The law protects the relationship between a client and a psychotherapist, and information cannot be disclosed without written permission.
- Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse, for which I am required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s, I must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself, I will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in ensuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, I will take further measures without their permission that are provided to me by law in order to ensure their safety. JVB
Digital Coupon or Gift Certificate Policy:
IDC, offers discount rates or gift certificates from time to time on: Groupon, Yelp, Retail Me Not etc. (those sites ONLY apply to services as a Consultant and NOT Clinical Counseling) I will never solicit testimonials, reviews, or feedback via any social media platforms. I am only offering an opportunity for everyone to receive affordable services via consultation. Due to the nature of my Clinical Profession, as a rule of ethics, we are not allowed to respond to reviews, testaments, or feedback via online, in order to secure and protect the confidential relationship with our clients. In an effort to reduce confusion or create the appearance of desired reviews, I have chosen to refrain from asking any (clinical or non-clinical) clients’ for reviews. If you desire to post a comment, I am not able to refrain from you doing such, I am not able to respond, unless the nature is damaging to my reputation. Therefore, all positive comments or reviews speaking highly or in appreciation of our services, will be treated with the standard policy of my ethical board obligations. JVB
Offering Payment, Incentives or Discounts for Referrals:
The ACA Code of Ethics states in code A.10.b Unacceptable Business Practices- Counselors do not participate in fee splitting, nor do they give or receive commissions, rebates, or any other form of remuneration when referring clients for professional services.
Thereofre, I am unable to utilize Groupon, Yelp, Retail Me Not or any other socaial site where I provide a fee for services. As a result, if it is determined you are eligiable for "consultion services" you will not be able to tranistion to a clinical client. I have a respobility to to enage,develop or matiaon a dual -role relationship. JVB
According to section A6 of the ACA Code of Ethics, Managing and Maintaining Boundaries and Professional Relationships, “Counselors consider the risks and benefits of extending current counseling relationships beyond conventional parameters.”
FOR RECORD PURPOSES:
Mental health counselors are aware of their influential position with respect to their clients and avoid exploiting the trust and fostering dependency of the client.
a) Mental health counselors make every effort to avoid dual/multiple relationships with clients that could impair professional judgment or increase the risk of harm. Examples of such relationships may include, but are not limited to: familial, social, financial, business, or close personal relationships with the clients.
b) When deciding whether to enter a dual/multiple relationship with a client, former client or close relationship to the client, mental health counselors will seek consultation and adhere to a credible decision-making process prior to entering this relationship.
c) When a dual/multiple relationship cannot be avoided, mental health counselors take appropriate professional precautions such as informed consent, consultation, supervision and documentation to ensure that judgment is not impaired and no exploitation has occurred.
d) Mental health counselors do not accept as clients, individuals with whom they are involved in an administrative, supervisory or other relationship of an evaluative nature. JVB
Online Review Policy
From the Business
The Use of Testimonials to Market One’s Services
1. The ACA Code of Ethics states in code C.3.b. Testimonials-Counselors who use testimonials do not solicit them from current clients, former clients, or any other persons who may be vulnerable to undue influence. Counselors discuss with clients the implications of and obtain permission for the use of any testimonial. " Since you may decide to return to therapy with me at a later date, I do not request testimonials from people who have ended therapy with me."
2. Unlike other business owners who may respond to their Yelp reviews, as a Licensed Professional Counselor, I must provide confidentiality to my clients. This means I am restricted from responding in any way that acknowledges whether someone has been in my care.
NOTE: It is not at all unusual to see client testimonials used for marketing all types of services. I have seen them in all settings with images and quotes from the patient or their families. Posting a review of my services is your right as a client and it is entirely up to you to decide whether you wish to write a review. But I gently discourage clients from posting reviews of my practice for the reasons below. JVB
The key component to using testimonials ethically is that "I" don’t solicit them.
Social Media Policy
A.5.e. Personal Virtual Relationships With Current Clients
Counselors are prohibited from engaging in a personal virtual relationship with individuals with whom they have a current counseling relationship (e.g., through social and other media).
National Board of Certified Counselors Code of Ethics:
- 19. NCCs shall recognize the potential harm of informal uses of social media and other related technology with clients, former clients and their families and personal friends. After carefully considering all of the ethical implications, including confidentiality, privacy and multiple relationships, NCCs shall develop written practice procedures in regard to social media and digital technology, and these shall be incorporated with the information provided to clients before or during the initial session. At a minimum, these social media procedures shall specify that personal accounts will be separate and isolated from any used for professional counseling purposes including those used with prospective or current clients. These procedures shall also address “friending” and responding to material posted.
- 20. NCCs shall not use social media sources (e.g., updates, tweets, blogs, etc.) to provide confidential information regarding client cases that have not been consented to by the client. To facilitate the secure provision of information, NCCs shall inform clients prior to or during the initial session about appropriate ways to communicate with them. Furthermore, NCCs shall advise clients about the potential risks of sending messages through digital technology and social media sources.
- 21. NCCs who use digital technology (e.g., social media) for professional purposes shall limit information posted to that which does not create multiple relationships or which may threaten client confidentiality. JVB
****will update as needed per my ACA, NBCC, and Best Practice Policies Update or Require Revision***