As we put a bow on the end of 2017 and look ahead to the new year, many of us make resolutions, or plans, or promises. We make commitments for the year ahead in hopes of living our personal and professional lives that much closer to our ideals. One resolution I make each year is to update my office paperwork.
My informed consent always needs a few updates to reflect my changing practice. As I get older, I see each day a greater importance to having a Professional Will. And with technology changing so quickly around us, this year I knew I needed to add policies around social media as well.
Of course, one thing our whole team at Ben Caldwell Labs strives for is to help therapists by making your job a little easier. If you’re also looking to update your paperwork for 2018, we’re here to help! We’ve made our pain into your gain by making these documents available for your use at low cost. Happy New Year!
Do you have a Professional Will for your practice? It’s unpleasant to think about, but what would happen to your clients if you were to be involved in an accident? Who would notify them? Where would they go for continued care? And who would make sure all of the business involved in your practice — paying office rent, pursuing unpaid balances, checking email — continued to happen in your absence?
Having a Professional Will isn’t just a good idea, it’s an ethical obligation. And the sample ones you find online just aren’t detailed enough to be all that useful, either to you or the person you’re entrusting to take over for you in difficult circumstances. So we’ve developed a much more detailed, Copy-and-Paste Professional Will. Just download it, fill in some details about your practice, and make sure copies of the final version are in the right hands. (We do recommend having a lawyer familiar with mental health practice in your area look it over.) Then you can rest a little easier that if something tragic were to happen to you, the tragedy wouldn’t be compounded by leaving clients unsure of what happened to you or what they should do next.
Social Media Policy
Even if you’re not on social media at all, your clients probably are. And they’re risking their own confidentiality. (See this post on How Facebook knows you’re a therapist — and who your clients are. It’s informative, and a little creepy.)
A social media policy is a necessity these days regardless of whether you love social media or hate it. We have put together a Copy-and-Paste Social Media Policy that you can use either within your Informed Consent or as a standalone policy document. And it has options to reflect whether you use social media and love it, use it and tolerate it, or don’t use it at all.
We’ve got more of these kinds of tools in the works for 2018. What kinds of policies, documents, or other paperwork do you wish you had for your practice, but you just can’t get together on your own? We’d love to hear from you.