Data Protection Policy
In order to provide a counselling service, I need to collect some personal information; this is kept to the minimum I require to be able to work with you. Any information held by me will be securely stored. Physical paper based records will be stored in a locked filing cabinet. Electronic records will be stored on a password-protected device, plus all client related records will be held in encrypted folders. Good record keeping helps to increase the effectiveness of therapy for the client.
The issues discussed during Counselling will be confidential, and I am bound by the Ethical Guidelines (2018) laid down by the British Association of Counsellors and Practitioners (BACP) in this respect. However, there are some instances when I need to share what has been discussed with others:
The BACP requires that I have a supervisor to oversee the quality of my work. She is also able to make suggestions about different ways of approaching issues, for the benefit of you, the client; the work is thus discussed, but in an anonymised way. My supervisor is also bound by the rules of confidentiality.
If I feel that there is danger of harm to yourself, as a client, or there is a risk of harm to someone else, I will consult with you about contacting another agency, such as a GP. If I judge the risk to be substantial and imminent, I may contact another agency without first seeking your consent.
I will need to comply with Court Orders and I am also obliged to reveal to the police if a client indicates that they might be involved in terrorism or money laundering.
In the public interest, I will also need to take some action if during the course of therapy, child abuse is revealed, however, this will be done sensitively and in conjunction with you.
After Therapy has ended.
I will keep a record of your contact details, securely, for 1 year after the therapy has ended. The record will then be destroyed or deleted.
I will keep your records, securely, for 5 years after therapy has ended, the records will then be destroyed or deleted.
In line with the General Data Protection Regulations 2018), you have the following rights:
- the right to withdraw your consent for information to be held about you.
- the right to ask for a copy of information held about you.
- the right to ask for the information to be corrected if it is wrong.
- the right to ask for information held about you to be erased, however, there may be legal reasons why the information needs to be retained.
Within the context of GDPR (2018) Regs, the’ Data Controller’ at AilaCounselling is Aila Richardson.
During our first session, you will be asked to sign a copy of the above to say that you are happy with the way your personal data is collected and stored and that you understand your rights and how to make a complaint.