Social Media Policy
This document outlines the policies of The Sophia Women’s Institute related to the use of Social Media. Please read it to understand how I conduct myself online and how you can expect me to respond to various interactions that may occur between us on the Internet.
If you have any questions about anything within this document, I encourage you to bring them up. As new technology develops and the Internet changes, there may be times when I need to update this policy. If I do so, I will post changes on this site and notify clients, students and subscribers that changes have been made.
I do not accept friend or contact requests from current or former clients on any social networking site (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc). I believe that adding clients as friends or contacts on these sites can compromise your confidentiality and our respective privacy. It may also blur the boundaries of our professional relationship. If you have questions about this, please bring them up when we meet and we can talk more about it.
I have a Facebook Page for The Sophia Women’s Institute to allow people to share my blog posts and business updates with other Facebook users and to build the community of The Sophia Women’s Institute. Most of the information shared on this page is available on this website.
Facebook no longer uses the term “Fan”. I invite you to join the online community of The Sophia Women’s Institute by following and liking the page. You will not be identified as a client or student of the Institute, by joining our online community this way. You are free to choose not to follow or like the page as well; the choice to do so is up to you.
I publish a blog on this site and I post news on Linked In and Twitter. You are welcome to follow my blog or the posts I share on Linked In or Twitter. However, if you use an easily recognizable name on Linked In or Twitter and I happen to notice that you’ve followed me there, we may briefly discuss it and its potential impact on our working relationship.
My primary concern is your privacy. If you share this concern, there are more private ways to follow me on Twitter (such as using an RSS feed or a locked Twitter list), which would eliminate your having a public link to my content. You are welcome to use your own discretion in choosing whether to follow me.
Note that I will not follow you back. I do not follow current or former clients or students on blogs, Facebook, Linked In or Twitter. My reasoning is that I believe casual viewing of clients’ or students' online content can create confusion in regard to whether it’s being done as a part of your work with me or to satisfy my personal curiosity.
In addition, viewing your online activities without your consent and without our explicit arrangement towards a specific purpose could potentially have a negative influence on our working relationship. If there are things from your online life that you wish to share with me, please bring them to your appointments, where we can discuss them together at that time.
The Sophia Women’s Institute is developing Facebook groups to facilitate interaction and instruction among members of various programs of the Institute. These groups will be Secret to protect the privacy and confidentiality of the members of these groups. You are welcome to choose whether or not to participate in such a group, if one is offered as part of a program you enroll in.
Please do not use SMS (mobile phone text messaging) or messaging on Social Networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn to contact me. These sites are not secure and I may not read these messages in a timely fashion. Do not use Wall postings, @replies, or other means of engaging with me in public online venues, if we have an already established professional relationship. Engaging with me this way could compromise your confidentiality. It may also create the possibility that these exchanges become a part of your coaching record and will need to be documented and archived in your file.
If you need to contact me between sessions, the best way to do so is by phone. Direct email at debra[at]thesophiawomensinstitute[dot com] is second best for quick, administrative issues. See the email section below for more information regarding email interactions.
Use of Search Engines
It is NOT a regular part of my business to search for clients on Google or Facebook or other search engines. Extremely rare exceptions may be made if you are in an urgent or crisis situation. If I have a reason to suspect that you are in danger and you have not been in touch with me via our usual means (keeping appointments, phone, or email) there might be an instance in which using a search engine (to find you, find someone close to you, or to check on your recent status updates) becomes necessary as part of ensuring your welfare.
These are unusual situations and if I ever resort to such means, I will fully document it and discuss it with you when we next meet.
Business Review Sites
You may find The Sophia Women’s Institute on sites such as Yelp, Google Business, Yahoo Local, Bing, or other places which list businesses. Some of these sites include forums in which users rate their services and add reviews. Many of these sites comb search engines for business listings and automatically add listings regardless of whether the business has added itself to the site. If you should find The Sophia Women's Institute on any of these sites, please know that the listing is NOT a request for a testimonial, rating, or endorsement from you as my client.
Of course, you have a right to express yourself on any site you wish. But due to confidentiality, I cannot respond to any review on any of these sites whether it is positive or negative. I urge you to take your own privacy as seriously as I take my commitment of confidentiality to you. You should also be aware that if you are using these sites to communicate indirectly with me about your feelings about our work, there is a likely possibility that I may never see it.
If we are working together, I hope that you will bring your feelings and reactions to our work directly into the coaching and healing process. This can be an important part of coaching, even if you decide we are not a good fit. None of this is meant to keep you from sharing that you are working with me wherever and with whomever you like.
Confidentiality means that I cannot tell people that you are my client and my ethics standards prohibits me from requesting testimonials. But you are more than welcome to tell anyone you wish that I’m your spiritual life or relationship coach or how you feel about working with me, in any forum of your choosing.
If you do choose to write something on a business review site, I hope you will keep in mind that you may be sharing personally revealing information in a public forum. I urge you to create a pseudonym that is not linked to your regular email address or friend networks for your own privacy and protection.
If you used location-based services on your smart phone, you may wish to be aware of the privacy issues related to using these services. I do not place The Sophia Women’s Institute as a check-in location on various sites such as Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt, etc. However, in the rare occurrance that you are working with me in person, and if you have GPS tracking enabled on your device, it is possible that others may surmise that you are a client due to regular check-ins at my office. Please be aware of this risk if you are intentionally “checking in,” from my office or if you have a passive LBS app enabled on your phone.
I prefer using email only to arrange or modify appointments. Please do not email me content related to your appointments, as email is not completely secure or confidential. If you choose to communicate with me by email, be aware that all emails are retained in the logs of your and my Internet service providers. While it is unlikely that someone will be looking at these logs, they are, in theory, available to be read by the system administrator(s) of the Internet service provider. You should also know that any emails I receive from you and any responses that I send to you become a part of your coaching record.
Thank you for taking the time to review this Social Media Policy. If you have questions or concerns about any of these policies and procedures or regarding our potential interactions online, do bring them to my attention so that we can discuss them.