Confidentiality and Data Protection
Due to the nature of the work, I am required to hold some of your personal information, such as GP, email, home address, etc.. This will be collected and held in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and in line with the British Psychological Society and the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists code of ethics, the professional bodies to which I belong.
Any information will be coded and retained in separate locations (keeping your name and contact details apart from any notes I might take as a memory aid). Your contact details will be used to contact you, should I need to. Other personal data such as your name, address and/or date of birth may be used to verify your identify if there is a need to contact your GP, or a request for access to personal data from yourself or your representative, or legitimate legal instrument such as a court order. This personal information will be held for a period of three years after the cessation of our counselling relationship, except where there is a mutually agreed decision to retain it for longer or where I believe that it is in my best professional interests to do so. Your contact details alone will be shared only in exceptional circumstances with my supervisor or other named agent in the event that I am incapacitated so that they can contact you to explain the situation. The details of this arrangement are set out in my professional will.
Notes about counselling sessions and our work together
I will record notes of each therapy session under an identifying code. These notes will be a brief factual record of the session and not directly traceable to you. They are held in a locked filing cabinet within a locked room. These may be shared under the identifying code with my supervisor, counselling professional body or similar for purposes of maintaining professional standards and aiding my professional development. These notes will be held for a period of three years after the cessation of counselling except where I agree with you to retain them for longer, or where I believe that it is in my best professional interests to do so.
I may make information from these notes available to legitimate third parties under the following conditions.
1. On receipt of a request from you.
2. Where there is a specific legal requirement for me to do so.
3. Where there is an ethical duty for me to do so, for example to avoid serious harm to yourself or another person, including the safeguarding of children or vulnerable adults.
You have the right to ask to see any information held by me about you. To do this please either ask me, or submit a request by writing. You also have the right to ask for information that you believe to be incorrect to be rectified. I will endeavour to provide you with the information requested as soon as possible. If I become aware of a situation where your personal information may have accidentally or maliciously been obtained by a third party I will notify you as soon as I become aware. If you are concerned about the way that your information is being held please discuss this with me. If you are still unhappy you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioners Office.
Without your agreement to my holding your personal information it will not be possible to proceed with counselling.