Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Facebook Now Screwing Up Your Therapy Sessions, Too

maybe i'll wear this to my next appointmentThis LA Times piece on the ways that social networking and Google trails have fuzzied up the doctor-patient relationship (what with the Internet's tendencies toward dredging up issues of confidentiality, trust, boundaries, etc.) had the likely unintended effect of wanting to hit up Google and see what sort of breadcrumbs my shrink has left online over the years — although I do think that adding her on Facebook, which is apparently something that people do (??), would be something of a bridge too far. (Not that the semantics of the word "friend" haven't been ruined by years of social-shopping sites and the social rituals of high school, but I think that we should probably wait to be exposed to each others' minute-by-minute status updates until the point in time where our hang sessions don't end with me giving her a copay. You know?)

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BadUncle (#153)

My psychopharmocologist and I had a little chat about this exact subject. And we were both unapologetic in our refusal to "friend" each other – though in meat space, we occasionally hang out. Given that one's professional reputation can be torpedoed by a Facebook "friend's" LOLHitler upload, social networking firebreaks are appropriate.

conklin (#364)

Pro tip: never send an "It's complicated" relationship request to your therapist, even as a joke.

Crantastical (#4,127)

My friend is a therapist and she sets her profile to private. While she does use email to communicate with clients she is careful to use a different email address than the one she has for her facebook account. This way she won't pop up as a "suggested friend".

I have heard of doctors and therapists setting up facebook pages for marketing purposes. One friend is a web designer and had to convince a gyno that a facebook page was not a good idea – her patients would not want to be her "friend".

Think of the tagged-photo awkwardness!

garge (#736)

I don't know, my gyno is pretty cool; I bet she would leave the best comments about my shared links!

carpetblogger (#306)

I used to have a gyno named Dr Busch. She was awesome and I would totally be her FB friend just so that every time she posted a funny comment on my shared links I could respond "hey! That's my gyno, Dr. Busch!"

mjfrombuffalo (#2,561)

I'll admit it, even though I keep my Facebook account private and don't "friend" people who might actually BE my friend IRL, my dentist is a Facebook friend. He's also one of the recipients of my Bad Joke of the Day emails (and a frequent contributor). But I wouldn't friend my doctor or gyno. Maybe the ophthalmologist though.


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