SoCal Counseling Center’s Social Media Policy

The use of social media and electronic communication is a convenient and often preferred way
of communicating. However, privacy and confidentiality are not guaranteed in these forms of
communication. Therapists from SoCal Counseling Center do not communicate with, or contact
clients through social media or networking platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn,
Google, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Additionally, if they discover that they have accidentally
established an online relationship with you, they will cancel that relationship. This is due to the
significant security risk these types of casual social contacts can create for you.
Our therapists may participate on various social networks for personal and marketing purposes,
but not in their professional capacity as a therapist or psychologist. If you have an online
presence, there is a possibility that you may encounter them by accident. If that occurs, please
discuss it with your therapist during your next session. We have researched this issue and
concluded that social media communications with clients have a high potential to compromise
the professional relationship. Please do not attempt to contact therapists in this way.
If you have any questions about anything in this policy, please bring them up with your therapist.
As new technology develops and the Internet changes, there may be times when SoCal
Counseling Center may need to update this policy. Clients will be notified in writing of any
policy changes. The website will also be updated to reflect any changes.

“Friending”

Our therapists do not accept invitations from current or former clients to participate in their
online social networks, nor do they invite clients to participate in their own personal online social
networks (e.g., Facebook, Instagram). The practice of adding clients as friends or contacts on
these sites can compromise your confidentiality and our respective privacy. It may also blur the
boundaries of the therapeutic relationship. If you need to contact your therapist between sessions,
please email, phone, or text (depending on the preference of yourself and your therapist If you
have questions about this, please bring them up when with your therapist in your next session.

Following

SoCal Counseling Center at times posts articles related to wellness and psychology on our
website, on the SoCalCounseling Facebook page and may make other posts on LinkedIn or
Instagram. We have no expectation that you as a client will follow these posts. Our primary
concern is your privacy. You are welcome to use your own discretion in choosing whether to
follow SoCal Counseling Center posts.

Interacting

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 therapist in public online if you have
an established therapeutic relationship. Engaging with your therapist 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, medical record.
Our therapists recognize that viewing clients’ online activities without their consent, and without
explicit arrangement toward 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 therapist please bring them into your sessions where we can view and explore them
together, during the therapy time.

Websites

SoCal Counseling Center has a professional website that you are free to access to obtain
information about our practice. You are welcome to access and review the information on the
website and, if you have questions about it, please discuss them with your therapist during your
therapy sessions.

Use Of Search Engines

Therapists will not use web searches to gather information about you without your permission. It
is our belief that this violates your privacy rights; however, we understand that you might choose
to gather information about your therapist in this way. There is an incredible amount of
information available about individuals online, much of which may actually be known to that
person and some of which may be completely inaccurate or unknown. If you encounter any
information about your therapist through web searches, or in any other fashion for that matter,
please discuss this with your therapist during a session so that you can discuss its potential
impact on your treatment.
Although it is not a regular practice for our therapists to search for clients on Google or
Facebook or other search engines, extremely rare exceptions may be made during times of crisis.
If they have a reason to suspect that you are in danger or if it becomes necessary as part of
ensuring your welfare. These are unusual situations and if therapists ever resort to such means,
they will fully document it and discuss it with you in person as early as is feasible.
Thank you for taking the time to review the SoCal Counseling Center’s Social Media Policy. If
you have questions or concerns about any of these policies and procedures or regarding our
potential interactions online, please bring them to the attention of your therapist so that you can
discuss them.

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