Please take a minute to read through this statement of legal and ethical requirements of practice regarding data protection and transparency of information storage and usage. I will ask you to sign a copy of this, along with the Client Contract during our initial session. Thank you.
| SECURE STORAGE |
Your personal information is stored securely and confidentially, either electronically, using codes with password protection or in paper format which is stored in a locked cabinet, coded for protection. The data collected is used to enable effective communication during the therapeutic process, it is used in a safe and ethical manner and is in line with EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) May 2018.
| CONFIDENTIALITY |
Counselling is a private and confidential form of help. Information about each of my clients and the counselling they receive in confidence. This means that I will not give your name or any information about you to anyone. However, there are exceptional cases where I might ethically or legally have to give information to relevant authorities, for example, if there was reason to believe that someone, especially a child, is at serious risk of harm or to prevent a miscarriage of justice. I will discuss any proposed disclosure with you unless I believe that to do so could increase the level of risk to you or to someone else.
If you come with a partner, I may suggest seeing each of you individually. It is important for you to know that what is said in those individual sessions will be confidential and not shared with your partner or family.
Some of the information collected is classified as sensitive personal data and can only use such data where I have your explicit consent. This data may include racial or ethnic origin, religious beliefs, physical or mental health, sexual life, criminal proceedings and offences.
Your contact details are held securely for up to 1 year after the therapeutic process has ended and session notes will be held securely and confidentially for 7 years after the therapeutic process has ended, at which point they will be deleted or destroyed accordingly.
| DOMESTIC VIOLENCE |
Violence and abuse is an issue for many people who come for help with their relationship. I know from experience that in this situation, working with couples or family members together may not be safe. If this is so, I will help each person to get individual specialist support from another agency.
| RIGHT TO ACCESS |
You have the right to ask for a copy of your personal information, also the right to ask me to amend or change any incorrect information about you.
| RIGHT TO ERASURE |
You have the right to ask me to erase any information that I hold about you. This includes your personal information that is no longer relevant to original purposes, or if you wish to withdraw consent. In all cases and when considering such requests, these rights are obligatory unless it is information that I have a legal obligation to retain.
| DATA PORTABILITY |
As the client, you have the right to receive your personal information which you previously provided, and also have the right to transfer that information to another party. For the purposes of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) May 2018, the data “controller” is Honora Totman – North Cotswolds Therapy.
| PRIVACY |
Please switch off your mobile phone during your counselling sessions as it can create an unhelpful distraction and interruption.
Unauthorised Electronic Recording
In order for you to work safely and effectively with me, it is important that the privacy of the work is respected. Please do not attempt to record your counselling session using any device or app. If it is found that recordings have been made covertly, counselling services for the individual responsible will be discontinued immediately and I will have the right to seek legal advice regarding possible further action.
Authorised Electronic Recording
Occasionally I may make a request to tape or electronically record a counselling session. Some counsellors regularly use audio or video recording in their work and in these circumstances, you will be asked to give your written consent for this to happen. The consent will specify all the ways in which the recording will be used (for example supervision) and will specify how and when the recording will be destroyed.
| REPORTS AND CLIENT RECORDS |
Occasionally I may be asked by my clients or by external agencies such as Social Services or the NHS to write reports on the progress made in counselling. I would not be in a position to do this because of my duty of confidentiality to clients and because I am not trained in the specialist areas of diagnosis or social work assessment. However, I can in some circumstances, and on receipt of written consent from the client(s) who attended counselling, provide brief information about the dates and number of sessions attended.
In addition, I may also be asked by clients, their solicitors, the police and the courts for access to the client records. These are not suitable as evidence in legal proceedings and I reserve the right to resist legal requests to produce the records in court. This is in order to protect the duty of confidentiality to all clients and to preserve as the provider of confidential counselling.
| CODE OF ETHICS AND PRACTICE |
I am required to comply with the code of ethics and practice that is appropriate to the work I undertake:
- Relationship and individual counselling is covered by the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy’s Ethical Framework for Good Practice.
- I undertake ongoing professional clinical supervision for the work I undertake. This assists me to offer you maximum help and support.
| CANCELLATION POLICY |
If you intend to cancel, at least 48 hours' notice should be given to avoid cancellation charges.
| INFORMATION |
Information you give to me directly
I will collect and store information that you give me when you do the following things on my website:
- Make an enquiry
- Enter into a contract with me
Information you give to me indirectly
Certain types of personal information are recognised by data protection law as being more ‘sensitive’. So things like sexual orientation, racial or ethnic origin, religious or political opinion, data concerning your health (mental or physical) or your sex life fall into this category.
| SHARING INFORMATION WITH OTHERS |
I will only use your personal information for the purposes for which it was obtained in the first place. I will not share it with any third parties and you won’t receive any communications from other organisations.
However, there are two very explicit ways in which your data might be shared:
- Where I am legally bound to disclose your personal information, for example, to further criminal investigation or to keep you safe if we believe you (or someone else) is at risk of serious harm or abuse.
| HOW TO MAKE A COMPLAINT |
Honora Totman is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office as the Data Controller under number ZA366851 if you wish to make a complaint please quote my registration number. Please visit the ICO website.
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