UNT - Psychology Clinic Social Media Procedures - Client | Department of Psychology

UNT - Psychology Clinic Social Media Procedures - Client

The following document outlines the UNT Psychology Clinic's policies related to the use of social media, including personal blogs, websites, and apps such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, or others. Please read the information to better understand how we conduct ourselves as mental health professionals and how you can expect us to respond to various situations that involve the use of the Internet.

As the internet evolves, this policy will be updated regularly. If there are any questions, comments, concerns, or ideas related to this material, please feel free to discuss this with your clinician, the clinic staff, or the clinic director.

On "Friending"

The clinic director, faculty supervisors, clinic staff, student-clinicians, or other employees are not allowed to accept contact requests from current or former clients on any social networking site (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.). We believe that adding clients as contacts on these sites can potentially compromise, not only your confidentiality, but our respective privacy. This contacting may also create issues regarding the therapeutic relationship.

There may be some faculty supervisors, staff members, student-clinicians, or other employees who publish blogs, have professional Facebook pages, or other similar professional social media pages. Clients are welcome to view the posts, and read or share articles published there. However, clients should not request "friendship" or to be added as contacts. We believe that such situations could increase the likelihood of compromised client confidentiality. Our primary concern is to protect clients' privacy and to preserve therapeutic relationships. Note that clinic staff, faculty supervisors, student-clinicians, or other employees are not allowed to make a "friend" request or ask to add you to their contacts. If such situations arise, please bring it to our immediate attention.

On Interacting

Please do not use SMS (mobile phone text messaging) or messaging on social networking sites to contact us as these sites are not secure. Please do not use Wall postings, @replies, private email addresses or other means of engaging with clinic staff, faculty supervisors, student-clinicians, or other employees online, as such contacts could comprise your confidentiality. The best way to reach us is by calling the UNT Psychology Clinic phone number; if the person you are trying to reach is not available, we will take a message and pass it along to them. Please refer to your copy of our Notice of Privacy Practices for additional information regarding protected health information (i.e., HIPAA, 1996).

Email

We only use email as a way to arrange or modify appointments. Please be aware that these interactions must be made through the official UNT Psychology Clinic email address (PsychologyClinic@unt.edu). Please do not email us content related to your therapy or assessment session(s), as email is not a completely secure or confidential method of communication. You should also know that any emails that we receive from you, as well as any responses given, will become a part of your file.

ON THE USE OF SEARCH ENGINES

It is not a regular part of our practice to search for clients on search engines such as Google or Facebook. Extremely rare exceptions may be made during a specific crisis situation. If we have the suspicion that you or someone else may be in imminent danger and we cannot reach you through our usual means, there may be a situation in which we might attempt to find you in other ways to ensure your welfare. These are extremely rare situations, and we do not expect them to occur.

On Business Review Sites

There may be business sites in which the UNT Psychology Clinic is listed, and that include forums in which users can rate their satisfaction with the services provided. Please know that those listings are not a request for testimonials, ratings, or endorsements from you as clients. We understand you have the right to express yourself in any way you wish; however, due to confidentiality issues and ethical concerns, we are not allowed to respond to any reviews, regardless of whether they are positive or negative.

Conclusion

We thank you for taking the time to review this document. If you have any questions or concerns about these policies and procedures, please feel free to bring them to our attention.

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