GDPR, Privacy and Confidentiality
Confidentiality- Will my counselling sessions be confidential? Will my privacy be respected? What are the exceptions?
We abide by and adhere to the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy Ethical Framework - http://link.bac.co.uk/l/9d3e6d40ca5f43f189c8219902c1a1e7/7F628B0/144F24A/072018n As part of that framework, we practice clearly defined confidentiality with all of our clients. This means that you can speak to your counsellor knowing that your friends, your family, your work colleagues etc. will not be told what you have said in a counselling session – and neither will your counsellor's friends, family, work colleagues etc.
There are three exceptions to this: disclosures involving the Terrorism Act; disclosures of yourself as being a danger to others; disclosures which require your counsellor to act within their duty of care under the Children Act. Even in such cases, your counsellor will not break confidentiality without discussing the matter with you first. All BACP registered counsellors need to be in regular supervision and some of the material of the sessions would at times be discussed with a counselling supervisor, in an anonymous form, partly to ensure that you receive the best professional support possible in addressing your issues.
Any personal data provided by you At Your Side Therapy through any means (verbal, written, in electronic form, or by your use of our website) will be held and processed in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation for the purposes for which you have given consent, to provide the services you have requested.
Initial Assessment Appointments– At an initial appointment we ask about your current personal, social, medical and financial circumstances. We may also ask about your background and family history, as well as the issues which are affecting you now.
Other Forms – The information you give us on our forms (including all enquiry and application forms) may include your name, postal address, email address, phone number and other messages to us.
What do we use your information for?
We use information held about you in the following ways:
To provide clients with the professional counselling service requested from us.
To offer suitable counselling appointments.
To notify you about changes to your appointments and other changes to our services.
To seek feedback from you on your experience of counselling with us.
What information do we share?
We will not share any information about you with other organisations or people, except in the following situations:
Serious harm – may share your information with the relevant authorities if we have reason to believe that this may prevent serious harm being caused to you or another person.
Compliance with law – may share your information where we are required to by law or by the regulations and other rules to which we are subject.
How do we keep your information safe?
All information you provide to us is stored as securely as possible. All paper forms and correspondence are kept in locked filing cabinets.
Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is never completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your information using industry-standard protocols and encryption, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to us via email, including forms completed on our website which are transmitted by email; any transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your information, we will use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorised access.
Your identifiable personal information is kept separately from any session notes and other descriptive material. Client notes and other documentation are destroyed 3 years after the end of counselling.
You have the right to ask us to provide a copy of the information held by us in our records. You also have the right to require us to correct any inaccuracies in your information.
You may withdraw your consent for us to hold and process your data at any time.