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social media policy

Dasha Lukiniha

The below document provides guidance on how I conduct myself as a therapist online and how our interactions online will be. This policy covers all forms of social media (including but not limited to Instagram, Facebook, blog, forums). If you have any questions relating to the social media policy please bring those questions with you to our next session.

It is my prime goal to ensure I uphold the highest ethical standards and the following factors are taken into account in my use of social media:

  1. I do not accept friend requests on my Facebook / Instagram page to ensure your confidentiality is protected and that the boundaries of our therapeutic relationship remain intact as this ensures your psychological safety. This relates to both present and past clients.

  2. Please do not message me on social media relating to appointments or our sessions if we are in a therapist / client relationship as these sites are not secure and your confidentiality can be breached. A telephone call to change appointment times will ensure the message gets to me in a timely manner. Please notify me if you decide to limit our communication through the use of emails / SMS / cell phone. We can discuss further details of our communication at the session.

  3. As business review sites may add my practice to their listing without interacting with me first, and my clients may leave comments and reviews to these – please note that I do not interact with these sites and will not respond to your comments. I will also not ask you to leave reviews for my services as this takes the focus away from you and your process which is the focal point of our work. You are of course welcome to comment if you wish to express yourself on any site, however I will not respond or comment on a positive or a negative review as acting in your best interest and protecting your confidentiality are of utmost importance to me. Please also note that if you use these forums to express your feelings to me about our work there is a chance I may never see it. If you have any concerns or comments about my practice or our work please come to me directly. If you feel I have conducted myself in an unethical manner and you feel that you cannot speak with me about it I encourage you to get in touch with UKCP Ethics Board and share your thoughts / concerns with them, they will be able to assist you.

  4. Liking my professional Facebook page. As part of the UKCP ethics code and my commitment to you and acting in your best interest I will never ask you to “like” or endorse my professional page as the therapeutic process is not about serving my professional interests. You can follow my page via RSS without becoming a “Fan”.

  5. Please be aware of the way location based services work and how they affect your privacy - it is possible for you to be identified as a client in therapy due to you often “checking in” in my office.

  6. I do not use search engines to search for you and learn about you. It is not part of my practice to do so and if there is ever an extremely rare exception in the time of crisis where I suspect you may be in danger and you have not been in touch using our usual mode of contact and I may use the search engine as part of ensuring your welfare – I will document it fully and discuss with you during our next session.

  7. Following my clients online content. Casually viewing clients’ content outside of therapy can impact our working relationship and create confusion whether this is done as part of your treatment. If there are things from your online life that you would like to discuss please bring those into the session.

  8. Please do not use email to message me content of our sessions unless this has been agreed between us in advance as email messaging is not entirely secure and email logs are stored by our respective internet providers. I do use HIPAA Compliant email and file sharing encryption services to ensure security of information exchange and if you do need to send information over email, please discuss with me prior to make necessary arrangements as additional safeguards can be arranged. While it is unlikely that someone will read these logs, they are in theory available for system administrators to see.

Please note, as social media is evolving constantly some of the terms may be amended and the most up to date policy will be available up on my website.

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