Confidentiality & Privacy
Confidentiality and privacy are essential to the counselling process but it is important for you to know what I do with the information you share with me. Hopefully this gives you a clear understanding but please ask if you have any questions.
Counselling is confidential. This means I will not share information about you with a third party unless you consent to that disclosure. So I will not tell anyone that you are seeing me and I won't tell anyone what you say in our sessions, without your permission.
Exceptions to confidentiality - please make sure you read this.
Sometimes I might have no choice but to share information about you, even if you do not agree to this happening.
These are the situations where I would have to do that:
if there is a serious concern for your or someone else’s safety, particularly if a child is at risk of serious harm;
if there is a legal obligation relating to your involvement in, or knowledge of, a serious crime;
if there is a court order requesting information about you;
if it is essential to prevent a serious and imminent threat to either public health or national security.
Where possible, though, I will always seek your consent before any disclosure.
During video call sessions, I will be in a locked room using headphones. This means you can not be overheard or seen on my screen by anyone but me and I don't record the sessions. I use the Zoom platform which states it is GDPR compliant and whilst I make every effort to ensure the integrity of this platform I cannot guarantee that it is 100% secure.
I talk regularly to another experienced counsellor about my work, this is called ‘supervision’ and is a form of confidential peer support, my BACP and NCPS registration requires that I do this to make sure that I'm doing the best job possible for you. If I discuss your sessions with my supervisor, then I only use your first name.
I have very limited use of social media for my work but I will not search for you or ‘follow’ you on any platforms. I do not accept any requests to connect on my personal pages. I do not reply to any comments on my business pages but am happy to talk about anything I might have posted during our session time.
Your personal information/data
I am registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO number: ZB785330) and any information that I keep is subject to the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 18) and United Kingdom General Data Protection Regulation. See Information Commissioner’s Office: https://ico.org.uk
To begin working together, I will record your name and preferred contact details (for example, telephone number, email address). I use this information only for essential administrative tasks: contacting you and arranging appointments. I do not share it with others without your consent unless I am legally or ethically required to do so.
During our work, you might share sensitive personal information, but I do not routinely record it. I do make brief notes about our sessions for the purpose of supervision but these are kept separately from your contact details and are anonymised, so they do not identify you.
Storing and deleting your information
I will delete your contact details when counselling ends and once all fees are paid. Any other personal data, which I have recorded or is contained in documents given to me by you or third parties in the course of our work, will be stored securely in a locked filing cabinet or the secure data software programme WriteUP (a form of which is also used by the NHS ).It will be kept for a maximum of seven years as per my insurance policy. It will then be deleted.
In the event of my death or serious illness, my supervisor will have access to a list of my current clients , Supervisees and their contact details, so that they can be informed.
Your consent and rights
When we start working together, I will ask if you consent to me using your personal data as described in this statement. It is your right to see the data I hold about you and to request that it be corrected (if you believe there are inaccuracies) or deleted. If you would like this to happen or have any other questions about privacy or confidentiality, then please contact me and I will attempt to resolve your query as soon as possible.
My website host uses various processes to monitor when and how the site is visited, this only shows anonymised numerical information about the site’s usage.
This statement was last updated 01/04/2023.