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Privacy Policy

I understand how important your privacy is. I take care to maintain your confidentiality in accordance with current data protection laws (GDPR, 2018) and the ethical guidelines of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy. These guidelines have been set up to protect your confidential material and ensure that your therapist always conducts themselves with professionalism and integrity.

In order to provide you with the best service possible, I will hold your personal contact details and brief records of your therapy sessions. Please find below important information about how this information will be held and used.

Your personal information

I secure, encrypt and password-protected files on a password-protected laptop to store your personal data. At the point of booking your initial consultation with me, you will be asked for your personal contact information, for example, your name, address, email address and telephone number, GP details and you may also choose to share details of the issues you are looking for help with.

Your contact information is stored securely and can only be accessed by me and in the event of my sudden death, my supervisor. This is another qualified therapist who would only contact you to inform you of my demise.

In order to be able to fulfil my duty of care to you, in your initial consultation or first treatment session, I will ask you for contact information for your GP and elected Emergency Contact person. These details will be stored securely and will only be accessible to me.

This personal information will be held for the duration of your therapy after which it will be deleted from my records.

Please note that I will need to keep a record of your name and client reference number for seven years after the end of your therapy so that we can respond effectively to any potential requests regarding your clinical notes and treatment.

I will never pass on your contact details to any third-party organisations for the purposes of sales, marketing or research. I will never use your personal data for any purposes other than the administration of the counselling service I am providing to you i.e. to arrange, cancel and rearrange appointments and collect payment for sessions.

Bookings

When you make a booking, you will receive an email informing you of your session time and date including a payment link. Sessions are to be paid 24 hours before.

Anonymised payment details are recorded in my financial income reports. These reports will only hold your initials as a reference. The HMRC requires that we retain this information for 5 years after the end of the financial year.

Your payment details

All payments are made using a direct bank transfer. My website therefore does not hold your payment information. Where you have made payment for your session over the phone, I will never keep a record of your card details. Your information is inputted directly into the card payment portal and no written record will be taken.

Your therapy sessions

Everything that you discuss with me. Confidentiality will only be broken if there is concern about your safety or the safety of someone else or I am instructed to do so by a Court of Law. I will always endeavour to speak to you about this first.

During remote working, I will ensure that I am conducting online and telephone sessions in a quiet, private and confidential setting. I have selected video calling platforms that offer end-to-end encryption to ensure maximum privacy. Please note however that I cannot be held responsible for any breaches that occur due to failures in this technology.

I discuss clinical work with a supervisor. This ensures that I am offering you the best service possible. These conversations are bound by confidentiality and you will only be referred to by your first name.

I keep notes of each session. These are anonymised and are stored in a locked filing cabinet or within a password-protected file. These notes are for my use only and help to keep track of everything that is being discussed. In line with industry guidelines, these notes will be kept securely for up to seven years after your therapy comes to an end. After this time, they will be confidentially destroyed.

If your sessions are paid for or arranged via a third party, (e.g. your employer, a friend, or a family member), other than payment requests, invoices or receipts your counselling information will not be shared. Details about what is discussed in your sessions will remain confidential between us. Any other information can only be shared if you provide your written consent.

Your communications with us

All of our email accounts use the secure Microsoft server and are double password protected. If you send an email to your therapist’s email address, only they will have access to it.

All phones, tablets and laptops used to respond to your emails are encrypted, fully protected with anti-virus software and password protected.

Data Usage

I will only use your email address and telephone number to contact you about your appointments. I may also contact you directly via email in order to share information with you that is pertinent to your therapeutic process.

Your phone number may also be used to issue appointment reminders via text message or to contact you in the case of an unexpected cancellation from me.

Your rights

Any personal data retained by me is kept in accordance with the GDPR, 2018.

Under these guidelines, you have the following rights

The right to request access to your data

You can request to view the information that I hold about you (contact details, appointment logs etc.) at any time. If you would like to see your session notes during therapy, please let me know. Should you require a copy of your notes after your therapy has come to an end you can make this request by emailing therapywithjess@outlook.com.

The right of rectification

At any point during your time using my service or during the seven years thereafter, while we retain your records, you have the right to request amendments to your contact details or session notes. This right can be exercised either by speaking directly to me or by contacting me in writing.

The right to be forgotten

You can request that I delete and confidentially destroy the information that I hold about you and your sessions at any time. This request can be made by contacting me at therapywithjess@outlook.com.

Instances where I would not be able to comply with your request are as follows:

a) It is necessary for me to retain these records in order to continue providing an effective service

b) I am compelled to retain these records by a Court of Law

c) I require these records in order to establish, exercise or defend legal claims

Consent

When you book your first session with me you will be asked to provide a digital signature on our joint counselling agreement and tick a checkbox to confirm that you consent to the storage and processing of your personal data for the purposes of providing therapeutic services.

You are entitled to withdraw this consent at any time and can do so by emailing therapywithjess@outlook.com.

Breaches of data protection

In the event of any breach of my data protection policies, I will notify you and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) within 72 hours and will seek to rectify this immediately.

Raising concerns

Should you have any concerns about my data protection practices, you can raise these directly with me. You can also notify the Information Commissioner’s Office.