Social Networking, Visibility, and the Therapeutic Alliance: My Presentation at Mental Health Camp in Vancouver

I just found out that my proposal for Mental Health Camp has been accepted. My panel is called, “Social Networking, Visibility, and the Therapeutic Alliance.” It will be in conversation format and will address issues related to the therapist-client relationship and how both clients and therapists feel about sharing online social spaces.

I first heard of Mental Health Camp when I was in Austin and one of the primary organizers, Isabella Mori, contacted me. I was immediately interested in attending, but I wasn’t sure how I could best contribute to such a forum. I wanted to offer something useful to attendees who might be both clients and therapists working within the intersection of social networking and mental health. I kept returning to questions that feel current for me in my own practice as a therapist who is heavily plugged into social networks.

I plan to cover the following topics:

• How do clients feel about their visibility to their therapists online?

• How do clients feel about their online lives being a part of therapy?

• How do clients feel about their therapists being visible online?

• How do therapists feel about being visible to their clients online?

• Do clients desire more therapist transparency online? Or would they prefer more neutral and veiled behavior from their therapists?

• How are these issues coming up in people’s therapeutic relationships?

I recognize that many of these questions will have answers as unique as the various people responding to them. I’m hoping for a lively conversation in which people involved in different aspects of clinical care will get to express their opinions and desires.

Mental Health Camp will take place in Vancouver, British Columbia on Saturday, April 25th from 9:00am to 6:00pm. It is a one-day unconference about social media and mental health with an emphasis on how blogging can help remove the stigma of mental illness. If you’re interested in attending, check out the registration page. Note that admission is by donation and nobody will be turned away for lack of funds.

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