Maintaining your privacy is of the upmost importance to me. Please see the below terms of service and the regulations I follow to ensure your details are kept in the strictest of confidence. If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me.
The following information details the legal and ethical requirements that support the service you are to receive:
Any personal data held will be done so in confidence, this will include basic contact information. Sessions notes are not kept by me and any materials produced in the session will be given to you when you leave, or emailed to you and then destroyed. The structure of my session involves 1 individual appointment each. It is important for you to know that what is said in these individual sessions will be confidential and not shared with your partner.
I will collect personal data during the initial session which will be held in accordance with Data Protection legislation. Any sensitive information about a disability is used to tailor the service to your individual needs, if you give your consent. Records are kept for as long as is needed to provide the service to you, and for as long as is required for insurance purposes, after which they are destroyed.
By law you have a right to receive the copy of the data that I holds, to ask me to correct any errors, or to delete it once it is no longer needed. Please contact me in writing to request access to your information, providing evidence of your identity, and I will respond to your request within one month. If you don’t feel that I have dealt with your request appropriately, you can appeal to the Information Commissioner’s Office. Please note I can only release information if consent has been given by all of the individuals involved.
Records are kept securely and confidentially and are only seen by me. There are exceptional cases where I might share your information, if it is required by a third party for ethical or legal reasons. However, you will be informed of this prior to the disclosure unless I am legally bound to act otherwise.
Occasionally I am asked by my clients or by external agencies such as Social Services or the NHS to write reports on the progress made in counselling. I am not normally in a position to do this because of the duty of confidentiality to clients and because I am not trained in the specialist areas of diagnosis or social work assessment. However, in some circumstances, and on receipt of written consent from the clients who attended counselling, I will provide brief information about the dates and number of sessions attended. In addition I am sometimes asked by clients, their solicitors, the police and the courts for access to client records. These are not suitable as evidence in legal proceedings and I reserves the right to resist legal requests to produce the records in court. I do this in order to protect my duty of confidentiality to all clients and to preserve my reputation as the provider of confidential counselling.
As stated above all of the information shared within counselling will be kept in the strictest of confidence unless I am led to believe that you or someone else is at risk of serious harm or injury. In these instances I may be forced to share information with a third party to ensure the safety of my clients and those around them are maintained. Should this become apparent I will endeavour to discuss this with you prior to any disclosure.
As a practising counsellor I am ethically required to seek supervision from a trainer professional within the counselling industry. During these session I may discuss the work we do within therapy, however this will be anonymised and no personal information that can be used to identify you will be shared.
Violence and abuse is an issue for many people who come to counselling for help with their relationship. I know from experience that in this situation, working with couples or family members together may not be safe. If this is the case, I will help each person to get individual specialist support from another Counsellor or another agency.
Mobile phones - Please switch off your mobile phone during your counselling sessions as it can create an unhelpful distraction and interruption.
Unauthorised electronic recording - In order for you to work safely and effectively it is important that the privacy of the work is respected. Please do not attempt to record your counselling session using devices such as mobile phones or dictaphones. If it is found that recordings have been made covertly, counselling services for those responsible will be
discontinued immediately and I reserves the right to seek legal advice regarding possible further action.
Authorised electronic recording - Some counsellors regularly use audio or video recording in their work and in these circumstances you will be asked to give your written consent for this to happen. The consent will specify all the ways in which the recording will be used (for example training, supervision or research) and will specify how and when the recording will be destroyed.
Codes of ethics and practice
I am required to comply with the code of ethics and practice that is appropriate to the work I undertake. Relationship counselling is covered by the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy’s Ethical Framework for Good Practice.
Feedback and complaints
If you have any feedback about the service you receive or you are not satisfied with your experience, please tell me. I welcome feedback and will always take it seriously to improve the service I offer to my clients and will try to resolve any complaints.