Social media can be a difficult area for people, when it comes to therapy.
This document outlines how I act on the internet as a psychotherapist
and how you can expect me to respond, if we come across each other on social media.
If you have any questions, please do take them up with me at our next session.
If we are not in therapy, please do email me for clarification.
As the online world can change speedily, I may have to update this document from time to time.
Therapy is a highly personal relationship between client and therapist – but it is not ‘friendship’.
Please note that I do not accept ‘friend’ or contact requests from clients or former clients.
Whilst I do have a Facebook account, it is restricted to friends & family.
I do not have accounts with LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, Pinterest etc.
Should you need to contact me – for administrative reasons such as planning or changing appointments
– please use text or email.
However, please remember that most emails and texts are not secure (nor are Facebook, Twitter etc.).
They will be logged by our internet service providers.
Unless we have an agreement otherwise,
please keep matters concerning your therapy, to the therapy session itself;
I will not normally respond to ‘therapy’ emails until the session itself.
If we are engaged in email-therapy, ‘administrative’ emails will not count as a therapy session.
Mixed emails – containing personal or therapeutic issues
– may lead to me spending time reflecting on the meaning or impact of what you have written.
They may then be considered a therapeutic email – and so become chargeable.
Searching the internet
It is very common to search the internet
to find out information about people with whom we are involved – including therapists.
You might already have conducted such a search about me, beyond my website.
Although I generally think this can be unhelpful, it happens;
however I ask that my privacy be respected.
Of course I have a life beyond psychotherapy and this can be of interest to some clients.
However, curiosity about these matters can get in the way of the therapy.
It is very important to bring back into a therapy session, anything that a search has brought to your attention.
I do not search the internet (e.g. Google) for information about people I see.
This blurs the boundary between being there for you as a therapist, and satisfying personal curiosity.
To learn something about you, without your consent or knowledge, would be unprofessional
may lead to confusion and may damage your fundamental trust in the relationship.
The only exception might be on very rare occasions if there is an issue about safety;
for example if someone is in a risky place and has missed a session,
I might look for contact details.
However, I see this as a very rare occurrence and would always document it
and discuss it at the next session.
Mobile phones and location-based apps
If we are meeting face-to-face, please remember that, if others have the ability to monitor your location,
they may reasonably assume that we are meeting for therapy.
Before setting out for a face-to-face therapy, you may wish to turn off your phone (and perhaps tablet or laptop if bringing them).
Turning off these devices also allows us to work uninterrupted by others.
Please remember that my primary concern is for my clients
– to ensure their confidentiality as far as I can
– and to provide the very best therapeutic experience.
Please do contact me should you require further information.