[dr. bob]

by Dr. Bob

Consent for Participation in Psycho-Babble

Your decision to participate or not should be informed. You should understand what's involved and the potential risks and benefits. This page gives you that information. If you pass a quiz on it, you may register.

  1. What's involved

    Psycho-Babble is an online peer support group. It is for people dealing with mental health problems. Group members support and educate each other by submitting -- or "posting" -- messages to a web site. Robert Hsiung, MD, aka Dr. Bob, manages the group. Other group members, however, are the primary source of support and education.

    To register as a member of Psycho-Babble, you choose a posting name and password and enter your email address. Your posting name does not have to be your real name. The email address does have to be yours. Other information is optional.

    To read a message, you go to the main page. There, the posts are listed. If you click on one, you go to a separate page. There, you can read that message.

    To post a message, enter your posting name and password, your message, its subject, and the language it is in. You can do this on either the main page or a message page. You get a preview of your message. You can then edit it, forget it, or add it to the site. Anyone who visits the site can read the messages there. Search engines and other web sites may link to it. The site itself uses Google Search and welcomes new posters on Twitter. But you post under a posting name, so you do not have to say who you really are.

    You decide how often you read and post. Your membership remains good unless you repeatedly post uncivil messages or until there is a change in policies.

    This site is not currently considered research. Still, Dr. Bob may publish case studies on his web site or in a book or an academic journal. If he does, he may include example posts. He would do his best to leave out any identifying information in the posts.

    For more information, please see the Frequently Asked Questions.

  2. Potential risks and benefits

    You may benefit by receiving support and information from others. You may also benefit by giving support and information to others.

    There are also potential risks to you. It may be hard to deal with issues like suicide that come up. Posts may not be supportive or accurate. That could lead you to feel bad about yourself or to make a bad decision. Dr. Bob and deputy administrators (group members he selects and supervises) monitor the group and intervene if they see such messages. You may be blocked from posting if you are responsible. Because so many messages are posted, however, every line of every message cannot be screened. Do not necessarily believe everything you read. The only messages Dr. Bob takes responsibility for are his own. Also, if you choose to post something that identifies you, others may find out who you really are. That could embarrass you or even lead to the loss of your job or criminal prosecution. Data is stored on the web server. It has a security-hardened operating system and hacking alerts. It is in a modern data center and is monitored "24/7". Besides the computer support people, only Dr. Bob has access to it.

  3. Possible Alternatives

    Alternatives to Psycho-Babble include other online groups, groups that meet in person, and individuals like friends, family members, and helping professionals.

  4. Cost

    Psycho-Babble is free.

If you have any questions about this, please email Dr. Bob at bob@dr-bob.org.

You are welcome to print this out for future reference.

If you understand what's involved and the potential risks and benefits and still want to participate, please:

Otherwise, here is a way to:

return to the Psycho-Babble home page

Thank you.

[dr. bob] Dr. Bob is Robert Hsiung, MD, bob@dr-bob.org

Revised: November 1, 2009
URL: http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/consent.html
Copyright 2004-09 Robert Hsiung.
Owned and operated by Dr. Bob LLC and not the University of Chicago.