In order to provide a professional counselling service some of your data will be gathered and stored. This is to ensure that I can complete the contracted terms with you, the client. Your privacy is very important to me. You can be confident your information will be kept safe and secure and it will only be used for the purpose it was given to me. I adhere to the current data protection legislations and I am registered with the Information Commissions Office.
Thie purpose of this policy is to inform you of what information will be taken, why, how it is stored and how long it is stored for. From your very first interaction to the end of your counselling. I am happy answer any questions you might have about my data protection policy and you can contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Legislation state that I must have a lawful basis for processing your personal data. There are different lawful bases depending on the stage at which I am processing your information. These are, if you have had therapy with me and it has now ended, I will use legitimate interest as my lawful basis for holding and using your personal information. If you are currently having therapy or if you are in contact with me to consider therapy, I will process your personal information where it is necessary for the performance of our contract. Legislation also ensures that I look after any sensitive personal information you may disclose to me appropriately. This type of information is called ‘special category personal information’. The lawful basis for me processing any special categories of personal information is that it is for provision of health treatment (in this case counselling) and necessary for a contract with a health professional (in this case, a contract between me and you).
Due to the nature of the service personal details will be given when an enquiry is made. I will collect the information that is necessary to successfully process your enquiry. This includes client name, email address and/or phone number and some information regarding why you are seeking counselling. There may be occasions when a third party such as a parent, health professional or a close friend or relative may provide your details to make an enquiry on your behalf. If decide you do not want to proceed with counselling, or there is no response from you regarding an enquiry I will ensure your details are deleted after 4 weeks. Please let me know if you would like me to delete your information before then.
Confidentiality is at the cornerstone of my work with all counselling sessions conducted with this in mind. This confidentiality will be maintained and applied to any records and notes that I may keep, with the following exceptions:
1. Where you give consent in writing for the confidence to be broken.
2. Where I am compelled by a Court of Law, under the Terms of the Children’s Act, and/or the Terrorism Act or Drug Trafficking/Money Laundering laws.
3. If I believe that there is a serious risk of harm to you and or another person or child, I would need to share my concerns. Normally I would discuss this with you first, unless there is a safeguarding issue that means that this is not possible. I may also discuss my concerns with my supervisor.
I will keep a record of your personal details to help me provide you with the best service please see the table below that outlines the details.
All records are kept securely for 5 years after our counselling sessions end, for insurance purposes, after which they will be deleted or shredded. If you would like me to dispose of your information sooner, please let me know.
In accordance with the BACP Ethical Framework I attend regular supervision. There are times where aspects of our sessions will be taken to supervision to monitor my practice; I may use your first name, but no identifiable information will be mentioned, my supervisor is also committed to our contracted confidentiality.
I try to be as transparent as I can be in terms of giving people access to their personal information. You have a right to ask me to delete your personal information, to limit how I use your personal information, or to stop processing your personal information. You also have a right to ask for a copy of any information that I hold about you and to object to the use of your personal data in some circumstances. If there is any information that I hold that needs updating you can ask me to do this at any time. You can read more about your rights at ico.org.uk/your-data-matters.
If you wish to have a copy of any of you information that I hold please put your request in writing and allow 2 weeks' notice. This request can be sent via email to email@example.com or given to me in person if we have a counselling session.
If you have any complaint about how I handle your personal data please do not hesitate to get in touch with me by writing or emailing to the contact details given above. I would welcome any suggestions for improving my data protection procedures. If you want to make a formal complaint about the way I have processed your personal information you can contact the ICO which is the statutory body that oversees data protection law in the UK. For more information go to ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint.
All devices that hold your information are password protected and only accessed by myself and are kept secure at all times. Filing cabinets storing your information are also locked, only accessed by myself and kept in a secure location.
When someone visits my website, I use a third-party service, Wix, to collect standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns. I do this to find out things such as the number of visitors to the various parts of the site. This information is only processed in a way that does not identify anyone. I do not make, and do not allow Wix to make, any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting my website. I use legitimate interests as my lawful basis for holding and using your personal information in this way when you visit my website. I use Wix so that I can continually improve my service to you.