Annie Rimmer

Digital policy. digital policy

Digital Policy

On this page I try to address some of the issues we face as a result of our complex digital world and how these issues might affect the therapy relationship. The nature of an online presence can, in particular, blur interpersonal boundaries, so it is important to be as clear as possible about how boundaries may be challenged in an online environment. The choices I make in this regard are open to change but at present are as follows:


Email

Please note: I am not currently using an email encryption programme, so any emails we send to each other may be vulnerable to viruses or human error.

  • For this reason it is best to be thoughtful about what you include in emails to me, and which OF YOUR email addresses you choose to use when contacting me.
  • Often it is best to rely on email for non-confidential communications like setting up appointment times and things like that.
  • In an effort to keep confidential and psychological material “in the room” it is best avoided in emails unless we discuss it beforehand.

    Text messages

    If you and I decide to work together you will have my mobile number to enable text messaging.
  • You may wish to contact me by text message to alert me if you are running late for a session or for similar reasons.
  • Because of the lack of context of text messages, it is generally not the best method for communicating with me about more important matters so in those instances please do phone my land line and leave me a message.

    Telephone
    In general it is best to contact me on my land line rather than my mobile 'phone mainly because if I am out and about it may not be a suitable time or a confidential space in which I can speak with you.
  • Whilst not likely, it is possible that someone else may, in error, pick up a message from my answerphone or overhear a message being played back, so once again it is best not to leave confidential or private information in messages. Keep it short and clear and I’ll return your call as soon as possible.
  • While I do not generally run my practice remotely, there may be times when we have a session by telephone, for example if you are away for work and it has been impossible to rearrange your session that week.
  • Any telephone sessions will be discussed in advance and a time booked.
  • I do not currently use Skype or facetime because of issues around privacy and confidentiality.


    Search engines

    It is highly likely that you have found me by using a search engine and then read about me through my website or other directories before you contacted me. Even if I have been recommended to you it would not e unusual for you to want to find out more about me.
  • So whilst I acknowledge that Googling others is now a generally accepted aspect of daily life, I wish to avoid encountering information about my clients that does not come directly from them. Therefore it is not generally my practice to Google my clients.
  • it is of course your right to Google me. However, if in your search some information about me or my professional or personal life emerge that bring up questions or trouble you or cause you any concern or puzzlement, I would request that you raise them with me at the first opportunity.

    Social Media
    For many reasons currently I abstain from having Facebook, Twitter and similar accounts of my own.
    We are unlikely then to encounter each other directly in this way.
  • If however through social media contacts with third parties you do come across information about me or which you think may be about me then I ask that you bring it to your session tso that we can talk about this unintended encounter in the same way we would were we to find outselves next to each other at the cinema or a cafe.

    Our digital world is changing so rapidly and my own responses to it are
    in constant development so I will continue to update my policy as I learn more, and would appreciate your input. Should you have any questions or suggestions please do let me know.

    I am grateful to Aaron Balick for his work and advice on these matters and for the model that has resulted in this page.


    Psychotherapy and Counselling for
    Forest Hill, Sydenham, Crystal Palace and Dulwich,
    South East London

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