Your privacy and confidentiality are professional concerns. For this reason I have a Privacy and Social Media Policy. These policies explain my professional responsibility regarding your privacy and data storage and my stance on my engagement in cyberspace via social media.
In May 2018, new EU regulations came into effect pertaining to data collection. Essentially, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) protects users from unauthorised data collection by requiring explicit consent. This means that you have to give explicit consent for me to collect your data and I am required to inform you of how I store your data, why and for how long.
“Your data” is primarily name, address, email address and mobile phone number. I collect this data as it allows me to contact you to arrange, change or cancel appointments. Data is stored in both paper and digital formats. Paper data is stored in a locked cabinet and digital data is stored on either/or my laptop or my business specific mobile phone. Both these devices are password protected and security updated regularly. My business specific email address (@mail.com) is also password protected. Data is stored for 6 years then shredded.
Social Media Policy
Social Media plays a part in most peoples’ lives- Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram to name a few. I engage in social media and I imagine many of my clients and supervises do too, so the possibility of our digital lives overlapping outside of the consulting room increases.
I keep a Facebook page, twitter account and LinkedIn page for professional purposes . You are welcome to look at these and make comments. I will not however, reply to comments made or accept “friends” requests from current or former clients or supervisees’ for two reasons.
Firstly this may compromise your privacy. Secondly, as your therapist or supervisor, my relationship with you is professional and to engage with you in cyberspace would be entering into a Dual Relationship, which can have the detrimental effect of blurring the boundaries of the therapeutic or supervisory relationships. I will also not “follow” you as I believe to do so will allow me to have access to parts of your life that you may not want to share with me just yet.
Business Review Sites
You may find my practice listed. Some sites include forums in which you can rate the provider and add reviews. If you should find my practice on any site, please know that this is NOT a request by me for you to review, endorse or rate my service. You are of course free to write a review, but please note that I may not ever see the review, however, if I do I will not be able to reply for reasons of confidentiality. If you do write a review, then please be aware that you will be sharing personal information on a public site so you may want to create a pseudonym that will protect you from being identified.
If you would like to discuss this policies, please let me know.