General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Policy

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Bill came into force on the 25th May 2018. These jointly replace the Data Protection Act 1998.

As a therapist and therefore someone who will likely hold or be partly responsible for holding and processing personal data about individuals, I am required to adhere to data protection regulations. This page details information about my policy around any Personal Information collected, stored and processed and your rights regarding this.

Personal Information I Collect:

  • Name.
  • Gender (or preferred identity).
  • Age.
  • Date of Birth.
  • Relationships & Progeny.
  • Occupation.
  • Address.
  • Telephone/SMS number (plus permission to send SMS & leave voice message).
  • Email address.
  • Counselling History.
  • Medical conditions/drug & alcohol use relevant to counselling.
  • Prescribed medication.
  • Difficulties.
  • Session summary.

How I Store Your Personal Information:

  • Paper: Contact sheets, agreements and written notes (described below). This allows me to access contact information in case of emergencies, but keeps from revealing any detailed personal information to any electronic applications.
  • Computer/Smartphone: I will store session notes/recordings in Apps behind password access, that back up to my private iCloud Drive, which is also protected by password.
  • Email/SMS/WhatsApp: your email address and correspondence will be stored in my email account, currently Outlook (Hotmail)/Apple Mail, by nature of you contacting me. Your telephone number may be stored in my SMS or WhatsApp app should we exchange messages this way. Electronic correspondence will also be held by the corresponding app (Outlook (Hotmail)/Apple Mail, Phone’s SMS, WhatsApp).
  • Website: none of your personal information is stored on my website,

Documents Held:

Paper…

  • Contact Sheet
  • Contract/Agreement
  • Case Study/Research Consent
  • Assessment Record
  • Brief Session/Supervision Notes
  • GDPR Agreement
  • Client Code (linking documents)

Electronic…

  • Contact name & telephone
  • Session recordings/notes
  • Email/SMS/WhatsApp.

How Your Personal Information May Be Processed/Shared

Supervision/Consultation:

I have a professional arrangement with a supervisor/consultant/other therapist qualified in this process with whom I discuss issues around my Practice and occasional client material. In order to protect your privacy, my consultant will not know you personally nor professionally. I may refer to you by your initials and to your information verbally when it’s helpful to my professional processes, however my supervisor/consultant is also professionally bound by an agreement of confidentiality.

Therapeutic Will:

Your name and contact details will be shared with my Therapeutic Executor. This is so that you will be contacted on the event of my death, should you still be in therapy with me.

Emergencies:

If your health is in jeopardy (provided I have your consent) I may share your contact information with an emergency healthcare service (e.g. Mental Health Crisis Team).

If I have become aware of your intent to cause harm to another person/organisation (e.g. terrorism), the law may require that I inform an authority without seeking your permission. In such a situation, the law may require that I share your personal information without your knowledge (known as: whistle-blowing).

Erasing Your Information:

When we have finished working together, I will hold onto your written/electronic information for up to seven years past the end of our working together. This is so that I have a reference of our work in situations such as you returning to counselling in the future or for research/case study purposes, if you have consented to that. After this time has passed, I will shred the written information and erase electronic copies of your information and correspondence.

Your Rights:

You have the following rights…

  • To be informed what information I hold (i.e. this document).
  • To see the information I hold about you (free of charge for the initial request).
  • To rectify any inaccurate or incomplete personal information.
  • To withdraw consent to me using your personal information.
  • To request your personal information be erased (though I can decline whilst the information is needed for me to practice lawfully & competently).

NB: A printed copy of this statement will be given to you when we first meet for counselling. If we agree to continue working together, we will both sign the printed copy of this statement to indicate our agreement.