Social Media Policy

The Social Media Policy for Canvas Counselling

The BCACC requires Registered Clinical Counsellors (RCC) who use Social Media to have a Social Media Policy. This document outlines Canvas Counselling policies related to the use of Social Media. This policy will help you understand we will respond to potential interactions online.

As members of the BCACC we must keep our relationship with clients completely confidential. If you post on any of my social media pages, you are opening up the possibility of people inferring about your relationship with Canvas Counselling. You have a choice as to what you reveal about yourself online, however we will not reveal our connection or relationship with you. 

Interacting

Please do not use messaging on Social Networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn to contact us. Also, please do not use wall postings, @replies, or other means of engaging with us in public forums if we have an already established client/therapist relationship.  These sites are not secure and we may not read these messages in a timely fashion. The best way to interact with your Canvas Counsellor is by email or phone. We will not casually view clients’ online content to avoid any potentially negative influence our curiosity may have on our working relationship. We will delete any requests regarding your sessions that appear on any of my social media platforms.

Friending

Canvas Counsellors will not accept friend or contact requests from current or former clients on any social networking site (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc). Our counsellors believe that adding clients as contacts on these sites can compromise confidentiality and blur the boundaries of the therapeutic relationship. Canvas counsellors will not interact with clients on social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. If you need to contact your counsellor between sessions, please contact by phone or email.

Following

Occasionally, we post articles related to wellness and psychology on the website which links to the Canvas Counselling Facebook page and Twitter. We have no expectations of you to follow the blog or Twitter stream. Our primary concern is your privacy. If you share this concern, there are more private ways to follow me on Twitter (such as using an RSS feed or a locked Twitter list), which would eliminate your having a public link to my content. You are welcome to use your own discretion in choosing whether to follow me.

We only follow other health professionals on Twitter and we do not follow current or former clients on blogs or Twitter. 

Use of Search Engines

It is not a regular part of our 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 us via our usual means (coming to appointments, or phone contact) 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 Yelp, Google, 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 our listing on any of these sites, please know that my listing is NOT a request for a testimonial, rating, or endorsement from you as a client at Canvas Counselling.

The British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors (BCACC) Standard for Promoting and Advertising Services states, “an RCC should never solicit testimonials, expressly or by implication, from clients or other persons who, because of their particular circumstances, may be vulnerable to undue influence” (BCACC Code of Ethical Conduct and Standards of Clinical Practice and Guidelines for Registered Clinical Counsellors, 2011).

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 one of us about your feelings about your sessions, 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.

Confidentiality means that we cannot tell people that you are my client and my Ethics Code prohibits me from requesting testimonials. But you are more than welcome to tell anyone you wish who your therapist is, 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, I hope you will keep in mind that you may be sharing personally revealing information in a public forum. We recommend creating a pseudonym that is not linked to your regular email address or friend networks for your own privacy and protection.

Location-Based Services

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. Canvas Counselling is not placed as a check-in location on sites such as Foursquare, Facebook, 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 your location.

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

If you feel we have done something harmful or unethical and you do not feel comfortable discussing it with one of us at Canvas Counselling, you can always contact the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors or Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association and they will review the complaint.

BC Association of Clinical Counsellors 

#204- 780 Tolmie Avenue 

Victoria, British Columbia V8X 3W4 

Telephone: (250) 595-4448 

Toll free in Canada: 1-800-909-6303 

www.bc-counsellors.org/regulation/complaints

Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association 

#114-223 Colonnade Rd S 

Ottawa, ON K2E 7K3 

Telephone: (613) 237-1099 

Toll free in Canada: 1-877-765-5565

www.ccpa-accp.ca/contact-us/

This Social Media Policy was copied and only slightly adapted for my own use from the Social Media Policy of Keely Kolmes, Psy.D., who licensed it under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License, making it available to other mental health professionals.