You will receive a paper copy of this policy once you attend for an exploratory session which I ask you to sign you have read, understood and agree with the policy. If you would like to read a copy prior to help you decide if you would like to come to me for counselling then contact me via my email or phone on this website and I will send you an electronic copy.
As a Registered Member of the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) your confidentiality and therefore your privacy is my prime concern from your first contact, during and following the end of our time working together, within the boundaries of the BACP Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions (2018).
This privacy notice sets out transparently how I hold your personal data, how long for and who else has access to this data. It also sets out who else may see this information and in what circumstances. In addition it clarifies the rights you have to see that data and to ask for it to be deleted/destroyed.
The type of data I hold are:
This information is used to facilitate communication between us (contact details, diary, calendar/planner), as an aid to recalling points/issues within your process (session notes) and part of what you may choose to share during therapy (personal information). Please note that even if you mention names of others in sessions I do not record them in the notes nor do I use your name.
As a counsellor I already hold your personal details/contact form, which you completed in our first session, and all session notes from our time working together, securely, in separate locked filing cabinets and will continue to do so. I do not hold any of this data online, on computer, tablet or smart phone. These documents are currently stored for 5 years then destroyed by cross-cut shredding. Unless you wish an alternative time frame that is agreed between us. If you wish your data destroyed before the 5 year point we will discuss and agree this between us.
Any diaries, planners or calendars hold only the time of your appointment and a first name, no other identifying information is used. This is to enable adequate time-management and to plan for your sessions and inform you of any times I am not available. These are shredded at the end of each calendar year.
Your email address and contact phone number while we are working together are kept on the password protected technology: laptop, tablet and smart phone, all of which have different passwords and only I have access to these devices. I also maintain a calendar on my smart phone/tablet (password protected). I do not use any external diary management software/organisations for this.
For the one exception to accessing my laptop see below.
Once our work together is finished I delete your email and phone number from all my devices. I will not contact you again after the end of our sessions unless there are outstanding fees to pay. If you wish to return at a later date then you can contact me.
As a counsellor and supervisor working to the BACP Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions (2018) I have a trusted counselling colleague as part of a 'therapeutic will' who has been supplied with the laptop password who will contact you should I be taken ill or die while we are working together. They are also bound by the BACP Ethical Framework and GDPR and will hold your confidentiality and privacy with the same safety. This is to ensure the safety of vulnerable clients who can be made aware of what has happened, have access to therapeutic support at the difficult time of an abrupt ending and can be referred onto an appropriate therapist if needed.
Confidentiality may, on rare occasions, need to be breached if I feel ethically bound to seek assistance on your behalf or on behalf of others. This would be either if you were at risk of harm or causing harm to others, or others you refer to are at risk of harm or you. Whenever possible I would strive to discuss this with you, obtain verbal or, preferably, written consent, unless circumstances prevent this. I will, where appropriate, endeavour to inform you what has been communicated and to whom. Any information I supply in these cases will be as little as possible on a need to know basis to maintain safety of all parties.
Legal exceptions requiring disclosure of information are those relating to drug trafficking, drug money laundering, acts of terror and fundamentalism.
The BACP require all counsellors to undertake supervision of their work. When I take my clients to my supervisor no identifiable personal information is shared. My supervisor is bound by the same care for confidentiality required by the BACP as I am and also GDPR.
This following point is already stated in my confidentiality policy but please note that I will not knowingly friend, like, follow, link with or any other means of social media connecting with any clients from first contact, during our work and any time following the end of our sessions.
If I find I am connected on social media to any client I intend to see, am currently working with or following the end of our sessions, I will delete any social media contact. In addition I will delete any private messages from/to you on any instant message sites that I use. I will not accept any requests from clients, past or present, to connect on social media. I will reject these requests.
Statistical data on my website use is collected by Webhealer who power and host my website. No personal data is available to me. They use Google Analytics for this task.
To find out more about how they use this data please click here
This page also provides links to social media sites and how to check on your cookies.
It also provide links to social media sites where you can access their privacy/cookie policies.
I do not maintain a mailing list or send out newsletters or offers, either email or by post. I do not pass any of your data onto third parties for marketing or to maintain a mailing list.
If you have any questions or wish to contact me about this privacy notice or to request to see what data I hold about you please use the contact details on my website.
If you have any questions about this policy and/or your privacy in general relating to counselling with me, do get in touch.