I am registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for data protection.
Following guidance from my governing body, the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), I aim to be fully compliant with current GPDR legislation and to let you know how I use and protect the data you give to me. I wish to be transparent with regard to the processes I have in place. Identifiable information, if shared, will only be used in accordance with this privacy statement.
I hope to offer you choice and control in the way your data is used. You are invited to consent to my keeping specific data. Consent is not a precondition of the services I offer. You can withdraw consent at any time, without detriment.
In sending an enquiry form from my website you are consenting to my use of the information you provide therein. Enquries submitted through the contact form are sent directly to me by email and then deleted from Webhealer's systems. They are retained only until they are confident they have been successfully delivered.
I do not keep process notes. When I decide to do so, I shred and dispose of this confidential material as soon as possible, often after supervision. I keep minimal content notes which I hold for seven years. After this time frame, they are disposed of securely. You have a right to see the information I hold about you should you wish to. You have a right to change any information which you consider to be incorrect. Though there are some details I need to keep due to legal and professional obligations, you can ask me to delete all/any of the information that I hold by emailing me at email@example.com
I occasionally use creative interventions, but any drawings or art done in session is yours. I will store this material safely and dispose of it in a timely manner. I will never use any of your data/artworks for writing, publishing, research or training purposes.
I promise to keep all sensitive data safely. This involves my anonymising, using passwords and encrypted documents. I keep all written notes in a locked document store and dispose of them after seven years. No one but myself, as data processor and controller in my practice, has access to the information gathered and held during our work together.
While we work together, I store your name, phone number and email address in an encrypted database, which is protected by a password. When we discontinue working, I retain your name, phone number and email address, together with the location, starting and ending dates of our work together in the same protected environment.
I do not store any of your personal details on my mobile phone. I only contact you in response to you or concerning appointments. I dispose of client emails, phone and text messages on a weekly basis. I do not engage with clients through any social media.
I have ongoing supervision to support and ensure my practice is safe. When I share client material or images this is always done confidentially, protecting your identity.
In the event of a sudden cessation of practice - eg through an accident or death,- I have appointed a professional executor to manage things on my behalf. This is arranged for your welfare as my client and every step is taken to ensure GDPR standards are met.
My Digital Policy
I do not maintain an active social media presence and nor do I engage with clients’ social media presence.
I am not currently using an e-mail encryption programme, so any emails we send to each other may be vulnerable to viruses or human error. For this reason, it is best to be thoughtful about what you include in emails to me, and which email address you choose to use with me. Often, it is best to rely on email for non-confidential communications like setting up appointment times and things like that. In an effort to keep psychological material confidential, it is best avoided in emails unless we discuss it beforehand. Please let me know your preferred email address at the commencement of our work together.
If you choose to communicate with me by email, be aware that all emails are retained in the logs of Internet Service Providers. Furthermore, they can be vulnerable to viruses and unintended forwarding or replication. If you are concerned about the confidentiality of your emails, you may wish to contact me by telephone instead.
I check emails only at fixed times during office hours – I avoid checking them on weekends and holidays. I try to respond to all emails within 24 hours upon opening them. If I am away for an extended period, you will receive an automated response.
Emails should never be used in the event of an emergency, in which case you should contact emergency services.
Feel free to contact me by text message to alert me if you are running late for a session or for similar reasons. However, because of the lack of context of text messages, it is generally not the best method for communicating with me about more important matters, so please do phone and leave me a message.
As a private practitioner I am unable to offer an emergency service, even by phone. Should you experience an emergency please contact either the emergency services or if you are feeling suicidal, ring The Samaritans: 116 123. If you feel that this may be an issue, please discuss it with me.
I make use of Zoom - a secure, reliable conferencing tool, available for Windows, Mac, iOS or Android, which can be used either on a computer or a mobile phone. Unlike Skype, Zoom has no contacts list and I simply send you a link each time. Each conversation is protected by a unique password that is unavailable to anyone but yourself. When the conversation ends the password and the link expire, so there is no means of tracing your use of the service.
If you would like to make use of remote therapy, we would first sound out your expectations of working in this way and then carefully run through all the practicalities involved.
When engaging via video conferencing, we both agree not to record sessions.
It is also crucial that the space from which you are conferencing with me is safe, secure, and private.