Welcome to The New Social Worker's Blog

The New Social Worker is the quarterly magazine for social work students and recent graduates, focusing on social work careers for those new to the profession. This blog is a companion to the free online magazine at http://www.socialworker.com.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Google and Facebook raise new issues for therapists and their clients

Interesting article in the Washington Post titled "Google and Facebook raise new issues for therapists and their clients."  Here's an excerpt:

In fact, the tremendous availability online of personal information threatens to alter what has been an almost sacred relationship between therapist and patient. Traditionally, therapists obtained information about a patient through face-to-face dialogue. If outside information was needed, the therapist would obtain the patient's consent to speak with family members or a previous mental-health practitioner. At the same time, patients traditionally knew little about their therapists outside the consulting room. Now, with the click of a mouse, tech-savvy therapists and patients are challenging the old rules and raising serious questions about how much each should know about the other and where lines should be drawn.

Among the questions under debate:
  • Should a therapist review the Web site of a patient or conduct an online search without that patient's consent?
  • Is it appropriate for a therapist to put personal details about himself on a blog or Web site or to join Facebook or other social networks?
  • What are the risks of having patients and therapists interact online?
Read the whole article here.  Would love to hear your thoughts on this!

1 comment:

  1. Karen-

    I have been discussing this with colleagues and classmates.  I have decided to deactivate my Facebook account when I start my job.  I will be a social worker 24/7, and I don't see how I can separate the personal from the professional.  I want to continue wriring and I will find an outlet for that, for sure.

    ~Ms. T. J.