How I Manage Your Data:
General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR 2018) classify me as a data controller and require me to tell you how I protect your data. In the process of undertaking counselling sessions, some of your personal data will be stored and processed. This document is provided to make as transparent as possible how I use it, where I keep it and what I do with it.
Information Collected & Stored:
In our initial interactions together, I capture information which could identify you, e.g. your name, phone number, email address. This is so I have methods of contacting you and I refer to these as my ‘client records’. This contact information is stored on my phone and laptop, which are password protected. I take the security of the data I hold about you very seriously and as such I take every effort to make sure it is kept secure.
I also keep a record of the date of each counselling session and if required, some notes regarding the theme of a session, identified only by your initials. I use this to keep a record of our work as it progresses. This information is stored electronically on my computer, and is password protected. Only I have access to this password.
Your phone number is stored by first name only on my phone which has a lock-screen and finger-print security.
If you contact me and then decide not to work with me, I will ensure all your personal data is deleted within a week. If you would like me to delete this information sooner, just let me know.
Once you are a client, in case of my ill health your contact information will be accessed by a nominated professional executor – a colleague who is a Registered Counsellor – who willinform you of my inability to continue our work together.
Data Retention / Deletion:
I delete ‘administrative’ type texts or emails that you send me once they have been acted upon, e.g. arranging sessions. If I receive a more in-depth email relating to session content, then I will store this electronically and password protect the document.
As advised by my therapist insurance any counselling records will be kept for 7 years before they are deleted securely.
Rest assured that everything you discuss with me is confidential. There are limited situations in which I may share your information, such as if I believe you or someone else is at risk of significant harm. In rare cases I may be obliged by law to share content of our sessions – this would be if you disclosed matters relating to terrorism or money laundering. I will always try to speak to you about this first, unless there are safeguarding issues that prevent this.
In line with my professional registration, I share client information in monthly Clinical Supervision where only the necessary anonymised information will be shared, using only your first name. Supervision, as well as adherence to professional guidelines, ensures that our practice continues to be ethical and competent.
I may share personal data with third parties, for example, where I have contracted with a supplier to carry out specific tasks (for example this website host, for the purposes of the operation of the website). In such cases I have carefully selected which partners I work with. I take great care to ensure that I have a contract with the third party that states what they are allowed to do with the data I share with them. I ensure that they do not use your information in any way other than the task for which they have been contracted.
Access to Information:
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 ico.org.uk/your-data-matters
If I do hold information about you, I will:
• give you a description of it and where it came from;
• tell you why I am holding its, tell you how long I will store
your data and how I made this decision;
• tell you who it could be disclosed to;
• let you have a copy of the information in an intelligible form.
You can also ask me at any time to correct any mistakes there may be in the personal information I hold about you. 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 complaint about how I handle your personal data please do not hesitate to get in touch with me by 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 the ICO website
If you want me to delete information, then please do so in writing and I will endeavour to do so unless I need to keep it for legal or internal business purposes.
Visitors to my website:
When someone visits my website, I use Webhealer's service to collect standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns. I do this to find out things such as the number of visitors to the various parts of the site. This information is only processed in a way that does not identify anyone. I do not make, and do not allow Webhealer to make, any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting my website.
I use legitimate interests as my lawful basis for holding and using your personal information in this way when you visit my website.
No user-specific data is collected by me or any third party. If you fill in a form on my website, that data will be temporarily stored on the web host before being sent to me.