Our Full Policy
Imani ya Kupinga (IYK) has various social media accounts (ie: Facebook, Instagram, etc.), allowing us to share resources, practice information, news, and event updates with other social media users. Our clinicians may participate in various social networks for personal and marketing purposes, but not in their professional capacity as a Counselor or Psychologist.
This document outlines our practice’s policy related to the use of Social Media. Please read it to understand how we conduct ourselves on social sites as mental health professionals and how you can expect us to respond to various interactions that may occur between clients and clinicians on the Internet.
This policy is not meant to keep you from sharing that you are in therapy at IYK or with a particular therapist wherever and with whomever you like. Confidentiality means that IYK cannot tell people that you are a client. You are encouraged to take your own privacy as seriously as we take our commitment of confidentiality to you.
Therapists are not permitted to accept “friend” requests from current or former clients on their personal social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.). Adding clients as “friends” 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 you meet with your therapist.
You are welcome to “like” or “follow” our social media feeds and read or share articles we post; however because social media sites are public spaces, anyone who can see our social media pages can see your post or comment. In addition, when you post, share, comment, or “like” a page, it may be published on your page as well.
Our primary concern is your privacy. You are welcome to use your own discretion in choosing whether to follow our practice. We have no expectation that you as a client will follow these posts. In order to maintain ethical boundaries, therapists are not permitted to follow you back. 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 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 the therapeutic relationship. If there are things from your online life that you wish to share with your therapist, please bring them into the sessions where those things can be viewed and explored
with your counselor, during the therapy session.
Please do not use messaging on social media or networking sites to contact your therapist. These sites are not secure, and the messages may not be read in a timely fashion. Do not use Wall postings, @replies, or other means of engaging with your counselor in public online if you have an established therapeutic relationship. Engaging with your counselor in these ways can compromise your privacy, and may also create the possibility that the exchanges will need to be documented and archived in your client records, becoming a part of your legal, and medical record.
Our counselors recognize that viewing clients’ online activities without their consent, and without explicit arrangement towards a specific purpose, could potentially have a negative influence on the working relationship. If there are things from your online life that you wish to share with your counselor, please bring them into your sessions where we can view and explore them together, during the therapy time.
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. Due to the fact that therapists are mandated reporters, extremely rare exceptions may be made during times of crisis.
If a therapist has reason to suspect you are in danger and you have not been in touch with your
therapist via 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 your therapist resorts to such means, the information will be fully documented and discussed with you during your next session.
Business Review Sites
You may find us 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.
You have a right to express yourself on any site you wish. Please note that by posting publicly about your counselor or counseling experience, you may inadvertently expose your private information. We urge you to take your own privacy as seriously as we take the commitment to confidentiality. You should also be aware that if you are using these sites to communicate indirectly with your counselor about your feelings about our work, there is a good possibility that they may never see it.
The therapeutic alliance is essential to the success of therapy. The relationship is so important in counseling that there must be a good fit. Not every counselor is a good fit for every client. What works for one person in therapy may not work for another. Counseling is a subjective and unique experience.
If you have a concern about a counselor or a session, the best approach would be to discuss that concern in person with the counselor. Discussing reactions with the counselor, whether they are positive or negative can be an important part of therapy. Even if you choose not to return to a counselor, it is important to let the counselor know directly why you felt it was not a good fit. By doing so, you may provide helpful information to the counselor and they may also gain a sense of closure.
Sometimes clients may not feel safe or able to speak directly to their counselor. If there is an ethical issue or a client feels that something wrong has occurred, the best way to proceed would be to file a complaint with the counselor’s professional association or the regulatory body that registers that counselor. The regulatory body will investigate and take action if they deem it necessary. Please note that when filing a formal complaint, it is possible that details of therapy may be revealed in the investigation.
Protecting your confidentiality means that our counselors cannot tell people that you are a client. But you are welcome to tell anyone you wish who your counselor is or how you feel about the treatment provided to you, in any forum of your choosing. But, please do not rate or review your counselor’s work with you on any of the above-mentioned websites while you are still in treatment. Doing so has a significant potential to damage your ability to work together, and may jeopardize your own privacy.
Questions and Changes
If you have any questions about anything in this policy, please bring them up with your counselor. As new technology develops and the Internet changes, there may be times when this policy needs to be updated. Clients will be notified in writing of any policy changes.