Your privacy is very important to me and you can be confident that your personal information will be kept safe and secure and will only be used for the purpose it was given to me. 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 also adhere to the ethical guidelines regarding protecting client privacy and confidentiality set by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)
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
I will never use your personal data for any purposes other than the administration of the counselling service that I am providing to you i.e. to arrange, cancel and rearrange appointments. I will only retain your personal information for as long as is necessary. This is in line with guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office.
When you contact me with an enquiry about my counselling services I will collect information to help me satisfy your enquiry. This will include your name, email address and phone number. If you decide not to proceed I will ensure all your personal data is deleted within one month. If you would like me to delete this information sooner, just let me know.
While you are accessing counselling.
Rest assured that everything you discuss with me is confidential. That confidentiality will only be broken if feel that you are a risk to yourself or to others, or I have concerns about risk to a child or a vulnerable adult. I am also bound by law to report any acts of terrorism, drug trafficking or money laundering. I will always try to speak to you about this first, unless there are safeguarding issues that prevent this.
I have regular supervision each month to ensure that I am working safely and ethically. I may share some of the work that I do with you with my supervisor to help maintain and enhance my practice, but your identity will remain anonymous.
I will keep a record of your personal details to help the counselling services run smoothly, this information will be asked from you before we start our first session and includes your name, address, date of birth and GP details. These details are kept securely in a locked filing cabinet that only I have access to and are not shared with any third party. I will keep brief written notes of each session which will be identifiable with an anonymised code, these are also kept in a locked filing cabinet separate from the personal details.
For security reasons I do not retain text messages for more than one month. If there is relevant information contained in a text message I will transfer it to your records. Likewise, any email correspondence will be deleted after one month if it is not important, emails containing personal information will be printed and entered into your records and the email deleted within one month. Once counselling has ended your records will be kept for five 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.
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.
You can also ask me at any time to correct any mistakes there may be in the personal information I hold about you. To make a request for any personal information I may hold about you, please put the request in writing addressing it to me, Sarah Parry at 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 to the contact details given above. 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 use password protected emails, computers/laptops (on which I have anti virus software) and mobile phones and keep other information in a locked filing cabinet that I only have access to.
Visitors to my website
When someone visits my website which is hosted by Go Daddy (godaddy.com), standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns are collected. This is done to find out things such as the number of visitors to the various parts of the site. This information is only processed in a way that does not identify anyone. I do not make, and do not allow Go Daddy to make, any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting my website. I use legitimate interests as my lawful basis for holding and using your personal information in this way when you visit my website. No user-specific data is collected by me or any third party. If you fill in a form on my website, that data will be temporarily stored on the web host before being sent to me.
Changes to this Privacy Notice
This privacy notice may be updated periodically so please check occasionally for any updates.