Working confidentially

When we first meet, we will have an opportunity to talk about confidentiality in as much detail as you need so please feel free to discuss any concerns with me that you might have about sharing information with me.

 

In order to work together, I will need to obtain some information from you.  Your privacy is very important and I take steps to protect it.  Please read on if you want to know how your data and information will be used..

How I obtain information about you on initial contact.

You may give me information about you by filling in forms on my website enquiry page, phone, email, text, or Facebook Messenger.  I may also receive information about you through a third party (directories or agencies) that you have used to contact me.  This includes the Counselling Directory, Anxiety UK, or an Employee Assistance Programme.

 

What information do I obtain?

Generally, information will include your name, telephone number and/or email address.  Where I receive information via a third party, the information received by me is determined by the third party.  I may also receive some personal information in relation to your enquiry. 

Where my work is based in a school or college, the information I receive about you is determined by the school or college.

Where your initial contact is made via a website or a directory, I may receive some technical information, for example an IP (internet protocol) address.

 

Information obtained about you on further contact. 

The majority of information I obtain about you will be obtained verbally through our conversations.  Other information may come from you via a text message, an email or a telephone call.

In our initial consultation, during the contracting stage of our conversation, I may ask you for and record further information.  For example, I may ask for further contact details, your GP details, or emergency contact details.

It is an ethical requirement for me to keep appropriate records about our work. 

  • The information I record is kept separate from any contact information that I hold about you

  • The record is coded for confidentiality 

  • I will not record your name in the records

  • I will keep a record of the dates which you attended a meeting with me

 

Where I store information about you.

1.  I may keep contact information in the following ways:

  • On the Contacts directory of my mobile phone

  • On the Contact directory of my Google account

  • On hard copy, in a locked location.

  • On my electronic Accounts Records (hosted through a third party App).

2. My records are usually kept on hard copy, written by hand.  In the event that I do record anything electronically, I protect the document.

 

How I use the information that I receive about you.

I will only use the information provided to me to carry out my work with you:

  • To make initial contact with you

  • To maintain contact with you during the course of our work together

  • To carry out our work together

  • To allow me to conduct my work in an ethical manner (e.g. in work with my Supervisor).  This is discussed in detail in our initial meeting as part of our contracting.

  • In the event of a safeguarding issue.  This is discussed in detail in our initial meeting as part of our contracting.

 

The only other time I may be required to share information that you provide me with:

  • To contact the emergency services in the event of an accident or incident.

  • In the event of my work being subpoenaed by the Courts.

  • In the event that I receive a Consent Form signed by you for the release of your notes.

  • Should anything happen to me, I have a Professional Will.  The Executor of my Professional Will has written permission to access your information in an event of exceptional circumstance (e.g. my death).  My Executor is also a qualified counsellor and abides by the same ethical standards as I do.  My Executor does not have access to your information unless in an event of exceptional circumstance.

 

What I will not do with your information.

I will not share any of your information with anyone for marketing purposes.

 

When and how do I destroy your information?

​Ethically, I am required to hold records of our meetings for a period of time.  However:

  • I may shred or remove any contact information from contacts records and invoice systems

  • I may remove your doctors information from the contract

  • I may delete any electronic communications between us

When our work has been completed for seven years, I will shred any remaining information that I have kept regarding our work whether it be hard copy or electronic. 

 

Should you have any questions in relation to the way I protect your information, please do not hesitate to ask me.

 

ICO Reference: A8267721

Protecting your privacy