This page outlines Cue Counselings’ office policies on using electronic communication on social media. Please read it to understand how we conduct ourselves on the Internet as mental health professionals and how you can expect us to respond to various interactions that may occur between us on the Internet. If you have any questions about anything on this page, we encourage you to bring them up when we meet. As new technology develops and the Internet changes, there may be times when we need to update this policy. If we do so, we will notify you in writing of any policy changes and ensure you have a copy of the revised policy.
Friending and Following
Cue Counseling does not accept friend requests from current or former clients on any social networking site (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, etc.). We believe that adding clients as friends for contacts 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 we meet, and we can discuss it more.
Please do not use messaging on social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or otherwise to contact Cue Counseling. These sites are not secure, and we may not read these messages in a timely fashion. Do not use Wall postings, @replies, or other means of engaging with us in public online if we have an already established client/therapist relationship. Engaging with us this way could compromise your confidentiality. It may also create the possibility that these exchanges become a part of your legal, medical record and will need to be documented and archived in your chart. If you need to contact us between sessions, the best way is by phone. Direct email to firstname.lastname@example.org or SMS (text message) is second best for quick, administrative issues such as changing appointment times. See the email/SMS section below for more information regarding these interactions.
Use of Search Engines
It is NOT a regular part of our practice to search for clients on Google, Facebook, or other search engines. Extremely rare exceptions may be made during times of crisis. Suppose 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, phone, or email). In that case, there might be an instance in which using a search engine (to find you, find someone close to you, or 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 meet next meet.
Business Review Sites
You may find our counseling practice on sites such as Yelp, Healthgrades, Yahoo Local, Bing, or other places which list businesses. Some of these sites include forums where users can 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 our listing is NOT a request for a testimonial, rating, or endorsement for you as our client. The American Counseling Association (ACA) Ethics Codes deems it unethical for practitioners to seek testimonials. Of course, you have a right to express yourself on any site you wish. Due to confidentiality, we cannot respond to any review on any of these sites, whether positive or negative. We urge you to take your 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 us about your feelings about our work, there is a good possibility that we may never see it. When we work together, we hope 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. None of this is meant to keep you from sharing that you are in treatment with us wherever and with whomever you like. Confidentiality means we cannot tell people that you are our client and our Ethics Code prohibits us from requesting testimonials. But you are more than welcome to tell anyone you wish that we’re your therapist or how you feel about the treatment we provided you in any forum of your choosing. If you choose to write something on a business review site, we hope you keep in mind that you may be sharing revealing information on a public forum. We urge you to create a pseudonym that is not linked to your regular email address or friend networks for your privacy and protection. If you feel we have done something harmful or unethical and you do not feel comfortable discussing it with us. In that case, you can always contact the regulating board that oversees our clinical services, the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling.
If you use location-based services on your mobile phone, you may wish to be aware of the privacy issues related to using these services. Cue Counseling does not place our practice as a check-in location on various sites such as SquareUp, Foursquare, Loopt, etc. If you have GPS tracking enabled on your device, others may surmise that you are a therapy client due to regular check-ins at our office weekly or bi-weekly. Please be aware of this risk if you are intentionally “checking in” from our office or if you have a passive LBS app enabled on your phone.
We prefer using email, SMS, text messaging, or iMessages only to arrange or modify appointments. We will utilize an encrypted, HIPAA-compliant messaging service. Please do not email/text content related to your therapy sessions. Even though our email is HIPAA compliant and encrypted end-to-end, we prefer not to communicate this way concerning your treatment whenever possible. If you choose to correspond with us by email/text, be aware that all emails are retained in the logs of your and our Internet Service Providers. While it is unlikely that someone will be looking at these logs, they are, in theory, available to be read by the system administrators of the ISP. Any emails we receive from you and any responses we send to you become a part of your legal record. As we currently utilize Google Voice, any calls, call history, or text messaging may also be part of Google logs.
Cue Counseling accepts some forms of electronic-based payment systems and most credit cards. To maintain your confidentiality, we encourage you to be mindful of how you use these payment options and label your payments. These are not secure forms of communication and may be monitored by the payment system. Where possible, Cue Counseling’s charges will appear as being processed by “The Cue.”
Thank you for taking the time to review our Electronic and Social Media Policy. If you have questions or concerns about any of these policies and procedures or our potential interactions on the Internet, do bring them to our attention so we can discuss them.