Do you google your therapist?

Have you googled your therapist, if you have one? Someone seeing Anna Fels, a  practicing psychiatrist, did. He came in with information about her that she even forgot about and didn't realize were publicly available. Therapists have a long tradition of guarding their personal lives from their patients, but that is rapidly shifting. She discusses some of the positives and negatives of "the relative anonymity of therapists, and all the mystery, power and privacy that attended it...being swept away."

Some of the possible negative outcomes include both patients' and therapists' electronic histories following them everywhere. Therapists can look up their patients' criminal histories or search for certain online behavior.  Anna laments that "The experience of evaluating a patient with fresh eyes and no prior assumptions may, for better and for worse, disappear."

On the other hand, technology can give patients a peak through their therapists' mysterious facades and reveal that therapists are, for the most part, regular people.

IN some ways, the relentless electronic interconnectivity of our lives serves to highlight therapy’s singular virtues. We are more appreciative of the strange, private dialogue that is the heart of therapy. There are precious few times and spaces left in our society in which people quietly speak to one another in a sustained, intimate conversation. The therapist’s office is one of the last safe places. Secrets, reflections, fears or confusion never leave the room.
Posted on April 13, 2015 .