This is the boring but necessary bit about how I will use and protect your personal information....
Gaining your consent
When you use the services of Emma West Counselling you will be asked to consent to the processing of the information you provide.
What information is collected?
If you decide you would like to have counselling I will send you a ‘Personal Details Form’ which asks you for information including your name, address, contact information and [optional] details for an emergency contact [in case of emergency - where you or someone you know is at serious risk of harm].
I will keep this form in an email folder, personal to you, for 5 years after we have finished working together then it, together with all notes I have made during our sessions, will be deleted.
During the course of using the services of Emma West Counselling you may give other personal information which is recorded in your notes, for example:
Information on your family, lifestyle, social and/or financial circumstances
Details about your employment and education.
You might also provide what's called sensitive personal information, for example information about your:
Physical or mental health
Racial or ethnic origin
Religious or other beliefs
Offences and alleged offences.
NB I don't use your name in your notes and as much as possible I anonymise any potentially identifying details. Notes are kept in a Google doc.
Each time you visit my website, the following information may also be automatically collected:
Technical information - including the Internet Protocol (IP) address used to connect your computer to the internet; your browser type and version; the time zone setting; your operating system and platform.
Information about your visit - including your clicks to, through and from this site; the pages you view or search for; the length of your visit to certain pages; your page interaction information, such as scrolling and link clicks.
What do I use your information for?
I use your information to:
Administer the counselling service and organise appointments with you
Make sure I provide you with a professional, effective counselling service
Identify and protect those at risk of harm or abuse, including yourself
To meet statutory obligations eg from insurers and professional bodies.
Protecting your information
All information you provide is stored as securely as possible. I will do all I can to protect your personal data but the security of information sent via the internet or mobile networks is not guaranteed.
To maximise security I can use a password to protect the emails I send you if required, if you prefer you can do the same.
Both my laptop and mobile phone are password protected.
Your identifiable personal information is kept separate from session notes, and your ‘Personal Details’ Form and session notes are deleted 5 years after the end of counselling.
What information do I share?
Maintaining confidentiality is extremely important and I will NOT share any information about you except in the following circumstances:
When you have given consent: I will only share information with others if you have requested or agreed that you want me to share that information.
Where there is a risk of serious harm: I may contact your emergency contact if I think there is a serious risk of harm to either yourself or someone you know.
To comply with the law: Under certain circumstances I am required by law to share information eg for the prevention of a crime, or when compelled to by a court or law.
You have the right to ask for a copy of the information held about you, to have any inaccuracies corrected and to request that information is deleted. I can delete information except in circumstances where I am required to keep the information for legal, professional or auditing purposes.
Requests for your information to be accessed, shared, amended or deleted must be made in writing to: email@example.com
Who to contact
In accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) I, Emma West, am the data controller for Emma West Counselling so I am responsible for collecting and processing your personal information. Processing includes the retrieval, organisation, use, protection and deletion of information, and its disclosure to other agencies where relevant.
A full list of what information I control and process, and for what purposes, is set out in the Information Commissioner's Office [ICO] register of data controllers. My registration number is ZA250217, and the registration can be viewed on the Information Commissioner's Office website.