Counselling is confidential. This means I will not share information about you with a third party unless you consent to that disclosure. So I will not tell anyone that you attend counselling, or what you say in our sessions, without your permission to do so.
Exceptions to confidentiality
There are circumstances when I might have no choice but to share information about you, even if you do not agree to this happening. These are:
if there is a serious concern for your – or someone else’s – safety, particularly if a child is at risk of serious harm;
if there is a legal obligation relating to your involvement in a serious crime;
or if there is a court order requesting information about you.
Where possible, though, I will always seek your consent before any disclosure.
I talk regularly to another experienced counsellor about my work. In the counselling and psychotherapy professions, this is called ‘supervision’ and is a form of confidential consultative support, not line management. If I discuss your sessions with my supervisor, then I will not use your name or otherwise identify you.
Your personal information/data
To begin working together, I will record your name and preferred contact details (for example, telephone number, email address). I use this information only for essential administrative tasks: contacting you and arranging appointments. I do not share it with others without your consent unless I am legally or ethically required to do so, as in the confidentiality statement above.
During our work, you might verbally share a range of sensitive personal information, but I do not routinely record it. I might sometimes make brief notes about our sessions but these are kept separately from your contact details and are anonymised, so they do not identify you.
Storing and deleting your information
I will delete your contact details when counselling ends and once all fees are paid.
Any other personal data, which I have recorded or is contained in documents given to me by you or third parties in the course of our work, will be stored securely in a locked filing cabinet and kept for a maximum of 6 years, then deleted.
In the event of my death or serious illness, a colleague will have access to a list of my current clients and their contact details, so that they can be informed.
Your consent and rights
When we start working together, I will ask if you consent to me using your personal data as described in this statement. It is your right to see the data I hold about you and to request that it be corrected (if you believe there are inaccuracies) or deleted. If you would like this to happen or have any other questions about privacy or confidentiality, then please contact me and I will attempt to resolve your query as soon as possible.
My website host (Squarespace) uses various processes to monitor when and how the site is visited, and I also do this via Google analytics. I do not have access to any of your personal data within these systems, which only show me anonymised numerical information about the site’s usage.
This statement was last updated 11/09/2018.