This document is to make as transparent as possible how your information is used by me, where I keep it and what it’s used for.
General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR 2018) classify me as a ‘Data Controller’ which means I have a duty of care to tell you how I protect your data pertaining to our counselling sessions because some of that data will be stored and processed.
Information Collected & Stored:
As a counsellor in private practice I complete a client profile/assessment in the first sessions. This information is to ensure I am working safely with you and captures information that may identify you – your email, phone number, address and GP contact details.
Your identifiable client information is stored separately to your assessment form: Your assessment form contains such information as aims of counselling and information on lifestyle, any medication of feelings of depression, anxiety etc. This form is client coded so cannot be matched to your address and phone number.
The above information is in paper form and stored in a locked filing cabinet.
This record keeping provides the administrative basis for running an efficient practice.
Your signed Counselling Agreement is stored on paper in a secure locked filing cabinet separate to your contact information above. Your counselling agreement is stored under the same client code as the assessment form, as opposed to your name.
I keep a record of our sessions with dates and number of sessions using the same client code, as opposed to your name. These records are stored on my computer which is protected by a password and security key. These notes are kept as brief as possible and are used as an aide-memoire for key issues or therapeutic interventions discussed.
Your phone number is stored only for the duration of our work together. My phone is passcode and fingerprint protected.
• Our correspondence emails and texts or voice messages are deleted once acted upon e.g. rearranging sessions.
• If you choose to send more in-depth or sensitive information pertaining to our work, I will keep the emails in a password protected folder.
• As advised by my therapist insurance, counselling records are kept for 5 years before deleting or shredding.
• In the case of clients under 18, records are kept for 5 years after the child turns 18.
• As stated in my counselling agreement document there are limited situations where I may share your information - if I believe you or someone in your care or someone else is at risk of significant harm. I will inform you first that I need to share my concerns with a relevant professional e.g. GP.
• In rare cases I may be obliged by law to share any content of our sessions – if you disclosed matters relating to acts of terrorism, drug trafficking or money laundering. In this event is unlikely I would inform you before doing so.
• In line with my professional registration I attend monthly Clinical Supervision where only the necessary, anonymised information will be shared. Supervision is to ensure my practice continues to be ethical and competent.
• If a record of our sessions is subpoenad by a court of law I will have to release the information.
• Apart from the above instances, I will never share your information.
Access to Information
You can request access to personal information I hold on you. Except in limited circumstances when I am not permitted to do so for legal reasons. I will provide this information within 30 days. If you feel any information is inaccurate you are able to ask me to update it.
If you wish me to delete information, please contact me in writing and I will endeavour to do so unless I need to keep it for legal reasons.