Sunday, August 12, 2007

Ethics in Blogging

I know, where did this ethics idea come from? It's pretty simple. In reading about web ethics for psychologists, it occurred to me that my blog goes even a step further in self-disclosing.

As it is, if you look at my website ( you'll know I like running, yoga and movies, among other things. Some of my psychotherapy clients have known me for years and don't know these things.

In therapy, the idea is that it often isn't helpful to have personal information disclosed. It's sets up issues of good-bad, right-wrong and what's ok to talk about and what's not. If you see I'm into healthy lifestyles, maybe you'll wonder if I think less of you since you live on McDonalds. Once I had a picture of my dog in the office and don't you know I had a client who was neglecting her dog and had a lot of trouble talking about it as a result (situation slightly changed to protect the innocent).

In coaching, it's not as problematic, since the relationship with your coach can be more real. This is not to say that I spend half the time talking about myself. Not at all. It just doesn't matter in the same way. Coaching clients are generally successful, resourceful and creative. This makes them tougher and generally less sensitive than my psychotherapy clients. They're not as likely to worry about whether I approve of their decision to supersize their lunch. They'll talk about it if THEY have a problem with it. I'm generalizing here, since many coaching clients are also psychotherapy clients.

It doesn't mean I'm not real with my psychotherapy clients. But I don't share a lot of personal info unless someone asks or it's pertinent.

So for now, I'm going to keep on blogging and disclosing. I'll have to see if it seems to be useful or if it creates issues.

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