You can be confident that your personal information will be kept safe and secure and only used for the purpose it was given to me. I ensure all handling of your data is done to the current data protection legislation (General Data Protection Regulation (EU/2016/679) (the GDPR), the Data Protection Act 2018 and the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003.)
This statement means to explain what I will do with your personal information from our initial point of contact through to when your therapy ends.
If you have any questions regarding items noted in this statement, I would be happy to answer them. You can contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org initially and we can arrange a telephone appointment should your questions need further discussion.
How I use your information
When you contact me to enquire about counselling I will collect information to help me satisfy your enquiry. This will include Name, Address, and preferred Contact Details, plus any other information you deem might be useful, along with availability should you wish to start counselling sessions. Referral from Health Professionals or your GP may also give me these details on your behalf.
If you decide not to start counselling I will ensure all your personal data is deleted within 1 month from last contact. If you wish for your information to be deleted sooner, just let me know.
Whilst accessing counselling
Everything you discuss with me is confidential. Confidentiality is only broken if there is cause for concern with regard to serious harm to others or the client, safeguarding issues regarding the safety of children or potential information that could lead to civil or criminal prosecution, if not disclosed. I will always try to speak to you about any break in confidentiality first, unless there are safeguarding issues which prevent this.
I will continue to keep a record of your personal details to help the counselling service I provide you runs smoothly. These details will be kept securely on a password protected laptop and not shared with a third party.
Written notes of each session will be stored in paper form and stored in a locked filing cabinet.
For security reasons I do not keep text messages for more than 24 hours. Any information within a text message pertaining to relevant work being done between counsellor and client, I will make a written note of, with the date and time received and file with the client notes. Emails will be deleted after 14 days, if they do not hold important information. Any relevant information will be made a written note of (date and time received/read) and filed with the client notes.
After counselling has ended
Once counselling has ended your records will be kept for 7 years and 1 day in line with BACP regulations and guidelines. At the end of this time they will be securely destroyed. If you want me to delete your information sooner than this, then please let me know.
Third party recipients of personal data
Should I share your data with a supplier to carry out specific tasks, I will take great care to ensure I have a contract with the third party that states what they are allowed to do with the data that I share with them. Ensuring they do not use your information in any way other than the task they have been contracted to do.
I try to be as open as I can be when giving people access to their personal information. You have a right to ask me to delete your personal information, limit how I use your personal information or stop me processing your personal information. You also have the right to ask for a copy of any information I hold about you and to object to the use of your personal data in some circumstances. You can read more about your rights at ico.org.uk/your-data-matters.
If I hold information about you I will:
Give you a description of it and where it came from;
Tell you why I am holding it, tell you how long I will store your data and how I made this decision;
Tell you who it could be disclosed to;
Let you have a copy of the information in an intelligible form.
You can also ask me to correct any mistakes there may be in your personal information I hold about you at any time.
To make a request for any information I may hold about you, please put it in writing addressing it to Louise Stacey, email@example.com.
If you have any complaint about how I handle your personal information, please put in writing via email to the email address above. I would appreciate any suggestions for further improvement to my data protection procedures.
If you wish to make a formal complaint about the way I have processed your personal data you can contact the ICO which is the statutory body that oversees data protection in the UK. For more information go to ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint.
I make every effort to ensure your data is kept secure. I do this by only using password protected devices, which no third party can gain access to and locked filing cabinets. Any contracts with suppliers are made for a specific task to ensure the security of data being used or collated.
Visitors to my website
When someone visits my website or any other digital platform directly affiliated with me and the services I provide, I use a third party service (Wix.com, Counselling Directory, Psychology Today, Facebook) to collect standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns, so I can track things such as the number of visitors to the sites. The information gathered is processed in a way that does not identify anyone. I do not make and do not allow the fore mentioned sites to make any attempt to identify those using the sites.