Kolmes, K. & Taube. D. O. (2012). Seeking and Finding Our Clients on the Internet: Boundary
Considerations in Cyberspace. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice
Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0029958
As psychologists and clients increasingly use the Internet for personal and professional activities, they run the risk of having more incidental contacts online. This survey examined the experiences of 227 mental health professionals of various disciplines and training levels about both accidental and intentional experiences encountering client information on the Internet. One hundred and nine participants intentionally sought information about current clients in noncrisis situations, and 63 participants accidentally discovered client information on the Internet. This paper explores how clinicians responded to these encounters and clinicians’ beliefs about how they influenced treatment. Recommendations are made for how mental health professionals may begin to address such issues in the clinical relationship.