The nature of an online presence can blur interpersonal boundaries: it is important to me to be as clear as possible about how boundaries may be challenged in an online environment. As a general rule, I like to keep clinical work in the consultation room as much as possible. However, the nature of the digital world can sometimes stretch these boundaries, so I offer the best clarity I can below.
I send and receive emails via ProtonMail. The connection from my computer to ProtonMail is encrypted and ProtonMail will also transmit the encrypted email to your email service provider, assuming they can support this. Depending on your settings your connection to your email server may or may not be encrypted.
If your connection is not encrypted then the privacy of the emails we exchange cannot be guaranteed. For this reason, I recommend you are thoughtful about what you include in emails to me, and which email addresses you choose to use with me, and that you rely on email only for non-confidential information such as setting up appointment times. So as to keep confidential information ‘in the room’, please only use emails for such material if we have talked about it beforehand. If you choose to
communicate with me by email, please be aware that all emails are stored upon the servers of the corresponding email provider. Furthermore, they can be vulnerable to viruses and unintended forwarding or replication.
Please be advised that the contact messages on the form on my website are securely encrypted end to end.
If requested, invoices will be sent as attachments to emails. If you would prefer not to receive invoices by email, please let me know and I can bring you a printed copy to sessions.
Telephone and Skype
In general, I do not run my practice remotely: however, there may be times when we have a session by telephone or video-conferencing; for example, if either one of us was abroad. I would want to discuss any such sessions with you in advance. I make every effort to choose video conferencing software that is recognised to be adequately encrypted. This may involve you in downloading particular software or logging into a web-based application.
Facebook and Linked-In
I maintain a business Facebook account and an account for personal reasons, and a Linked-In account for professional ones. I aim to keep my Facebook presence as private as possible and do not regard it as appropriate to be Facebook ‘friends’ with former or current clients. There can sometimes be overlap across social networks, and this sometimes comes to light on Facebook. If this were to be the case, I would wish to discuss this in a session.
Similarly, I have decided that it would not be appropriate to add former or current clients on Linked-In.
It is likely that you will have Googled me before you contacted me. I personally avoid encountering information about clients that does not come directly from them: it is not therefore part of my habit to Google clients before I meet them. It is of course your right to Google me. However, if in your search some questions are raised, please then raise them with me at your first opportunity.
The world is changing fast: while this is my present digital policy, I intend to check it annually, and update it as I learn more. I would appreciate your honesty and input along the way. Should you have any questions or suggestions, please do let me know.