As a mental health and somatic practitioner, I understand how important your privacy is. I take care to maintain your confidentiality in accordance with current data protection laws (GDPR) and ethical guidelines of NASW and FGNA standard policy. These guidelines have been set up to accord with industry standard practice and guidelines to protect your confidential material and ensure that your therapist always conducts themselves with professionalism and integrity.
In order to provide you with the best service possible, I will hold your personal contact details and records of your therapy sessions. Please find below important information about how this information will be held and used.
Your personal information
I use a secure, password protected folder on a private computer to collect and store your personal data. At the point of booking your initial consultation, you will be asked for your personal contact information, for example your name, address, email address and telephone number and you may also choose to share details of the issues you are looking for help with.
Your contact information is stored securely in this file and can only be accessed by therapist. This personal information will be held for the duration of your therapy after which it will be deleted from the database.
Please note that I will need to keep a record of your name and client reference number for seven years after the end of your therapy, so that I can respond effectively to any potential requests regarding your clinical notes and treatment.
I will never pass on your contact details to any third-party organizations for the purposes of sales, marketing or research and will never use your personal data for any purposes other than the administration of the counselling service I provide to you i.e. to arrange, cancel and rearrange appointments and collect payment for sessions.
Your payment details.
Your information is inputted directly into the card payment portal and no written record will be taken.
Your therapy sessions
Everything that you discuss with therapist is confidential. Confidentiality will only be broken if there is concern about your safety or the safety of someone else or I instructed to do so by a Court of Law. I will always endeavor to speak to you about this first.
During remote working please ensure that your online sessions conducted in a quiet, private and confidential setting. Zoom sessions offer end to end encryption to ensure maximum privacy. Please note however that we cannot be held responsible for any breaches that occur due to failures in this technology.
I will keep notes of each session. These will be stored within a password protected file within the secure computer. These notes are for therapist’s use only and help to keep a track of everything that is being discussed. In line with industry guidelines, these notes will be kept securely for up to seven years after your therapy comes to an end. After this time, they will be confidentially destroyed.
If your sessions are paid for or arranged via a third party, (e.g. your employer, a friend, or a family member), other than payment requests, invoices or receipts your counselling information will not be shared. Details about what is discussed in your sessions will remain confidential between you and your therapist. Any other information can only be shared if you provide your written consent.
If you send an email to therapist’s email address, only therapist will have access to it.
All phones, tablets and laptops used to respond to your emails are encrypted, fully protected with anti-virus software and password protected.
E-mail and text communication is limited for scheduling/rescheduling appointments or technical details.
I will only use your email address and telephone number to contact you about your appointments.
Any personal data retained by [me / your therapist] is kept in accordance with the HIPPA Privacy Guidelines.
Under these guidelines you have the following rights:
- The right to request access to your data
You can request to view the information that we hold about you (contact details, appointment logs etc.) at any time. Should you require a copy of your notes, you can make this request by sending request and consent to the e-mail provided during Initial assessment.
- The right of rectification
At any point during your time using our service or during the seven years thereafter, while I retain your records, you have the right to request amendments to your contact details or session notes.
- The right to be forgotten
You can request that we delete and confidentially destroy the information that we hold about you and your sessions at any time. This request can be made by sending request and consent to the e-mail provided during Initial assessment.
Instances where we would not be able to comply with your request are as follows:
- a) It is necessary to retain these records in order to continue providing an effective service
- b) I am compelled to retain these records by a Court of Law.
- c) I require these records in order to establish, exercise, or defend legal claims.
When you book your first session, you will be asked to provide a digital or paper signature and tick a checkbox to confirm that you consent to the storage and processing of your personal data for the purposes of providing therapeutic services.
You are entitled to withdraw this consent at any time and can do so by sending request to the e-mail provided during Initial assessment.