General Data Protection Regulations
Privacy statement for Clients
Why you are receiving this document
Because we keep some identifiable information about you, we are required to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Under the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) 25.05.2018 we must inform you explicitly about how we keep, use and dispose of the personal data you share with us and also obtain your consent to this. This consent can be withdrawn at any time.
The information I keep is as follows:
- Your contact details.
- A record of your appointments and fees paid in a diary.
- Hand written notes recording the information given in the first session that is relevant to the presenting issue. We also keep brief notes about each session to remind us of important themes, events, and psychologically significant insights.
- Reports for Third Parties: occasionally you or another party such as a Court or an organisation funding your therapy may request that we write a report regarding the progress of our therapy. We will keep a copy of this report in your file for future reference. Please note we will NEVER write or disclose reports or written information without receiving your written permission, unless required to do so by law. It is also our policy that you have a copy of any report we write for or about you. The report will be stored digitally on a password-protected laptop that is either with us or behind a locked door in a locked building protected by alarm.
The information listed above other than the digital information is filed in a locked building and locked cabinet.
- In order to work within the guidelines of our professional body, the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) we shall give your contact details to the executor of my ‘professional will’ so that you can be informed of any inability to continue working with you in the event of death or sudden serious illness. The executor is a trusted colleague who abides by the ethical guidelines of UKCP (United Kingdom Council of Psychotherapy).
- In order to ensure we are working together in the best possible way UKCP require that we engage in clinical supervision. We may take notes about the supervision in order to support this process. These are hand written and notated on your session notes and stored as stated above.
- If we are concerned that you are in danger of causing yourself or anyone else serious harm, or should you tell us about a child at risk, we are ethically bound by the UKCP to discuss the possibility of sharing this information with your General Practitioner or other relevant professional and may need to go ahead with such disclosure. However, every effort will be made to seek your consent under such circumstances.
- Under the Terrorism Act, we are legally required to report to the police if you threaten an act of terrorism.
- If we wish to use our work for research or training purposes, we shall consult with you and ask you to sign a separate consent form.
- If you are a psychotherapy or counselling student in therapy with us, we may be required to confirm your attendance with your training body.
At the end of our work we shall keep the session notes and a brief summary of the work in a locked cabinet. This is in case you return to therapy or there is a situation where you ask me to provide information concerning our work to a third party. We shall keep these documents for 6 years, as required by our Professional Insurers, after which time we shall shred them. Additionally, we will be implementing a Feedback Informed Treatment protocol. This will involve our giving you a sheet of paper that will allow you to rate, from 0-10, such things as how well you thought you were listened to during the session and did you feel respected and were we non-judgmental. These forms will be discussed with you the following week, the results recorded, and the sheets shredded. This process will help us to better serve you in the therapeutic space. You may opt out of participating if you wish to.
You may have first contacted us by email and given a brief description of the presenting issue. This information is not subsequently used electronically in any way. We may agree to use e-mail or texting to arrange appointments. We may exchange information in this way that is personal or sensitive. The security of data in email/mobile exchanges is in line with that given by the service provider e.g. Google, Counselling Directory. Our identity on the computer and on our mobiles are password protected and we are the sole user of each computer and phone.
You have the right to:
- Access a copy of the information we hold on you
- Request changes or deletion of that information (unless we are legally obliged to maintain or keep the information for some reason)
- Withdraw your consent to the holding of your personal information
- Complain about how we handle your data. In the first instance, please contact us. If your complaint is not resolved satisfactorily, you have the right to complain to the ICO and UKCP.
Unlawful breach of data
If sensitive personal data is stolen or lost we shall inform you, all relevant persons and authorities and the ICO.
Please consider the above carefully and if you have any concerns, please feel free to discuss them with your therapist.