Privacy Policy

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

I am registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office and in line with GDPR, this will give you the information around the data I collect whilst we are working together, how that data is processed and who will have access to it.

If you choose to work with me, then the information I will need is as follows:

  • Your name
  • Your address
  • Your date of birth
  • Anyone you live with
  • Your occupation
  • A contact telephone number and whether it is permissible to leave you a voicemail or text
  • Your email address
  • The name and surgery of the GP you are registered with
  • Previous or current health issues
  • Current medication
  • Details of any other relevant health professionals who’s care you may be under

This information is kept on two forms, the first is our working agreement and that will have your name, address, date of birth, email address and telephone number.  The second, the intake form, will contain all the other information but your name will not be on that form, nor will any other identifying personal information.  The two forms are stored separately, in a locked filing cabinet.

I keep very brief notes from each session and these too will be stored away from the two forms, in the same locked filing cabinet.

I use a diary for appointments where only your first name will be written, in pencil.

My smartphone and computer are used for accessing my email and these are both password protected.

Exceptions to Confidentiality

The content of all sessions is confidential, including all records and notes and these will not be processed or shared except for the following
circumstances:

Where your consent is given for confidence to be broken

Where I am compelled to break confidentiality by a court of law

In line with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, I attend clinical supervision regularly to ensure that I am working ethically and in the best interests of all my clients.  Counselling supervisors are counsellors and psychotherapists who have done additional training in supervision and so they are bound by the same ethical code as I am.  It is inevitable that some aspects of client work are discussed in supervision and in this case, I use only first names and give no other identifying information away.

Where information disclosed during the session is of such concern that confidentiality cannot reasonably be expected to be maintained in the case of serious crime, or if I have reason to believe that there is a serious risk of substantial harm to yourself or others, I reserve the right to contact the appropriate authorities. I would keep you informed prior to disclosure unless I consider that the urgency of the situation requires immediate action to safeguard the physical safety of yourself or others

In the event of my death, I have appointed two clinical executors who would have access to your name and contact details to enable them to contact you and inform you.  My clinical executors are also counsellors and members of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and so they are bound by the same ethical and confidential code.  Their names are Joanne Welland and Rachel Ellis and they would also be responsible for securely destroying all my client records and notes.

Deleting your data

Notes and client records will be kept for a period of seven years after counselling has ended in line with my insurance requirements in case it may become necessary to share your data in the case of legal action following a complaint, or a legal duty by court order.  After this period your notes and records will then be securely destroyed.
I may also store your phone number (under your first name only) in my mobile phone which is password protected and your number will be deleted within one month after counselling has ended.

Your rights concerning your data

You have the right to access your personal data through a data subject access request, free of charge, within one month of your request.  You also have the right to transfer this data to another
party.

You have the right to ask for information about you to be erased as long as it is no longer relevant to the original purpose it was collected.

You can also request any inaccurate information about you to be amended.

If you wish to withdraw your consent to my use of your data at any point please let me know in writing by letter or email.  However, data may need to be retained for lawful purposes in line
with my insurance requirements in case it may become necessary to share your data in the case of legal action following a complaint, or a legal duty by court order.

If you have any concerns about how I have handled your data, you can complain to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) on 0303 123 1113