This document is made for the benefit of my psychotherapy clients and supervisees, but
may also be of use to other psychotherapists or counsellors would like to develop a policy
to manage boundaries in the digital world. This digital policy aims to address and contain
the most likely eventualities that may arise by way of digital exposure, also with reference
to maintaining privacy and data protection.
This document acknowledges the complex world of digital media and tries its best to
address issues that may impact the therapeutic relationship in an effort to keep it as safe
as possible. These should be read as guidelines rather than rigid rules – they are subject
to development and change. I ask all my clients and supervisees to familiarise themselves
with this document before we start therapy.
Keeping Things Safe:
Though I do all that I can to keep things safe for my clients, the nature of our digital world
brings with it some unavoidable risks that I have sought to minimise. I regularly review
these points and update them as necessary, publishing them here in an open and
transparent manner. Should you have any concerns on your end, I am happy to discuss
them and make reasonable adjustments as necessary. Issues related to GDPR or general
data protection are addressed on your contract with me.
I do not use email encryption as I have found that most of my clients have been comfortable
enough using traditional email servers. By engaging via email we both accept the risks that
entails including the fact that emails 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 email
address you choose to use with me (e.g. a private personal email address is ideal). Ideally
emails should be used only for non-confidential communications like logistics (e.g. setting
up an appointment time). Material that you consider private and confidential should be
avoided in emails unless we discuss it in advance. I will request your preferred email address from our first session.
If you choose to communicate with me by email, be aware that all emails are retained in the
logs of Internet Service Providers. Furthermore, they can be vulnerable to viruses and
unintended forwarding or replication. If you are concerned about the confidentiality of your
emails, you may wish to contact me by telephone instead.
I check emails only at fixed times during office hours – I avoid checking them on weekends
and holidays. I endeavour to respond to all emails within 24 hours upon opening them. If I
am away for an extended period, you will receive an automated response. Emails should
never be used in the event of an emergency; in which case you should contact emergency
Invoicing: I use an online software application to process my invoices that are then sent out
to your chosen e-mail address. If you would prefer not to receive these invoices by email,
please let me know and I can print one out instead.
Text or voice messages:
You may feel free to leave a message to alert me if you are running late for a session or for
similar logistical reasons. As with emails, it is best to keep private and personal material out
of text or voice messages.
Phone and Video Conferencing:
I offer both face to face and remote consultations. If we are meeting each other remotely, I
generally use Zoom and I will provide you with a link in advance. When engaging via video
conferencing, we both agree not to record sessions. It is also crucial that you’re sure your
environment from which you are conferencing with me is safe, secure, and private. If, for
whatever reason, your privacy may be compromised, please let me know straight away. If
we encounter any technical difficulties, I will contact you another way – usually via
Emergencies: Psychotherapy is not an emergency service and I may not be able to respond to you in an emergency. Should you experience an emergency please contact the most appropriate emergency services. If you are feeling suicidal please ring The Samaritans: 116 123, go to your nearest A&E, or ring 999. If you feel that this may be an issue, please discuss it with me straight away.
I am an author, writer, and keynote speaker who is committed to expanding the public
understanding of psychotherapy and mental health. As part of this aim, I maintain an
active presence in the media and regularly participate across social media. I use these
forums to educate the public on themes of psychology and mental health in broad and
Social media platforms like Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram enable me to reach a wide
audience with whom I share my thinking in this area. In an effort to keep our therapeutic
relationship as safe as possible, I do not normally (knowingly) follow, link to, or engage
with clients (or former clients) on social media unless this is something we have discussed.
Though I see my public engagement as part of my professional persona, I may at times
share my own personal thoughts or images where I find it appropriate to do so. If you feel
that might impinge on our therapeutic relationship, I suggest that you avoid following me
on any form of social media. Either way, should you come across anything that I have
posted that causes you concern or distress, please do let me know so we can discuss it.
I have found it is best to avoid encountering information about you that does not come
directly from you, so I do not normally Google my clients. I am aware, however, that clients
will often Google prospective therapists as part of their process in choosing one. If you did
so with me, and this produced any questions, I would be happy to address them with you.
Going forward, I have found it is best to find out from each other what we need to know face-to-face.