I offer a confidential counselling service. This means the things we discuss remain confidential between us. However there are exceptions according to the law and BACP good practice framework;
a) If I believe you or others you talk about are at risk of serious harm.
b) If I understand you to be involved in serious crime, e.g. acts of terrorism, money laundering or others.
I will aim to tell you if I need to bring someone else into our conversation, but there are occasions when the law prevents me from doing so.
I do have an index card recording system which your personal details are stored. This information is kept in a locked cabinet.
I do keep notes from our sessions for my own clinical purposes. These notes do not have your name attached to them, I use a client numbering system. Your personal details are stored in a separate locked cabinet.
The personal data I collect about you is for my business use only, I would only use the information to contact you regarding our appointments.
I keep personal data including therapy notes, in accordance with my insurance company’s advice, for 7 years following your 18th birthday or the end of our work together. All documentation is then disposed of using a registered confidential waste company.
I have professional supervision with whom I discuss my client work. During these sessions I refer to my clients by first names only, thus maintaining your anonymity. My supervisor is bound by the same code of ethics and practice and is subject to the same complaints procedure as myself.
In the event that I cannot work for any reason, my supervisor will gain access to my business records and contact you to let you know and offer advice about your on-going support needs.
You have the right to view and ask me to change, personal data I hold about you. You can do this in a session with me where you can ask me to delete information about you, which I will comply with, if they are within my legal obligations to do so.
If you wish to complain about the way I handle your data, please speak to me initially. If your complaint is not resolved you can contact the Information Commissioners Office with whom I am registered.
I will ask you to sign the statement below when I begin working you:
‘I am happy with the above points and give you consent to collect and store my personal data as outlined. I retain the right to withdraw or change this consent at any time in the future.’