I process your personal data solely in order to provide counselling therapy and services. The purpose of this policy is to let you know what personal information and data I will collect and hold, why I collect it and how long it is kept for.
My business is registered with the Information Commissioners Office, the UK authority for upholding data protection, (www.ico.org.uk). I am bound by their policies with regards to your privacy, as well as the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy BACP code of professional practice.
I am required to have regular supervision sessions with another professional therapist as part of my ongoing recognition with the BACP. I never disclose any personally identifying information about my clients within these sessions.
Your personal information will be used in accordance with the provision of counselling therapy and services. I will not share your personal details or information with any other person or organisation without your knowledge and permission, unless there is a legal requirement for me to do so or if there is a safeguarding issue or a perceived risk of harm.
Disclaimer: Your role in protecting your own privacy
I make every effort to ensure my clients' personal information is held securely and to safeguard against unauthorised access, whether I receive it via my website, email, text, over Zoom, telephone or in person.
1. You acknowledge that the privacy of your communications and personal information can never be completely guaranteed when it is being transmitted over the internet.
2. You acknowledge and agree that any information you share via the internet is at your own risk.
3. You agree to take responsibility for your own role in safeguarding your data privacy in the email address you choose to use and whether or not you choose to password protect information you send to me.
Your privacy when you first contact me
When asking for your information, this may be collected in a variety of ways and as such it is your decision and choice what you choose to share with me:
• when you first contact me via my website's contact form, email or by telephone to make an enquiry.
• any information you provide me with via email or by telephone including text or voice message
• during any sessions we have together in person face to face, on the telephone and online (via Zoom etc.)
Your privacy when you first contact me
I'll only keep your contact information if I have the capacity to respond and be of help to you. When you enquire about counselling therapy and services, I collect information in order to set up an initial assessment. This information includes your contact details, your availability and other relevant personal information. Once your relationship with Talk and Thought Counselling Services has concluded your data and information is stored securely and kept for 7 years in accordance with GDPR regulations and to comply with my insurance, it is then destroyed appropriately and securely.
About your initial free phone consultation
If you make initial contact with me over the telephone or choose a free telephone consultation, you can choose how much you would like to share with me at this stage. The purpose of your initial telephone consultation is about the practicalities: to find out if our schedules are mutually workable, for you to ask any questions about my approach, and for me to provide you with some information about the ways in which I could be of assistance.
Having a simple overview of your current issues and what you want from sessions, can be helpful to ascertain if I am best placed to work with you.
Information I collect from you
I will collect the following personal information from you if we decide to work together. As a registered healthcare practitioner, I would be reasonably expected to have this in case of an emergency;
• Your name and contact details
• Who should be contacted in case of an emergency (e.g. next of kin)
• GP address
How I securely store your information
These are the measures I take to protect your data before it can be deleted or destroyed:
• Paper information
I keep handwritten or printed information about you to an absolute minimum in order to protect your data. Your address, telephone number and email address will be kept for contact purposes for the duration of the therapy. I may keep brief, anonymised notes following each session, which include personal details about you. These notes are solely for the purpose of your therapy and do not include your name. Personal contact information is stored and filed separately from any notes. Any information stored electronically is password protected and any paper notes are stored securely. All notes and records are kept for a period of seven years, as stipulated by my insurance, after which they will be securely destroyed. All handwritten or printed information that has any personally identifying information on it about my clients is kept in a securely locked filing cabinet.
• Electronic information
My devices are all password protected, with strong passwords that are all different from each other which I change at suitable intervals.
I do not store any personally identifying information of my clients on a mobile phone, except for your number and names are coded.