In accordance with General Data Protection Regulations 2018 (GDPR) you have certain rights. These are:
- You are allowed to see your notes. This is facilitated by making a formal request.
- Records are kept for 5 years after termination of therapy and then destroyed.
- Having your records amended (change of name and address).
- In the case of clients under age 18, records are kept for 5 years after the child turns 18.
What information do I collect?
My policy is to keep minimum notes and records. The information I do store includes:
- Personal information, such as your name, date of birth, address, email address and telephone number;
- Background information relevant to the counselling process; this may include information about your health/mental health;
- Your signed contract with me;
- Confidential and anonymised case notes (describing the main focus of the session with any important factual information);
- Information for service evaluation and statistical purposes.
What do I use this information for?
Client information/emergency contact information is used only to contact you while you are in counselling. I will not contact you again after our counselling is finished, unless there are fees outstanding.
Do I share your personal information?
I do not share your information with any third parties, the only exception being if I think you may you are at risk of harm, and as explained in the client contract and at the first session. I do not keep a mailing list. I do not use or sell your information to third parties for marketing purposes.
How do I store your information?
Anonymised case notes are stored securely either on an encrypted, password-protected computer or in a locked filing cabinet. Contact details are stored as handwritten documents in a locked drawer. Diary appointments show only the time of your appointment and first name. These are kept in a desk diary and on outlook calendar on my Iphone/Macbook (password protected). I do not use any external diary management system.
Erasure of Data (Exclusions)
Under GDPR you can request that your data be erased. However, there are exceptions to this.
In the case of counselling records, insurance companies and ethical bodies ask for records to be available for the period of time outlined above.
By signing this agreement you are agreeing to having your records kept for 5 years after the termination of therapy.
If you choose not to continue with counselling after the initial intake session I will destroy/delete any records within 1 week.
if you have any concerns about my policy on confidentiality and note keeping, or concerns about how I have used your data you are, of course, welcome to discuss it fully with me. My contact details are firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are still unhappy you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioners Office. click here