PSC Privacy Statement
When you enter into counselling, you will share a lot of sensitive, personal information with your therapist. It’s important to know how that information is kept and used. This form explains:
· Who collects and processes your information;
· What personal data is collected and why;
· How long your information will be held;
· When your data might be shared;
· Your rights in relation to your personal data.
Who collects and processes your information
Any information collected by Pole Star Counselling is controlled and processed by Sue Clark.
What information I collect
I have my clients fill in an information form when they begin therapy. The information collected is:
· Name, Address, Contact information
The above information enables me to contact you, make appointments and for billing purposes.
· Medical history
This lets me know: if you are on medication which may affect your mood; if you have any physical issues that need to be considered to help you more easily access my service.
· GP name/address
This information is important in the event that I feel that your physical health is at serious risk for any reason. In such cases, I would be ethically obliged to contact your GP.
· Previous counselling history
Knowledge of any previous experience of counselling and how it affected you can help guide the way we construct our counselling relationship.
· Aim of therapy
The client’s aims and goals will help guide the counselling process.
· Where client heard about my service
This information helps me to decide what forms of marketing are effective for my service.
How long will my information be held
I am required to retain your information for a period of 5 years after the end of therapy to comply with insurance requirements.
As your counsellor, I will do my utmost to ensure that your information is kept secure and that it is not shared without your consent. However, there are some situations where I am ethically/legally required to share information with outside authorities:
· If I believe that serious harm might come to you or another person;
· If I believe that a serious crime is being committed, including child abuse, drug trafficking, human trafficking, money laundering or terrorism.
· A court orders a copy of your notes
I will attempt to seek your consent if your information needs to be shared, but this will not be possible in all situations.
Protecting your identity
All of the information shared with me during sessions is confidential (see above for conditions in which confidentiality is required to be breached.) To assist in the counselling process, I keep brief notes of our sessions. I will never use your name in these notes; you will be identified by a code. These notes will be kept separate from any identifying information you supply (i.e. confidential client information form, any written correspondence) and kept in a locked file cabinet. Any information directly identifying you and your details will be kept in an encrypted file on a secure PC.
My client work is overseen by a qualified supervisor, who I meet with monthly to discuss my case load. There may be occasions when your case will be discussed during these sessions. Your name or identifying information will not be used on these occasions.
Your Information, Your Rights
Under EU GDPR provisions, you have certain rights in regard to the use and sharing of your personal information:
· The right to be informed: You have the right to be know what personal information is being collected and how it will be used. This includes why the information is being collected, how long it will be held and who it will be shared with.
· The right to access: You have the right to see the information that is being help on you.
· The right to correct information that is in error (under certain conditions)
· The right to be forgotten (under certain conditions)
· The right to restrict the processing of your information (under certain conditions)
· The right to take and use your information with another organisation/service (applies to information held electronically)
· The right to object: You have the right to object to your information being processed in certain circumstances.
You can find more detailed information about your rights in regard to your personal information at the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) website www.ico.org.uk.
If you feel that your personal information has been mishandled, you have the right to complain. You will find a link to do this on the ICO website (www.ico.org.uk)