I take your privacy seriously and will only retain and use your personal information to ensure that I follow established best practice in counselling, and work in compliance with the UK's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). As required by law, I am registered as a Data Protection Officer with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). Under the provisions of the Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions, drawn up by the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP), I am also committed to ensuring your privacy, the confidentiality of all records relating to you
and to ensuring that I act in your best interests at all times.
On signing a counselling contract with you, I need to retain your personal information so that I can contact you; and so that I can keep brief records of counselling sessions as required by both the BACP and my professional insurance. In signing a counselling contract with me, you consent to me contacting you (or your parent/carer where applicable) by telephone, email or by post as necessary. Please note that transmission of data over the internet is not completely secure, and is transmitted at your own risk. Likewise, telephone conversations and counselling sessions conducted over the internet always carry a security risk. I will never pass on your details to a third party without your explicit consent, other than when required to do so by law, or as a result of serious and immediate safeguarding concerns. You can request a copy of the information I keep on you at any time.
I keep hard copies of your contact details, counselling contract and brief notes from each session, in a locked steel cabinet. Notes are anonymised, with a reference number only. These details are not stored on a computer or online, although your email address will be in my electronic list of contacts. I will keep notes for a minimum of five years (five years from the age of 18, in the case of minors), to comply with professional requirements and insurance provisions. In addition, I keep an anonymous record of the dates and times of counselling sessions on a computer, along with details of invoices and payments, to comply with professional requirements. Third parties may have access to this for banking, tax and accounting purposes.
Please also see the separate page here about cookies.
If you have a complaint about my data processing, I hope that I can resolve any query or concern you raise about my use of your information,
so please do contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The General Data Protection Regulation (effective since 25th May 2018) also gives you the right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority. The supervisory authority in the UK is the Information Commissioner, who may be contacted at: ico.org.uk/concerns/ or telephone: 0303 123 1113.