@ClientsConnect Ethics

@ClientsConnect #clientsconnect is a twitter handle for educating the public about therapy, counselling and psychotherapy, and mental health problems. The tweets shall be curated / approved by UK qualified therapists who are qualified and belong to a voluntary membership body such as the UKCP, NCS etc.

Therapists are duty bound to do no harm and not put the profession in disrepute as per ethical standards. In an age of social media and in this case Twitter there is very little control on what can be discussed online and when engaging with the public therapists need to carefully consider the ethics of communicating online. This is a draft relates to publishing information to the public or clients about therapy and mental health. I hope other therapists will contribute to this discussion.

The need and the problem

Therapists are using social media more and more to engage the public / clients about matters related to therapy and mental health difficulties. This is a good thing. The need for quality responses is an important part of supporting clients and many people turn to social media for support and answers. However, there is also a lot of potential misinformation, harmful advice and unhelpful content too. Mostly well meaning but not always helpful.

There is much benefit from providing a collective, quality near-assured messages to the public and in supporting clients of therapy particularly to scaffold a clients process, supporting clients through an inefficient/jarring or to avoid harmful or unsafe practices.

The risks

Therapists comments are based on assumptions and / or interpreted in such as way that is detrimental to clients wellbeing and therapy process

Clients disclose personal information or matters to a therapist which could mean the therapist must act due to harm.

Clients disclose information which breaches there confidentiality or their intent e.g. family members, existing therapist, orgs which could use the information against them or cause considerable distress to the person(s) impacted. Therapists could be seen as an “accessory” to the disclosure in dialogue.

In all cases therapists could be subject to complaint through voluntary registration body.

To mitigate these risks @Clientsconnect will follow the following guidance:

1/ A number of therapists will vet RTs ( RTs may be generated by anyone especially channel admins, qualified therapists, clients or public) BUT they must accord with what qualified UK therapists belief as being ethical and best practice. Therefore not all TWs will be accepted and may be subject to requests for rewording. Anyone especially therapists may comment and suggest changes which may also be used.

2/ Guidance in Channel will be provided to ensure people commenting understand risks. These will be repeated at several points including embedded within tweets. A disclaimer may be attached to RTs about these risks on each tweet if possible.