Ludwig Esser Psychotherapy & Hypnotherapy
Social Media and Electronic Information Policy
This section outlines the policy of Ludwig Esser Hypnotherapy & Psychotherapywith regard to the use of social media and electronic information. If you, as a client, have questions about any aspect please do ask. As the world of technology is constantly changing this document is likely to be updated regularly and the latest version will always be available on my website.
I do not accept friend or contact requests from former or current clients on any social networking site as this can not only compromise your confidentiality (eg if another of my friends saw that you were a friend they may wonder how we know each other) but would also blur the boundary of the therapeutic relationship.
I don not use twitter. However, if I should do so in future, I would do so as an individual, not as a business. I would suggest not following me and if I notice that you have I would suggest we discuss this. I will not follow you on Twitter as this can cause confusion around the purpose of this: would it be part of your therapy or would I just be being curious?
Please do not use public ways of contact (eg @replies or tagging) again because of the potential for this to compromise your confidentiality. I do not use facebook messenger, but you may use Whatsapp or text to discuss appointment times or other logistics but not therapeutic issues. The latter cannot be kept secure.
Use of search engines
I do not routinely Google my clients but may very occasionally in a time of crisis. For example, if you had failed to attend a session and I was concerned for your safety I may try to find out about you this way. If I did so, I would tell you about it the next time we met.
Business review sites
You may find my name on business review sites but I have not asked to be on these. Businesses do not get a choice! Clients are free to post whatever they choose and due to confidentiality I cannot comment on anything that is posted. Indeed, anyone (including a competitor) can post anything so it is advisable to be aware that reviews (good or bad) may not be representative of the views of real clients.
It is considered unethical by my professional bodies (the National Society for Hypnosis, Psychotherapy & Mindfulness and the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy) to publish testimonials and so you will not find any testimonials coming from me although it is always nice to receive private messages from clients who have completed their therapy.
If you use location-based services e.g. “Google Maps” on your phone you should be aware that others may surmise that you are a therapy client if you are seen as "checking in" at my address. In order to avoid this, you need to switch off the GPS service of your phone in time.
It is preferable to use email only for logistical contact (eg to get a reminder of an appointment time) due to the inherent insecurity of email. If you wish to engage in "email therapy" or send confidential documents, then please use a password protected word document to contain what you wish to say. I can set this up for you if you need it.
As above texting may be used for contact about appointment times. This is preferable to making a phone call as it is easier to respond as I cannot answer the phone if I am with another client. Whether phoning or texting, please only do so between the hours of 8am – 8pm.
Due to the nature of SMS I cannot gurantee confidentiality of text messages via SMS. Companies like Facebook can and do access SMS to source marketable information from the conten. I do not have Facebook on my mobile devices, but they can access our communications if just one of has has it installed.
As an alternative please use “WhatsApp” or “Signal”. Both are end-to-end encrypted messaging, call and video apps and only you and I will have access to the communication between us.
Thanks to Dr Keely Holmes (http://drkkolmes.com) who provided the model for this social media policy.