeIn to contact your provider.  These sites are not secure and your provider may not read these messages in a timely fashion.  Do not use Wall postings, @replies, or other means of engaging with your provider in public online.  Engaging with your provider in this manner 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 provider between sessions, the best way to do so is by phone at 538-7793.  Your provider will respond when they are back in office, which is typically within 24-72 hours.  If it is an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Room.

USE OF SEARCH ENGINES

It is NOT a regular part of Hawaii Center for Psychology’s practice to search for clients on Google, Facebook, or any other search engine.  Extremely rare exceptions may be made during times of crisis.  If your provider has reason to suspect that you are in danger and you have not been in touch with them via our usual means (coming to appointments or by phone) 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 these means are ever utilized, it will be fully document and discussed in the next session.

BUSINESS REVIEW SITES

You may find Hawaii Center for Psychology and our providers 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 Hawaii Center of Psychology or our providers listed on any of these sites, please know that the 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 Principles 5.05 that it is unethical for psychologists to solicit testimonials:  “Psychologists do not solicit testimonials from current therapy clients/clients or other persons who because of their particular circumstances are vulnerable to undue influence.”

You have a right to express yourself on any site you wish, but you are urged to take your own privacy as seriously as your provider’s commitment of confidentiality to you.  If you do choose to write something on a business review site, keep in mind that you may be sharing personally revealing information in a public forum.  You should also be aware that if you are using these sites to communicate indirectly with your provider about your feelings about your work together, there is a good possibility that he/she may never see it.  Instead, you are encouraged to communicate in person, by phone, or by letter.

EMAIL

We prefer that clients of Hawaii Center for Psychology NOT email their providers as emails may not be checked on a regular basis.  If there are changes that you need to make to your appointment, information you need to discuss, or questions you may have, please either call the office at 538-7793 or bring it up for discussion in your next session.

Please do not email content related to your therapy sessions, as email is not completely secure or confidential.  Be aware that all emails are retained in the logs of your and our 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.  Any emails received from you and any response sent by your provider may become a part of your legal medical record.

CONCLUSION

Thank you for taking time to review Hawaii Center for Psychology’s Social Media Guidelines.  If you have questions or concerns about any of these policies and procedures or potential interactions on the Internet, please bring them to your provider’s attention so that they can be further discussed.