Guidance for posting on

The guidance for posting on and any comments on the forum, suggestions for improvements, etc. Also information about our e-magazine, Aspire, and how to contribute or download your copy.
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Guidance for posting on

Post by maven »

User Agreement

Please note that when you signed up to this site you signed up to our user agreement. Please stick to it!

Why have rules?

We have a large membership and a very large number of posts on the site. Without a set of recommendations and rules, it can lead to confusion, conflict and disarray. The guidance includes both advice on how to use the forum in the most helpful way, and indication of what is not acceptable. We need to avoid defamation and to create a professional atmosphere that is in keeping with the Code of Conduct for psychologists and the HCPC registration of those who own and run the site. We also need to protect the site owner, site and moderating teams from any legal or financial risks that might follow from content posted here (as it is unreasonable to expect anyone volunteer to provide these services if they have to worry about financial or legal implications from any member that disagrees with them).

These rules are to be followed by all members, with no exceptions. Please read the guidance, but do bear in mind that most of you post within these rules naturally and are absolutely fine anyway.

It might seem constrictive or authoritarian to have rules but we think prevention is better than cure, and experience has shown them to be necessary. Administrators and Moderators aren't there to stop people having fun, we just want a pleasant and enjoyable forum, as I am sure you do. Please become familiar with the rules and stick by them to the best of your ability.

The rules

1.) Only register with one identity. It keeps things simple. You can use your real name or an anonymous ID to post on the forum, but you are accountable for what you post. Registration information will only be known to the forum Administrators and we agree to keep this confidential except where there are issues of risk, serious concerns about professional misconduct, or the police or courts request it. We may also use registration information to identify trolls and to respond to antisocial behaviour, but we would not disclose such information on the public forum.

2.) Please use the search function before posting to the forum. There is a lot of content already on the forum, and the most commonly asked questions are probably already covered by a wiki, so the chances are that someone has already touched on the topic you'd like to raise, and received some useful replies you might like to read. There is a thread with information on making the most of the search function here.

3.) Do not plagiarise forum content for any purpose. You may cite our content with acknowledgement, giving the forum URL: You can request permission to use larger amounts of our content in presentations or publications by emailing

4.)Think about confidentiality before posting. Most importantly, do not post any information about a client that would allow them to be identified if they were to read the thread themselves, or by another member of staff involved or at your workplace. Be wary of disclosing too much personal information about yourself. Please remember that Clinical Psychology is a small world, and if you post content about your life you are likely to be recognised by your peers - and by potential future peers, supervisors and/or course staff, as a wide variety of people read this forum. Please be extra careful if you use your real name as your user ID, or identify the place that you work or the courses you have applied to. This site should be treated like a staff room at work and not a private chat with your friends. Most of the site is on public display and is searchable by Google, and the LiveChat is logged and can be reviewed by the moderators/admins. There is a need for professional boundaries and language, and to avoid defamatory or potentially offensive content, or anything that could be considered to bring the profession into disrepute. If you sign up with your real name but would later prefer to be pseudonymous, or change your mind about things you have posted in the past and wish to remove your name or references to identifying information you have posted on the forum please contact an administrator.

5.) Users may edit posts for a short time after they are made, in order to remove typos. However, threads and posts do not belong to the user like property; they become part of the site content, so whilst we will remove personal identifying information on request, please bear in mind that you do not have the ability to delete posts at a later date. Where you wish for a post to be edited after the fact, please contact a moderator giving the reason for your request. Confidential or identifying information will be removed on request, or may be removed by moderators if that is appropriate in their judgement. Other requests to remove or edit content you have written will be considered by the moderators, but it is better to think about this before posting whenever possible. We do not remove posts because you changed your mind, or because you didn't like the response a post received. Often threads are beneficial for other members, not just those who took part in the original conversation. We reserve the right to compile contents written by any user into a wiki, to add administrator or moderator notes to posts (eg to provide the facts where we believe the contents of a post are misleading), or to edit or remove posts that breach our guidance.

6.) Keep on topic. Try to make posts on threads about the topic discussed in the first post and named in the title, rather than diverting threads to new topics. It really helps other users when they’re trying to find information on a particular subject, and means the search function is more effective. Additions that no longer relate to the thread title may not get an optimal response because other users won't know the new topic is there. Moderators may split threads that go off topic if they notice this, but it saves us effort if you start a new thread when you divert to a new topic.
Please start new threads in the relevant category - read the category descriptions before posting. Remember that the Forum is the section for discussion, and the Wiki is a collection of information amalgamated into single posts for reference, so please only add to the Wiki when you have a suggestion for a new Wiki entry or an addition or revision for the Wiki topics. All other discussion should go in the forum. Threads that are clearly in the wrong section may be moved by the moderators, but it helps to get it right first time.

7.) Please use an appropriate, descriptive title when posting a new topic. This really helps other users locate posts that may be of interest to them - not easy when we have dozens of posts a day. Examples of bad titles include; "Help me!" or "Advice please". Examples of good titles include; "Confusing question from research assistant interview" or "Share your views on clinical course orientations". Do not use block capitals in the title except for acronyms - everyone wants to draw attention to their thread as much as you do, and shouting makes the lists of threads hard to read. Code and special effects do not work in the title section (eg bold, smilies) so please avoid using them. Moderators may edit titles to make them more relevant to the topic, to remove defunct code or block caps or to correct spelling (as this helps the search function), but please try to make this unnecessary.

8.) Please don't post duplicate posts. Don't post the same content more than once, or make other posts that link back to your own content to promote it. These may be deleted by moderators, but tend to annoy people rather than assist in gaining replies. Keep it conversational. Try to keep your post reasonably concise as huge blocks of text are hard to read. Don't flood a discussion with loads of consecutive posts - let others give their views too. Don't post without content, or just to bump a thread. Try to be selective when quoting rather than dumping in whole posts or long blocks of text.

9.) Please be respectful of other users. Do not post messages that are deliberately antagonistic, hostile or insulting. Avoid name-calling, making personal attacks on others or groups of people. Disagree with the content of a post, or an opinion but don't be rude about the individual making the post. Accept that other people may disagree with you. Being able to engage in a constructive debate and evidence your thinking is a key skill in our profession. If you ask for advice, people might not give the advice you wanted to hear - but try to keep an open mind and bear in mind that their intention is likely to be to help you.

Please avoid responding to anyone who appears to be posting or sending messages to entice other users into angry or fruitless responses (a "troll"), or who is breaching forum guidance. Please flag the post and/or report your concerns to a moderator instead so that they can be managed without feeding them with too much attention - there is a little triangle button on each post to help you do this.

10.) Hopefully this goes without saying, but posting pornographic, prejudiced or generally offensive text, images, links, etc. will not be tolerated. We have zero tolerance of racism, sexism, ablism, homophobia, religious bigotry or other attacks targeting protected characteristics. The same is true of posting pandemic or vaccine misinformation, quack cures or other information that could cause harm to others. While this is not a formal place and we want to be fun as well as encourage serious debate, we are a forum for aspiring clinical psychologists and some of our members are qualified CPs and trainees. This is a public example of our profession and a time to network with peers (which may include potential colleagues or employers). Therefore, we need to consider ourselves as having a professional identity and you should avoid posting anything that you would be embarrassed if a supervisor, colleague or service-user overheard you saying. All content should be suitable to be viewed in a work environment, although threads in the off topic section can be humorous and non-psychology related.

11.) You must take care when you post not to risk bringing the profession into disrepute (for example by making defamatory comments about a person, course or professional group). It is better to err on the side of caution with anything you are in doubt about (or PM a mod to check). Additionally, we would like this to be a forum that qualified clinical psychologists and trainees feel comfortable to identify with on a professional level. Unprofessional posting simply alienates trainees and qualified psychologists from ClinPsy. Such people are extremely valuable assets to this forum and may have particularly useful experiences and advice to offer, and we would like to retain the respect of the wider psychology community.

12.) Type your post with other users in mind as if you are communicating in a workplace. PLEASE DON'T SHOUT, use strings of punctuation, unusual fonts or txt style abbreviations. Some people find these annoying and hard to read. Don't post in colour except in the progress thread or LiveChat. Swearing should be avoided, even where letters are omitted or replaced with asterisks. Please only quote the relevant section of a post you are replying to, not massive chunks of text or multiple layers of embedded quotes. You can have a small image on your profile which will show below your username on every post, but you should not use images in your signature, and where you link to images in posts they must be of a reasonable size and contain only appropriate content.

13.) Do not solicit or provide specific questions or tasks used in job interviews or clinical course selection procedures. Do not solicit or provide past application forms, essays or coursework. It is against forum rules to undermine the selection process for any course or job, or to use the forum to gain information rather than doing your own work for academic courses or within your employment. We believe in an even playing field and that employers and courses should be able to choose what is in the public domain about their selection process and what is not. We also want to retain a good relationship with course centres and employing organisations, and our CP colleagues. Do your own homework. Use the search facility, check google and other obvious sources and don't expect others to spoon feed you. If you ask a question about something you need to write or present for a course, job application or selection process give your own views first, and don't be surprised if other users don't reply in the way that you would want.

14.) Do not advertise anything that could lead to your commercial gain without the permission of the moderators. We will almost certainly approve requests to offer psychology related books for sale, or to publicise relevant free or non-profit events (or you can pay to advertise courses, jobs, books or training events and contribute to the running costs of the site), but this probably isn't the place to sell your car or spare concert tickets. Please don't spam the forum, including via links in your sig. In the context of this forum, spam means advertising for profit, or posts/signatures linking to a site for the purposes of increasing traffic (or search engine ranking). We actively protect the forum from spam and will immediately ban users who post to link to other sites that are not related to psychology (eg pornography, illegal media, or products for sale such as kitchens or medication) or to promote their services or products (even if these relate to psychology) or who post only to promote other content outside of this website (eg a blog or website, even if related to psychology). We may refuse membership to those who sign up from a location which is infrequently used to constructively post on the forum but frequently associated with spammers (eg Moldova, Indonesia, Philippines), those using an IP associated with spammers, or those from locations outside Europe requesting a username that has been used to spam on other forums - so please email if you are a legit user from any of these locations and are having trouble registering

15.) We have zero tolerance of violence, threats or harassment. Where a user implies a legal, financial, or regulatory threat to the site, owner, or moderating team, makes a threat to the real life wellbeing of any member of the site (or another professional or service user), releases private information about someone else without their permission (such as a workplace, home address or photograph) or continues to post content that is inappropriate or defamatory after a warning, this will lead to a permanent ban from the site and will probably be something we take up with appropriate legal or law enforcement channels. The team who run the site are volunteers, and it is unreasonable to expect them to tolerate the stress of any action that may impact negatively on them outside of the forum.

In summary: please try to be a positive member of our community. The guidance we have given is indicative rather than comprehensive, and the moderating team will respond according to need. Any attempts to undermine forum functioning or spoil the experience for others are unacceptable, whatever form they might take.

Note: The above forum guidance also applies to private messaging. Please respect this facility. Do not post the contents of private messages onto the forum without the consent of the sender. If you are concerned by a PM, please use the "quote" button to forward the entire message to a moderator or admin.

Likewise, the guidance applies equally to use of the LiveChat facility. By using LiveChat you accept that the contents of LiveChat conversations are logged and are part of the content of the site. Moderators have the right to compile and edit information from the LiveChat and post it on the forum. If in their view the facility is being abused, moderators have the right to suspend any members' use of the LiveChat facility, either temporarily or permanently.

Please note: We are a professional networking site for aspiring and practising clinical psychologists and we do not offer any clinical services. If you want to seek a professional opinion from a clinical psychologist, such as advice on your own issues or those of a friend or family member, then I would suggest that you contact a psychologist through the BPS directory or you can access advice and support from helplines such as Mind, Saneline or Rethink. We will remove posts asking for professional psychological advice here.


The moderators will try to be reasonable in their actions, and to communicate their decisions to forum users in a clear and timely manner. When moderators have to intervene (and we aim to keep this as minimal as possible) please follow their directions. We will sometimes remove a thread or post whilst it is being discussed, but we will return it unless we conclude the content is unsuitable, so please be patient. Do not re-post material that is removed or argue with moderating decisions on the public forum. Please send the moderator in question a private message, or PM a different moderator requesting a review and the issue will be discussed by the moderating team. If this does not resolve things please contact an Admin giving your name and telephone number and we will contact you to discuss it.

Repeatedly breaching guidance can lead to a warning, posts being deleted, features being removed (eg use of PM or LiveChat facilities) or a temporary or permanent suspension from the forum. After a suspension of more than 7 days or where there have been previous warnings, a user will be expected to make an undertaking to abide by the forum guidance before the account is reactivated.


Registration information will only be known to the forum Administrators and we agree to keep this confidential except where there are issues of risk, significant concerns about professional misconduct, or the police or courts request it. We may also use registration information to identify trolls and to respond to antisocial behaviour, but we would not disclose such information on the public forum. Please be aware that in event of an urgent or serious concern (eg a risk to self or others) we will endeavour to provide as much identifying information as possible to the appropriate authorities, including registration details and IP address.
Last edited by miriam on Tue Feb 09, 2016 8:07 pm, edited 7 times in total.

Wise men talk because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something - Plato
The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool - Shakespeare
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Re: Guidance for posting on

Post by miriam »

Just a little update with regard to keeping/sharing/archiving livechats:

If a livechat is to be saved or shared, this must be done by archiving the conversation to make it accessible to all members. This is done by copying the text, removing any conversation that is off-topic, and then pasting the content into a suitably titled and formated thread in the members section of the forum. Screen captures of livechats should not be taken, and livechat information should not be saved or stored outside of the forum.

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