Every organisation and service that holds any data about you, including counsellors and therapists, has to tell you how they will use your data, why and when they will use it, and what your rights are with respect to the data that they hold about you. This is where I give you that information. Some of the language is quite formal, sorry.
Changes to this privacy notice
Personal information that I obtain
I may obtain, use, store and transfer different kinds of personal information about you including:
Identity and contact information including your name, marital status, title, date of birth, gender, address, email address and telephone numbers.
Professional contact information including details of other medical professionals, such as GP(s), involved in your care.
Information used to provide counselling/therapy to you, including information provided to me or generated by me in the course of therapy and counselling.
Financial information including your bank account details, insurance details, invoice amounts and payments.
In the course of your therapy/counselling, I may also obtain ‘special category’ information about you including personal data that reveals your racial or ethnic origin, religious or philosophical beliefs, and other data concerning your health and/or your sex life or sexual orientation.
It is important that all of the personal information that I hold about you is up to date and accurate. Please let me know as soon as possible if there are any changes to your personal information during the course of our relationship.
How I obtain personal information
I may obtain personal information about you from:
A GP, psychiatrist or other medical practitioner with whom I may need to communicate for the purposes of your therapy/counselling.
Insurers, if you have been referred to me by your insurer and/or my fees are being paid through insurance arrangements.
Publicly available material.
How I use your personal information
I may use your personal information for any of the following:
For the purposes of your therapy/counselling.
To arrange payment of my fees by you or a third party, such as an insurer, and for the purposes of financial accounting with respect to my therapy/counselling practice.
To meet my professional, regulatory and legal obligations, including professional supervision.
For the purposes of regulatory or legal proceedings.
To safeguard you or others against harm where I believe you or others are at risk of such harm.
I will only use and hold your personal information (including special category information) where it is legal for me to do so, including:
To provide professional therapy/counselling services to you and manage a private therapy/counselling practice, where these do not override your interests and fundamental rights.
To comply with a legal obligation.
When I use and hold your special category information, it will be where it is necessary:
To provide healthcare and treatment and in light of my professional obligations of confidentiality.
To safeguard an individual from harm.
To provide a confidential counselling service.
To establish, exercise or defend legal claims.
I need your personal and special category information to enable me to carry out my work with you as part of my private practice and will assume your consent to hold and use this information for that reason.
How long I keep personal information
I usually hold personal information for 7 years after our clinical relationship finishes, unless it is necessary to retain your personal information for longer, for example because:
There are safeguarding concerns with respect to you or any other individual.
There is an ongoing possibility of regulatory or legal proceedings.
I am subject to an ongoing legal obligation.
Who I share personal information with
I will only share your personal information with the following and only where it is necessary for the purposes above:
My supervisor in order to meet my professional requirements for regular supervision.
A GP, psychiatrist or other medical practitioner with whom I may need to communicate with relation to your therapy/counselling.
Insurers or other third parties in order to arrange payment of my fees.
My accountant regarding financial accounting with respect to my therapy/counselling practice.
Relevant organisations where there are safeguarding concerns with respect to you or any other individual.
Relevant bodies or organisations where I am legally obliged to do so.
How I protect personal information
I am committed to ensuring that your information is secure. In order to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure I have put in place suitable physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information I collect.
I have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected personal data breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a breach where I am required to do so.
I will only share your personal information where it is necessary for the purposes above and where I am satisfied that the individual or organisation complies with its obligations to keep your personal information secure. In addition, my supervisor is subject to professional obligations of confidentiality.
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Your legal rights
You can find out about your legal rights in terms of the data I hold about you and what you can request from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) at www.ico.org.uk.
If you have any concerns I encourage you to speak to me first. However, you have the right to make a complaint at any time to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).