This policy explains how I use and protect your information that you give to me when you use my services. In this document I will let you know what information I collect about you before we begin counselling and what information needs to be collected from you during counselling. I will also explain how I will look after your information, how long it will be stored and who I may share it with. I will also set out what information you can request from me.
What is personal information?
Personal information is defined by the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA 1998) as any information that can be used to identify a living individual. This includes their name, address, telephone number or email address. There are other data protection legislation namely, General Data Protection Regulation (EU/2016/679) (the GDPR),and the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003. There are different laws depending on the stage on which I am processing your data.
What is a Data Controller?
Data Controller is a term used to describe the person that collects, stores and has responsibility for people’s personal data. In this instance I, Georgina Turner am the Data Controller and I am registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). My registration number is A8820678. My telephone number is 07495 695 365. My email address is email@example.com
What do you need to do with my information?
If you are currently having counselling sessions with me or if you are considering having counselling, I will process your data where it is necessary for the performance of our client agreement. The GDPR also ensures that I look after any personal information that you may disclose to me appropriately. This kind of information is called “special category personal information”. The lawful basis for me processing this type of information is for the provision of health treatment (counselling) and is necessary for a contract with a health professional, in this case, a client agreement between us.
In our initial appointment I will collect further information from you that may include what you would like to get from counselling, your GP contact details, any medication you may be taking, previous experiences of therapy, alcohol and drug use, your wider family details and structure, appetite and sleep patterns, and any other information I may feel might be relevant to you.
How will you use my information?
When you enquire about my counselling services I will collect information about your enquiry. This will include; name, email address, telephone number. If you decide not to proceed, I will ensure that all your personal information is deleted within 7 days. If you would like me to delete this information sooner, please let me know. I adhere to the guidelines laid out by the BACP. While you and I are having counselling sessions, everything you discuss with me is confidential. That confidentiality will only be broken if the exceptions outlined in our client agreement occurs. I will always try to speak to you about this first, unless there are safeguarding issues that prevent this.
I will keep your personal details to help keep the counselling services running smoothly. These details are kept securely on a password protected computer or phone and are not shared with any third party. I keep written notes of each session which are kept in a locked filing cabinet.
Once counselling has ended your records will be kept for 7 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.
All information is kept securely, either in locked filing cabinets or on password protected computers and websites.
Can I see what information you have about 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 www.ico.org.uk/your-data-matters.
To make a request for any personal information I may hold about you, please put the request in writing addressing it to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any complaints about how I handle your personal data please do not hesitate to get in touch with me by writing or emailing to the contact details given above. I would welcome any suggestions for improving my data protection procedures. 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 www.ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint.