Privacy Notice

In order to provide you with the best service possible I need to hold your personal contact details and records of your session/s. This privacy notice tells you what I will do with your personal information from initial point of contact through to after booked sessions have ended. Your privacy is very important to me and you can be confident that your personal information will be kept safe and secure and not used for marketing purposes.. 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. I also adhere to the ethical guidelines regarding protecting client privacy and confidentiality set by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).

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. If you have had sessions with me once ended all data and recordings are deleted from my systems.   If you are currently having sessions or if you are in contact with me to consider sessions, 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’.

How I use your information
I will never use your personal data for any purposes other than the administration of service that I am providing to you i.e. to arrange, cancel and rearrange appointments. I will only retain your personal information for as long as is necessary. This is in line with guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Initial contact: When you contact me to book your first appointment, I will collect some brief information to help me  process your enquiry. This will include your name so that I can book the appointment into my diary and also a contact method, for example an email address or phone number. This information is requested so that you could be informed if I was unable to attend an appointment due to unforeseen circumstances. If you do not want to be contacted under any circumstances, you do not need to provide a contact method

While you are accessing sessions: Your email address, phone number or WhattsApp link  will be used to provide you with written confirmation of your appointment times if you have given consent for this. Your email address and telephone number will be used to contact you regarding appointment times unless we have agreed that I will also use your email address to email you information that is relevant to your  sessions eg sending recordings and notes.

Sessions are normally recorded and the recording sent to you as a way of accessing the points made in the session.  You will be informed of this during initial contact when you can decide whether to use this option.

Rest assured that what is said in our sessions will be kept confidential.  Confidentiality will only be broken if there are legal or ethical obligations to disclose, for example, if you disclose abuse/neglect of a child or vulnerable adult, or say something else that implies serious harm to yourself or others, or if a court of law requires me to disclose information.

In the event that confidentiality must be broken I will always try to speak to you about this first, unless there are safeguarding issues that prevent this.
The therapeutic aspect of my role requires me to have regular supervision support so I may discuss my client work with my supervisor. This would be done without identifying you and my supervisor is a qualified and Registered senior Practitioner who also abides by codes of ethics regarding confidentiality.
I keep notes of our sessions for the purpose of assisting our work together. The notes help me to keep track of the issues that we are working on and they are for my use only. The notes do not include any personal details that could be used to identify you and they are stored securely by me.

After therapy has ended: Retaining your session notes ensures that I can continue to offer you an efficient service if you make contact after current work has ended. Your session notes do not include any personal details that could be used to identify you and continue to be stored securely.  Initials are used instead of names.

Third party recipients of personal data
I do not share any personal data with third parties.  I may invite you to write a Review to post on my website.

Data security
I take the security of the data that I hold about you very seriously. My email account is password protected and mobile phones and laptops used to respond to your emails are password protected and have anti-virus software.

Website visitors
By accessing the website, you are consenting to the information collection and use practices described in this privacy notice. Should you choose to contact me using the contact form on the website none of the data that you supply will be stored by the website or passed to any third party data processors. Instead the data will be collated into an email and sent to me over the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP). SMTP servers are protected by TLS (sometimes known as SSL) meaning that the email content is encrypted before being sent across the internet. The email content is then decrypted by local computers and devices.

The website does not use cookies.

Your rights
Under GDPR, 2018 guidelines you have the following rights: The right to request access to the personal information that I store and process about you. You can ask for corrections to be made to the information held or for your personal information to be deleted. You can also ask me to restrict the processing of your personal information or to object to the processing of it altogether in some circumstances.   Please be aware that in certain situations counsellors may be unable to comply with the above requests. For example, if compelled to retain the records by a court of law. Please also be aware that there may be a charge for complying with a request if it is deemed to be excessive in nature.

Queries
‘Data controller’ is the term used to describe the person or organisation that collects and stores and has responsibility for people’s personal data. In this instance, the data controller is Christina Thomas. If you have any questions about this privacy policy or the way in which I handle your personal information you can contact me via phone on 07904420317 or email at [email protected]

Changes to privacy notice
This privacy notice may be updated from time to time, so please check occasionally for any updates.