Privacy and Confidentiality
I respect your right to privacy, and the laws relating to data protection, namely General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
I am registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the UK’s independent body upholding information rights in the public interest.
I am committed to the highest standards of practice and aim to adhere, in the best possible to way, to all my legal obligations and professional commitments. I am guided by my governing body, the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).
I aim to be clear and transparent about your privacy, confidentiality and how I will apply your legal protection of GDPR. I will make available to you, what, how and why I am holding all data.
At any point you can request I delete your personal data, partially or entirely, with the exception of certain information my Professional Insurance may require I hold for a specific period of time and providing that there is no adverse reason (such as a complaint or legal reason) preventing me from so doing.
This statement is a working document which I endeavour to update regularly and in accordance with legal amendments.
Additionally, I will discuss confidentiality and privacy with you when contracting in your initial appointment. At any point you may ask me for clarification at: [email protected]
My work with you is confidential. I aim to be fully compliant with current GPDR legislation.
Only I will hold your personal data. I will not share or sell your information.
YOUR CONTACT WITH ME:
My recommendation is that no sensitive personal information be shared other than during face-to-face or encrypted online counselling sessions. Contact between sessions may be by phone call, text or email and I advise the content is limited to arrangement of sessions and other similar practicalities.
Initial enquiries by email or phone message that do not proceed to counselling work are deleted after 1 month. I do not store names, contact information or the content of the messages.
CONTRACTING DATA STORAGE
At our first meeting, I will discuss my working contract, detailing with other pertinent items, how your personal information (data) will be securely stored (usually including name, address, contact telephone and email address).
I will keep your name, phone number and email on my phone, purely for arrangement of counselling sessions. My phone is password protected and only I have access to it.
I regularly delete message history unless specially required by my professional insurer to keep it.
I will also keep a hand-written copy of your contact details. This is kept in a locked storage in my home, to which only I have access. This is separate storage to how my hand-written Session Notes are stored – see Note-Keeping below.
EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES – BREAK OF CONFIDENTIALITY
In exceptional cases, specifically revelation of intention to cause serious harm to yourself or others; information about abuse of children; involvement with terrorism; involvement with money laundering; I may have a professional, ethical, or legal duty to break confidentiality and inform relevant services.
In case of risk of harming yourself, I may request the name and address of your General Practitioner, GP and ask your permission to contact them with the intention of gaining further support for you.
I will always endeavour to discuss any break of confidentiality with you first, in the hope that we can agree how to proceed.
WEBSITE EMAIL CONTACT FORM
The email contact form on my website is confidential, and password protected. Only I have access to this password.
The business Webhealer operates and maintains my website. However, the content of your email is not available to Webhealer staff and is not stored on its systems.
To keep professional boundaries clear, and to protect your best interests and privacy I do not to extend our client-counsellor relationship to social media.
In accordance with BACP best practice guidelines, I have regular Supervision. This is used to ensure my accountability to ethical practice, as well as to review and further your best interests in the counselling work. Client confidentiality is always strictly upheld, and no identifying information is shared.
I will keep ‘Session Notes’, recording time and place of meeting and perhaps brief details of our session. These are handwritten and stored in a locked cabinet in my home, to which only I have access. They do not include any identifying information: I use a code for your name, and do not cite any of your contact information or identifiable features such as work-place, names of family or friends. These notes are kept separately to my handwritten record of your name and contact details.
You can request to see the notes at any point with appropriate notice.
They will be shredded in accordance with Professional Insurance requirements.
I may use creative/art interventions. All work created in sessions is yours. Usually this will be given to you to take at the end of the session. If you do not wish to hold it, you can discuss its storage or disposal with me. I will handle all items with the same confidentiality and respect as other personal data.
In the event of a sudden cessation of practice, for example through my death or accident, I have appointed an appropriate executor to securely dispose of your confidential data on my behalf. Every step is taken to ensure current GDPR standards are met.