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Terms and Policy

Agreement: Private Practice Social Media Policy
Live Well Counseling, LLC
Christina H. Príncipe, MA, LMHC, CHP, NCC
FL MH12580

My Private Practice Social Media Policy

This document outlines my office policies related to the use of Social Media. Please read it to understand how I conduct myself on the Internet as a Mental Health professional and how you can expect me to respond to various interactions that may occur between us on the Internet. If you have any questions about anything within this document, I encourage you to bring them up when we meet. As new technology develops and the Internet changes, there may be times when I need to update this policy. If I do so, I will notify you in writing of any policy changes and make sure you have a copy of the updated policy.

-Friending

I do not accept friend or contact requests from current or former clients on any social networking site (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc). I believe that adding clients as friends or 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 talk more about it.

-Fanning

I keep a Facebook Page for my professional practice to allow people to share my blog posts and practice updates with other Facebook users. All of the information shared on this page is available on my website. You are welcome to view my Facebook Page and read or share articles posted there, but I do not accept clients as Fans of this Page. I believe having clients as Facebook Fans creates a greater likelihood of compromised client confidentiality and I feel it is best to be explicit to all who may view my list of Fans to know that they will not find client names on that list. In addition, the American Mental Health Counselors Association Ethics Code (Revised 2015) prohibits my soliciting testimonials from clients. I feel that the term “Fan” comes too close to an implied request for a public endorsement of my practice.
Note that you should be able to subscribe to the page via RSS without becoming a Fan and without creating a visible, public link to my Page. You are more than welcome to do this.

-Following

I publish a blog on my website and I may post mental health news on Twitter. I have no expectation that you as a client will want to follow my blog or Twitter stream. However, if you use an easily recognizable name on Twitter and I happen to notice that you’ve followed me there, we may briefly discuss it and its potential impact on our working relationship.
My primary concern is your privacy. If you share this concern, there are more private ways to follow me on Twitter (such as using an RSS feed or a locked Twitter list), which would eliminate your having a public link to my content. You are welcome to use your own discretion in choosing whether to follow me. Note that I will not follow you back. I only follow other health professionals on Twitter and I do not follow current or former clients on blogs or Twitter. My reasoning is that I believe casual viewing of clients’ online content outside of the therapy hour can create confusion in regard to whether it’s being done as a part of your treatment or to satisfy my personal curiosity. 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. If there are things from your online life that you wish to share with me, please bring them into our sessions where we can view and explore them together, during the therapy hour.

-Interacting

Please do not use SMS (mobile phone text messaging) or messaging on Social Networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn to contact me. These sites are not secure and I may not read these messages in a timely fashion. Do not use Wall postings, @replies, or other means of engaging with me in public online if we have an already established client/therapist relationship. Engaging with me 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 me between sessions, the best way to do so is by phone. Direct email through the Secure Client Portal is the second best means for quick, administrative issues such as changing appointment times. See the email section below for more information regarding email interactions.

-Use of Search Engines

It is NOT a regular part of my practice to search for clients on Google or Facebook or other search engines. Extremely rare exceptions may be made during times of crisis. If I have a reason to suspect that you are in danger and you have not been in touch with me via our usual means (coming to appointments, phone, or email) there might be an instance in which using a search engine (to find you, find someone close to you, or to check on your recent status updates) becomes necessary as part of ensuring your welfare. These are unusual situations and if I ever resort to such means, I will fully document it and discuss it with you when we next meet.

-Google Reader

I do not follow current or former clients on Google Reader and I do not use Google Reader to share articles. If there are things you want to share with me that you feel are relevant to your treatment whether they are news items or things you have created, I encourage you to bring these items of interest into our sessions.

-Business Review Sites

You may find my counseling practice on sites such as Yelp, HealthGrades, Yahoo Local, Bing, or other places which list businesses. Some of these sites include forums in which users 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 my listing on any of these sites, please know that my listing is NOT a request for a testimonial, rating, or endorsement from you as my client. The Ethics Codes to which I adhere require that I not solicit reviews or testimonials from clients. This will never be asked or expected of any current or former client whom I have treated.
Of course, you have a right to express yourself on any site you wish. But due to confidentiality, I cannot respond to any review on any of these sites whether it is positive or negative. I urge you to take your own privacy as seriously as I take my commitment of confidentiality to you. You should also be aware that if you are using these sites to communicate indirectly with me about your feelings about our work, there is a good possibility that I may never see it.
If we are working together, I hope that 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 therapy with me wherever and with whomever you like. Confidentiality means that I cannot tell people that you are my client and my Ethics Code prohibits me from requesting testimonials. But you are more than welcome to tell anyone you wish that I’m your therapist or how you feel about the treatment I provided to you, in any forum of your choosing.
If you do choose to write something on a business review site, I hope you will keep in mind that you may be sharing personally revealing information in a public forum. I urge you to create a pseudonym that is not linked to your regular email address or friend networks for your own privacy and protection.
If you feel I have done something harmful or unethical and you do not feel comfortable discussing it with me, you can always contact the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling, which oversees licensing, and they will review the services I have provided.

Florida Department of Health 
4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin C75 
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3260 
850-245-4339
MQA.ConsumerServices@flhealth.gov


-Location-Based Services

If you used location-based services on your mobile phone, you may wish to be aware of the privacy issues related to using these services. I do not place my practice as a check-in location on various sites such as Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt, etc. However, if you have GPS tracking enabled on your device, it is possible that others may surmise that you are a therapy client due to regular check-ins at my office on a weekly basis. Please be aware of this risk if you are intentionally “checking in,” from my office or if you have a passive LBS app enabled on your phone.

-Email

I prefer using email only to arrange or modify appointments. Please do not email me content related to your therapy sessions, as email is not completely secure or confidential. If you choose to communicate with me by email, be aware that all emails not sent and received to you/me and from you/me through the Secure Client Portal are retained in the logs of your and my 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. You should also know that any emails I receive from you and any responses that I send to you become a part of your legal record.

-Conclusion

Thank you for taking the time to review my Social Media Policy. If you have questions or concerns about any of these policies and procedures or regarding our potential interactions on the Internet, do bring them to my attention so that we can discuss them.
( Type Full Name )
Agreement: Notice of Privacy Practices
Notice of Privacy Practices
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.
Our commitment to your privacy.
This practice is dedicated to maintaining the privacy of your personal health information as part of providing professional care. We are also required by law to keep your information private. These laws are complicated, but we must give you this important information. This is a shorter version of the posted, full, legally required notice of privacy practices. Please talk to Stephanie Byrd, the privacy officer about any questions or problems.

How we use and disclose your protected health information with your consent
We will use the information we collect about you mainly to provide you with treatment, to arrange payment for our services, and for some other business activities that are called, in the law, health care operations. After you have read this notice we will ask you to sign a consent form to let us use and share your information in these ways. If you do not consent and sign this form, we cannot treat you. If we want to use or send, share, or release your information for other purposes, we will discuss this with you and ask you to sign an authorization form to allow this.

Disclosing your health information without your consent
There are some times when the laws require us to use or share your information. For example:
1. When there is a serious threat to your or another’s health and safety or to the public. We will only share information with persons who are able to help prevent or reduce the threat.
2. In cases where child or elderly abuse is suspected.
3. When we are required to do so by lawsuits and other legal or court proceedings.
4. If a law enforcement official requires us to do so.
5. For workers’ compensation and similar benefit programs.
There are some other rare situations. They are described in the longer version of our notice of privacy practices.

Your rights regarding your health information
1. You can ask us to communicate with you in a particular way or at a certain place that is more private for you. For example, you can ask us to call you at home, and not at work, to schedule or cancel an appointment. We will try our best to do as you ask.
2. You can ask us to limit what we tell people involved in your care or the payment for your care, such as family members and friends.
3. You have the right to look at the health information we have about you, such as your medical and billing records. You can get a copy of these records, but we may charge you for it. Contact our privacy officer to arrange how to see your records. See below.
4. If you believe that the information in your records is incorrect or missing something important, you can ask us to make additions to your records to correct the situation. You have to make this request in writing and send it to our privacy officer. You must also tell us the reasons you want to make the changes.
5. You have the right to a copy of this notice. If we change this notice, we will post the new version in our waiting area, and you can always get a copy of it from the privacy officer.
6. You have the right to file a complaint if you believe your privacy rights have been violated. You can file a complaint with our privacy officer and with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. All complaints must be in writing. Filing a complaint will not change the health care we provide to you in any way. Also, you may have other rights that are granted to you by the laws of our state, and these may be the same as or different from the rights described above.
We will be happy to discuss these situations with you now or as they arise. If you have any questions regarding this notice or our health information privacy policies, please contact our privacy officer, Christina H. Príncipe, who can be reached by phone at 321-405-4987 or by e-mail at christina.principe@live.com
The effective date of this notice is August 8, 2012 .
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