Monday, April 5, 2010

No More Blank Slate

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!

To read entire article click here.


  1. Speaking of internet privacy (or lack thereof) TJP member Kimberly Balsam wanted to give folks a heads up about a controversial internet site called Spokeo, which aggregates data from a variety of internet sources, allows for someone to be looked up by name or email address, and then provides a great deal of personal information, sometimes including home address, photos, and even financial information. Yikes. There is a lot of controversy about this site and some even say that it can get around social networking privacy settings. It's easy to remove yourself from being listed on the site: just go to, go to the bottom of any page, and click on "privacy," then fill out the necessary information to remove your listing.

  2. Here is another great resource, a guide to Facebook and Twitter written by a psychologist.