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Seasons of Life Website Social Media Policy


Social Media Policy


This document outlines my office policies related to 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. Updated versions of this policy will be added to this site and communicated to current clients only.

Friending/Following/Adding as a Contact

I maintain an online presence on several social media sites. I use my full name (Penny Adams) or the username Seasons of Life Counselling on these sites so that it is clear it is me representing my business and myself. I do not want you to see a pseudonym and think you are following someone else only to find out later that it is me.

I don’t accept friend or contact requests either from current or former clients on any social networking site. I believe 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 and make it feel like a friendship, a type of patronage, or simply encourage voyeurism. If you have questions about this, please bring them up when we meet and we can talk more about it.

The one exception is where friend status may have already occurred on social media prior to commencement of therapy. I live in a small country town, and occasionally some minor level of dual relationship is unavoidable. This duality is acknowledged by counselling associations in Australia. If we were friends on social media prior to a counselling relationship a dual relationship agreement would be put in place and we would discuss what this means. I also abide by the ACA Codes of Ethics that states there a counsellor cannot be in a personal relationship with a previous client for at least 2 years post counselling.

In some rare circumstances, I have had people in my wider circle who previously followed me on social media ask to come in for counselling. If we agree that meeting together does not constitute a problematic conflict of interest, I will suggest that we unfollow one another on social media (or I will at the very least unfollow you during treatment) to avoid some of the problems outlined above. I will do this to preserve the integrity of our working relationship. I will not ever knowingly follow you on social media, although it’s possible that if you use a pseudonym, I may accidentally follow you. If this happens, you are welcome to let me know when we meet. My reasons for not following current or former clients on social media are described above.

In addition, viewing your online activities without your explicit consent and without a specific clinical purpose could have potential negative effects on your treatment. I might learn things about you that you have chosen not to discuss in therapy. It is your right to choose what to share in our work. But if I see these things outside of our sessions, then I will have to figure out how to tell you I have become aware of these things. If there are things from your online life that you do want to share with me, I encourage you to bring them into our sessions where we can view and explore them together, during the therapy hour. The best way to do this is to print things out and bring them to your session or show them to me on your devices. Please don’t forward me emails or screen shots that involve other people as anything you send me does become part of your legal record.

Please do not use SMS (mobile phone text messaging) or messaging on Social Networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Slack, Instagram, 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 retained.


Please do not use messaging on Social Networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Slack, Instagram, or LinkedIn to contact me unless I offer appointment bookings through these sites. 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.

If you need to contact to discuss appointments, book/reschedule/cancel, the best way to do so is by phone/SMS or email at OR via the booking buttons on this website or that are provided to you in email. I prefer that we only use email for administrative issues such as changing appointment times. See the email section below for more information regarding email interactions.

IF I have a current blog in which allows moderated comments. Please don’t comment on the blog as it creates another public forum in which we may be interacting. I would much prefer that if you read something on my blog and you have a reaction to it, that we talk about it together rather than having a public exchange in my comments

Use of Search Engines

It is NOT a regular part of my practice to search for clients on social media or using 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 instances in which using a search engine 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 document it in your chart and I will discuss it with you when we next meet.

Again, the reason I don’t do this is because I see it as a potential breach of your privacy and the trust between us. I believe that viewing your online activities and postings can alter my impressions of you and change the relationship we are mutually developing in our meetings, as described in the section on Friending/Following. It can also create confusion in regard to whether I’m looking at your online activity as part of your treatment (for assessment or diagnostic purposes) or to satisfy my personal curiosity.

If you do have online activity that you want me to know about, please talk to me about it during our work together, when we are meeting.

Discovering / Viewing My Online Activity

At times I may have an active blog that I am publishing on my website. I also have online courses/programs. I also have a Facebook business page and am admin for 2 counselling groups on Facebook, a LinkedIn account, and an Instagram account. I also have 2 active Google My Business Accounts. I have no expectation that clients will want to follow my writings or social media postings. However, if you use an easily recognisable name online and I happen to notice that you’ve followed me, we may briefly discuss it and its potential impact on our working relationship.

You may also run across my information in other settings. You may see online ads that I post, you may discover that we have friends or contacts in common on social media. You may see me quoted or published in the media or see my published writings or research. You may discover my podcasts or videos. Or you may find that I have online reviews of my counselling practice.

Whether you find this information accidentally or intentionally, what is most important to me is that you feel safe and comfortable bringing it up if it has an impact on you and your feelings about our work together. I want to make it clear that is very normal for people to be curious about their counsellor and some people feel shame or embarrassment about bringing these things up. But I hope to create a relationship in which you are warmly welcomed to bring up anything you learn about me outside of our sessions that has an effect on your comfort in working together.

Business Review Sites

You may find my psychology practice on sites such as Yelp, Halaxy, Google My Business, Local, 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.

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 consider your own privacy if you choose to write a review on such a site. 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.

In our work, 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. 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, keep in mind that you may be sharing personally revealing information in a public forum. Please consider creating a pseudonym that is not linked to your regular email address or friend networks for your own privacy and protection.

Location- Based Services

If you have 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 Facebook.

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. Also, if you and family members or partners use Find My Phone to track your whereabouts, and they do not know you are in therapy with me, another potential risk of them seeing your location is that they may discover you are in psychotherapy.


I prefer using email only to arrange or modify appointments. For online counselling, I may also send you handouts (or I may upload them to your client portal in Dubsado). Occasionally, we each may share a link to something we discussed in-session. You should be aware that all exchanged emails become a part of your legal record. If you choose to email me content related to your therapy sessions, note that email is not completely secure or confidential. All emails 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. I typically reply to emails within one to two days. If the volume of email requires additional time beyond five minutes, I bill for the time I spend reading and replying to the email. If you need to send confidential documents or reports please notify me first so I can talk you through securing these.


I am available for enquiries, bookings, and appointment questions via SMS on phone. Please limit your use of SMS for this purpose and during business hours Monday – Friday. SMS’s received after these hours and on weekends/public holidays will not be responded to until I am at work again. Please note as per the counselling agreement Seasons of Life Counselling is NOT a crisis service and does not provide out of hours counselling. Please note that all SMS communication is forms part of your record.

Social Media Policy / Version 1 / April 2022

Sourced and adaptive from Dr Keely Holmes Social Media Policy Template

How our counsellors and practioners work

Please note: all counsellors/practitioners that provide services through and as part of Seasons of Life Counselling team are independent sole practitioners who hold their own business ABNs and Insurance. Your practitioner will hold your confidential client case notes and these will remain in their possession, whether they remain at Seasons of Life Counselling or cease their contract with us. Seasons of Life Counselling / Penny Adams is not liable for practitioner conduct or case notes. This information is outlined in more detail in the client counselling agreement you recieve upon booking with us.

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