by Stacey Prince
Life as a psychotherapist in the internet age has changed quite a bit as a result of the proliferation of social networking sites, use of the web as a resource to locate treatment providers, and sites like YouTube that can take anything mundane and make it go viral. Used to be, when someone came in to see me for an initial session they knew nothing about me except perhaps what they had heard from a friend who referred them, or what they gathered in our phone conversations to set up the appointment. Now, not only do they have the intentional communication of information about me through my website (which includes, as it does for most of us, a fair amount of information about my background, education, orientation to psychotherapy, a link to my CV, etc.) but they also have access to a whole bunch of unintentionally communicated information about me.
For example, there is the video my partner and I filmed for Equal Rights Washington. A series of these videos, entitled “One minute for marriage,” were filmed during the campaign to support domestic partner laws in WA State. The one of my partner and I shows us up close and personal (I wish that guy had backed away with the camera just a little bit!) talking about why we think DP laws are important in general, as well as a few personal experiences that have led us to want greater protections to be legislated. In the end, we kiss. Several clients have commented on the video, which was posted on ERW’s home page and somehow, like so many things, ended up on YouTube. 256 views—yikes!
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