Suppose your therapist is on twitter and the account is public and the knowledge that the patient visits the twitter is openly discussed in sessions as the account is a top google result for the therapist’s name. Neither party has linked their account (following) to the other’s account for obvious boundary reasons. But the therapist is aware the patient reads it from time to time. If said therapist writes a hilarious tweet what are the ethical and boundary issues of the patient retweeting that tweet?
I am of the opinion that it would be a boundaries issue despite the public nature of the tweets and even if the patient did not reveal information about the therapeutic relationship. It would be an uninvited entrance into the therapist’s life outside of a session. So I would not re-tweet said tweet no matter how hilarious it is.
Obviously friending a social media account is off limits but there is a fuzzier area when it come to non-reciprocal friending sites like twitter where relationships may be more one sided. The formality of the communication put out by the therapist is also a factor.
For example it is fully acceptable (I think) for a patient to share on social media about a book their therapist has written or an journal article if those works have been influential to a patients healing process. Though things could get messy if it the author is identified as that blogger’s therapist. I’d personally never do so in a way that indicated that said individual was my therapist, but sharing a professional publication on a patients social media seems fare game if context were appropriate. I suppose for me the issue that comes into play is the inherent informality of twitter. No matter how professional a twitter page is, it is still something more conversational and more personal. And for this reason I feel a retweet would be overstepping a line.
Discuss. What are your thoughts?
From my search stats it looks like someone is trying to get into my locked posts. I locked a few posts on here for assorted reasons related to protecting my privacy. If you want access to one of the locked posts, comment and depending on your motivations I might give you access.