With the proliferation of social networks and most recently, the budding of new niche social networks geared toward specific groups, therapists are finding many places to connect and discuss! The Online Therapy Institute features discussion groups at Linkedin, Links for Shrinks and Facebook. We encourage open discussion of all issues related to technology and mental health from marketing one’s private practice on the web to actually conducting online therapy. But therapists should take caution when discussing client cases on such networks. While some networks may be password protected, links can sometimes be copied and pasted from most standard discussion boards and forums leaving practitioners and their clients vulnerable. The Online Therapy Institute provides a secure and encrypted Consultation and Business Forum that is encrypted. The forum offers chat and discussion board features that give the therapist a confidential place to talk about issues that arise doing therapy online.
Even when therapists “blind the record” removing all identifying information, client identity can sometimes be discovered if by simply knowing the location of the therapist through a forum or email tagline. If the therapist practices in a rural area, it may not be difficult to connect the dots. While it is enticing to enter into clinical discussions with peer professionals, counsellors and therapists should make sure discussions are completely confidential.