I am committed to maintaining the trust and confidence of anyone enquiring about or using my services. This includes visitors to my website as well as visitors to my therapy practice. You can be confidant that your personal information will only be used for the purpose it was given to me. I will not sell or trade client lists or personal details with any other businesses.
I adhere to current data protection legislation, including the General Data Protection Regulation (EU/2016/679) (the GDPR), the Data Protection Act 2018 and the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003.
I am happy to chat through any questions you might have about my data protection policy.
‘Data controller’ is the term used to describe the person/ organisation that collects and stores and has responsibility for people’s personal data. In this instance, the data controller is me. I am registered with the Information. Commissioner’s Office, registration number ZA379776. My postal address is: 10 Badgers Way, Marlow, Bucks, SL7 3QU. My phone number is: 07984 853590. My email address is: email@example.com
My lawful basis for holding and using your personal information
The GDPR states 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 data. I have explained these below:
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 data where it is necessary for the performance of our contract.
The GDPR also makes sure that I look after any sensitive personal information that 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).
How I use your information
Initial contact. When you contact me with an enquiry about my counselling service I will collect information to help me satisfy your enquiry. This will include your name and contact details and any information you choose to disclose about your reasons for using my service. Alternatively, your GP, other health professional or insurance company may send me your details when making a referral or a parent or trusted individual may give me your details when making an enquiry on your behalf. If you decide not to proceed, I will ensure all your personal data is deleted within three months. If you would like me to delete this information sooner, just let me know.
While you are accessing counselling
As discussed in our counselling agreement, everything you discuss with me is confidential. That confidentiality will only be broken if legally bound to do so or if I became concerned about your or anyone else’s safety. I will always try to speak to you about this first, unless there are safeguarding issues that prevent this. I will keep a record of your personal details to help the counselling services run smoothly. These details are kept securely in a locked filing cabinet and are not shared with any third party. I will keep short hand written notes of each session. For security reasons I do not retain text messages for more than three months. Any email correspondence will be deleted three months after therapy has ended.
After counselling has ended
Once counselling has ended your records will be kept for three years from the end of our contact with each other and are then securely destroyed. If you want me to delete your information sooner than this, please tell me.
Third Parties I work with
As part of being an ethically practicing counsellor I have monthly supervision, with a BACP accredited supervisor, where we discuss my practice. My supervisor is bound by the same code of ethics and data protection as I am.
I also have occasional maintenance to my PC and to my website. These activities are with local companies specialised in technology services.
I try to be as open 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. You can read more about your rights at ico.org.uk/your-data-matters.
To make a request for any personal information I may hold about you, please put the request in writing addressing it to firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
I take the security of the data I hold about you very seriously and as such I take every effort to make sure it is kept secure – I have a separate work laptop which is encrypted and a separate work phone, with no social media or email. My notes are limited and locked in a cabinet separate from your personal information.
Visitors to my website