Social Media Policy

Social Media is a fantastic tool to help people get informed and engaged. It is a convenient and often preferred way of communicating in today’s world. However, privacy and confidentiality are not guaranteed via these forms of communication. We use social media for our practice and in an effort to be completely transparent with you, we have created this social media policy so you understand how we use social media in our practice and how it could impact our relationship.

Counsellors from Positive Horizons 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 counsellors may participate on various social networks for personal and marketing purposes, but not in their professional capacity as a Counsellor. 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 counsellor 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 counsellors in this way.

Confidentiality

Let’s look at confidentiality for a moment. You are the person that can decide what you want to keep confidential. As counsellors, we must keep our relationship with you completely confidential except in cases of where you might harm yourself or others (see our Privacy Policy for details). Therefore, if you post on our page, you are opening up the possibility of people inferring about our relationship or asking you about your connection to any of the counsellors at Positive Horizons. You get to decide what you tell people. You have a choice as to what you reveal about yourself online, however we will not reveal our connection to you.

This is how we handle different social media options:

Friending

To respect your privacy and confidentiality, counsellors at Positive Horizons do not accept friend requests on our personal Facebook page from current or former clients or any social networking site.

Following

You may ‘like’ our Facebook and Instagram business pages. If you ‘like’ our pages, you are choosing to reveal that you are connected to us in some way. Our business pages exist to be a forum of information and inspiration. We will not engage in conversations with you on that page. However, if you find it helpful then that is great! Note that we will not follow you back. If there are things from your online life that you wish to share with individual counsellors, please bring them into our sessions where we can view and explore them together, during the therapy hour.

Interacting

Please do not use messaging on social media or networking sites to contact your counsellor. 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 counsellor in public online if you have an established therapeutic relationship. Engaging with your counsellor in these ways can compromise your privacy.

Our counsellors recognize that viewing clients’ online activities without their consent, and without explicit arrangement towards 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 counsellor, please bring them into your sessions where we can view and explore them together, during the therapy time.

Websites

Positive Horizons has a professional website that you are free to access to obtain information about our practice. If you have questions about the information on our website, please discuss them with your counsellor during your therapy sessions. The website shows your counsellor’s Positive Horizons email address and includes a contact form for your convenience.

Use of search engines

You may have a Facebook page, Instagram or Twitter account. We do not ‘Google’ our clients or look up information on them for any reason. We think it is important that we know you as you are in our sessions. If we do come across your information online, we will move on and avoid reading content.

Email

We prefer using email only to arrange or modify appointments. Please do not email us content related to your therapy sessions, as email is not completely secure or confidential. If you choose to communicate with us by email, be aware that all emails are retained in the logs of 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 administrator(s) of the Internet Service Provider.

Please note when email counselling is provided this is done via the ProtonMail encrypted email service to ensure your confidentiality and privacy.

Thank you for reading our policy

The basis for this policy is to protect our relationship and your confidentiality in sessions. If you have any questions about this policy, you are encouraged to bring them up when you meet your counsellor.

Social media is constantly changing and there may be times when this policy is updated. If we do so, we will post the revised policy here.