Your privacy is very important to me and you can be confident that your personal information will be kept safe and secure and will only be used for the purpose it was given to me. I adhere to current data protection legislation, including the General Data Protection Regulation (EU/2016/679) (the GDPR), the Data Protection Act 2018 and the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003.
This privacy notice tells you what I will do with your personal information from the initial point of contact through to after your therapy has ended, including:
• Why I am able to process your information and what purpose I am processing it for
• Whether you have to provide it to me
• How long I store it for
• Whether there are other recipients of your personal information
• Whether I intend to transfer it to another country,
• Whether I do automated decision-making or profiling, and
• Your data protection rights.
I am happy to chat through any questions you might have about my data protection policy and you can contact me.
‘Data controller’ is the term used to describe the person/organisation that collects and stores and has responsibility for people’s personal data. In this instance, the data controller is me.
My lawful basis for holding and using your personal information
The GDPR states that I must have a lawful basis for processing your personal data. There are different lawful bases depending on the stage at which I am processing your data. I have explained these below:
If you have had therapy with me and it has now ended, I will use legitimate interest as my lawful basis for holding and using your personal information.
If you are currently having therapy or if you are in contact with me to consider therapy, I will process your personal data where it is necessary for the performance of our contract.
The GDPR also makes sure that I look after any sensitive personal information that you may disclose to me appropriately. This type of information is called ‘special category personal information’. The lawful basis for me processing any special categories of personal information is that it is for the provision of health treatment (in this case counselling) and necessary for a contract with a health professional (in this case, a contract between me and you).
How I use your information
When you contact me with an enquiry about my counselling services, I will collect information to help me satisfy your enquiry. This will include your name, email address, phone number. Alternatively, your GP or other health professionals may send me your details when making a referral or a parent or trusted individual may give me your details when making an enquiry on your behalf.
If you access my website, the website is hosted on the Wix.com platform. Your data may be stored through Wix.com’s data storage, databases and the general Wix.com applications. They store your data on secure servers behind a firewall. You can read Wix.com’s privacy notice here.
At any initial session, I will ask about your background, your current personal, social, medical and financial circumstances. I will also ask about your family history as well as the issues, which are affecting you now. I require this information so that I can decide about my offer of counselling to you.
While you are accessing counselling
Rest assured that everything you discuss with me is confidential. That confidentiality will only be broken unless someone is at risk of harm. I will always try to speak to you about this first, unless there are safeguarding issues that prevent this.
I will keep a record of your personal details to help the counselling services run smoothly. These details are kept securely in encrypted devices and are not shared with any third party.
I will keep brief anonymised notes following each session, which will include personal details about you. These notes are solely for the purpose of your therapy and do not include your name. Personal contact information is filed separately from any notes.
After counselling has ended.
Once counselling has ended your records will be kept for five years from the end of our contact with each other and are then securely destroyed. If you want me to delete your information sooner than this, please tell me.
Third-party recipients of personal data
I sometimes share personal data with third parties, for example, where I have contracted with a supervisor to ensure my work with you is ethical and effective. 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.
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 it, 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 complaints about how I handle your personal data please do not hesitate to get in touch with me by writing or emailing 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 ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint.
Visitors to 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.
I use Wix.com as the web host for my website. You can read Wix.com’s privacy notice here.
Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer or mobile phone when you browse websites.
Cookies help me:
• Make my website work as you would expect
• Improve the speed/security of the site
• Continuously improve my website for you
• Make my marketing more efficient (ultimately helping me to offer the service I do at the price I do)
• Collect any personally identifiable information (without your expressed permission)
• Collect any sensitive information (without your expressed permission)
• Pass data to advertising networks
• Pass personally identifiable data to third parties
You can learn more about all the cookies I use below
Turning Cookies Off
You can usually switch cookies off by adjusting your browser settings to stop it from accepting cookies (Learn how here). Doing so however will likely limit the functionality of my website and a large proportion of the world's websites as cookies are a standard part of most modern websites.
Anonymous Visitor Statistics Cookies
When someone visits my website, I use a third-party service, Google Analytics, 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. This helps me to continuously improve my website.
You can read Google Analytics’ privacy notice here.