Social Media Policy
This social media policy (this “Policy”) outlines our professional policies related to use of social media. Please read this Policy carefully to understand how we conduct ourselves on the internet as mental health professionals and how we will respond to digital interactions. The basis for this Policy is to truly protect your relationship with us and your confidentiality in session. If you have any questions about this Policy, I encourage you to bring them up in session. As technology develops, there may be times when we need to update this Policy. We will always update you in writing when this Policy changes.
Friending, Following, and Liking on Social Media
We have several professional online profiles. This allows colleagues and potential clients to find us online and access helpful information. Please see below for our policy on each social media platform used by this practice:
Facebook: We have a professional Facebook profile (Whitney Hawkins LMFT) that we use to share blog posts, articles and information that we find useful for and relevant to our clients. We do not accept friend or contact requests from current or former clients on this Facebook profile (including Facebook messages). However, all information on our professional Facebook profile is public and you are welcome to view it at any time. We believe that adding clients as friends on this platform can compromise client confidentiality and 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 talk more about it.
The Collaborative Counseling Center, LLC is also represented on a Facebook Page. We keep this Facebook Page to allow people to communicate with other professionals and to share blog posts and practice updates with other Facebook users. All of the information shared on this page is available on the website (https://www.thecollaborativecounselingcenter.com/). You are welcome to view our Facebook Page and read or share articles posted there. We do accept clients as “Fans” of this Page. Please be advised that liking this page does not constitute an endorsement; however, if you choose to “like” this Page, other individuals on Facebook will be able to view your “like” on this Page. You may also subscribe to the Page via the “follow” function without becoming a Fan and without creating a visible, public link to our Page. This is always an option. We will neither confirm or deny you are a client, whether you choose to “like” or “follow” this page.
Instagram: We have a professional and business Instagram profile. You are welcome to use your personal discretion in choosing whether to follow us on either of these profiles. We will not follow current or former clients back on Instagram. We believe that any viewing of clients’ online content outside of our sessions together can create confusion as to whether or not it’s being done as a part of the treatment plan. 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 our working relationship. For that reason, we will not respond to public comments made by current or former clients on Instagram posts.
LinkedIn: We do not accept former or current clients as friends on LinkedIn.
Monthly Newsletter: We compose and distribute a monthly newsletter. This is available to all past, current and prospective clients. Email addresses that receive this newsletter will never be shared with a third party and are kept strictly confidential. Other individuals who receive this newsletter will never be able to view your name or the names of other recipients (or your respective email addresses).
Blog Posts: We compose weekly blog posts on the website. The information and resources contained on this website are for informational purposes only and are not intended to assess, diagnose or treat any medical and/or mental health disease or condition. The use of this website does not imply nor establish any type of therapist-client relationship. Furthermore, the information obtained from this site should not be considered a substitute for a thorough medical and/or mental health evaluation by an appropriately credentialed and licensed professional. This website also includes links to other websites for informational and reference purposes only. The Collaborative Counseling Center, LLC does not endorse, warrant or guarantee the products, services or information that is described or offered on these other websites. Examine the content carefully. If you need immediate attention, please call 911. If you are looking for a mental health assessment or mental health care, we may be able to help you. Contact us via telephone [305-382-7525] or email [email@example.com] to schedule an appointment.
Please be advised we will not accept friend requests or contact on any personal social media pages or accounts from former or current clients. If we receive friend requests on any personal social media pages or accounts, we may discuss this in session and refer you to one of the professional pages or accounts described above. This is done to protect your privacy and maintain a quality therapeutic relationship.
Please do not use social media messaging, wall postings, @replies, or other means of engaging with us online if we have already established a client-therapist relationship. Engaging with us this way may compromise your confidentiality and we may not read these messages in a timely fashion. 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 to do so is by phone or email.
It is not a regular part of our practice to search for clients on Google, Facebook, or other search engines. If we do come across your information online, we will take all reasonable steps to avoid reading content. Rare exceptions may be made in the case of an emergency. If we have a reason to suspect that you are in danger and you have not been in touch with me via traditional means (appointment, phone, or email), We may need to use a search engine or social media website to find you or someone close to you, or to check on your recent status. This may become necessary solely to ensure your welfare. These are unusual situations and if we ever resort to such means, it will be documented and discussed with you.
Business Review Websites
You may find our therapy practice on websites including, but not limited to, Yelp, Healthgrades, Google Business or other platforms which list businesses. 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. Some of these websites include ways for users to rate their providers and add reviews. If you find our listing on any of these websites, please know that this is not a request for a testimonial, rating, or endorsement from you as our former or current client. You have a right to leave a review on any website you wish. In order to maintain your confidentiality, we will not respond to any positive or negative review.
Thank you for taking the time to review this 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. The Department of Health investigates complaints and reports involving health care practitioners regulated by the department and enforces appropriate Florida Statutes. If you would like to make an ethics complaint regarding the use of technology, please consult their website [http://www.floridahealth.gov/licensing-and-regulation/enforcement/index.html].
The Collaborative Counseling Center, LLC