Privacy and Data Protection Policy

Introduction

Your privacy is very important to me and you can be confident that your personal information will be kept safe and secure and will only be used for the purpose it was given to me. I adhere to current data protection legislation, including the General Data Protection Regulation (EU/2016/679) (the GDPR), the Data Protection Act 2018 and the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003.

This privacy policy tells you what I will do with your personal information from initial point of contact through to after your therapy has ended, including:

  • Why I process your information and what purpose I am processing it for
  • Whether you have to provide it to me
  • How long I store it for
  • Whether there are other recipients of your personal information
  • Whether I do automated decision-making or profiling, and
  • Your data protection rights.

I am happy to chat through any questions you might have about my data protection policy and you can contact me via mycontact formon my website or find my contact detail in my email to you.

‘Data controller’ is the term used to describe the person/organisation that collects and stores and has responsibility for people’s personal data. In this instance, the data controller is me.

I am registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office.

My lawful basis for holding and using your personal information

The GDPR states that I must have a lawful basis for processing your personal data. There are different lawful bases depending on the stage at which I am processing your data. I have explained these below:

  • If you have had therapy with me and it has now ended, I will use legitimate interest as my lawful basis for holding and using your personal information.
  • If you are currently having therapy or if you are in contact with me to consider therapy, I will process your personal data where it is necessary for the performance of our contract.
  • The GDPR also makes sure that I look after any sensitive personal information that you may disclose to me appropriately. This type of information is called ‘special category personal information’. The lawful basis for me processing any special categories of personal information is that it is for provision of health treatment (in this case counselling) and necessary for a contract with a health professional (in this case, a contract between me and you).

How I use your information

Initial contact

When you contact me with an enquiry about my counselling services I will collect information to help me satisfy your enquiry. This will include your name, email address, and a brief reason for why you are seeking counselling. Alternatively, your GP or other health professional may send me your details when making a referral or a parent or trusted individual may give me your details when making an enquiry on your behalf.

If you decide not to proceed I will ensure all your personal data is deleted within 30 days. If you would like me to delete this information sooner, just let me know.

While you are accessing counselling

Rest assured that everything you discuss with me is confidential. That confidentiality will only be broken in the circumstances detailed in our Counselling Agreement under Confidentiality.

Before commencing sessions I will collect information including your name, the address where you are likely to access our online sessions, your emergency contact details, GP details and information about any medication you are taking. I collect and hold this information while we are working together for use in case of emergency.

I will keep a record of your personal details to help my counselling services run smoothly. These details are kept electronically in a secure, password-protected system, and are not shared with any third party.

I will keep electronic notes of each session, in a secure, password-protected document.

For security reasons I do not retain text messages for more than 30 days. If there is relevant information contained in a text message I will transfer it to your secure, password protected electronic notes. Likewise, any email correspondence will be deleted after 30 days if it is not important. If necessary I will retain email or text correspondence for up to 7 years in line with my business insurance policy details.

After counselling has ended

Once counselling has ended your records will be kept for up to 7 years from the end of our contact with each other in line with my business insurance policy and are then deleted. If you want me to delete your information sooner than this, please tell me.

Third party recipients of personal data

I sometimes share personal data with third parties, for example, where I have contracted with a supplier to carry out specific tasks such as automated administration processes. In such cases I have carefully selected which partners I work with. I take great care to ensure that I have a contract with the third party that states what they are allowed to do with the data I share with them. I ensure that they do not use your information in any way other than the task for which they have been contracted.

Your rights

I try to be as open as I can be in terms of giving people access to their personal information. You have a right to ask me to delete your personal information, to limit how I use your personal information, or to stop processing your personal information. You also have a right to ask for a copy of any information that I hold about you and to object to the use of your personal data in some circumstances. You can read more about your rights at ico.org.uk/your-data-matters.

If I do hold information about you I will:

  • give you a description of it and where it came from;
  • tell you why I am holding it, tell you how long I will store your data and how I made this decision;
  • tell you who it could be disclosed to;
  • let you have a copy of the information in an intelligible form.

You can also ask me at any time to correct any mistakes there may be in the personal information I hold about you.

To make a request for any personal information I may hold about you, please put the request in writing via the contact form on my website themenopausetherapist.com.

If you have any complaint about how I handle your personal data please do not hesitate to get in touch with me by writing or emailing to the contact details given above. I would welcome any suggestions for improving my data protection procedures. If you want to make a formal complaint about the way I have processed your personal information you can contact the ICO which is the statutory body that oversees data protection law in the UK. For more information go toico.org.uk/make-a-complaint.

Data security

I take the security of the data I hold about you very seriously and as such I take every effort to make sure it is kept secure. I use encrypted devices including 2-factor authentication and password-protected systems. In the unusual circumstance that I hold hard copy paperwork that includes your data it will be kept in a locked filing cabinet.

Additional information for website owners and employers

Visitors to my website

I use legitimate interests as my lawful basis for holding and using your personal information in this way when you visit my website.

If you fill in a form on my website, that data will be temporarily stored on the web host before being sent to me.