South West Surrey Counselling take your privacy very seriously. In line with the government General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) we have set out clearly below what information we hold, how we store it, who it might be shared with and limits to our confidentiality. We require your consent to be able to comply with GDPR standards. Our therapists are all registered with The Information Commissioners office.
Information that we hold and how we store it
You are required to provide your name, age, address, preferred contact details, GP details and permission to contact your GP should it become necessary. This sheet is signed by you and is then stored within a locked filing cabinet. These details are destroyed six years after therapy is completed.
You will be assigned a reference number which will anonymise your assessment form. These forms are kept within a separate locked cabinet to your contact details and will be destroyed six year after therapy is completed.
For our therapists to be able to provide your therapy, they will keep notes containing factual information, reflections and their thoughts on how and why therapy is progressing. These notes contain your reference number so are anonymous and are kept within a locked box and will be destroyed six years after the end of therapy. Your notes are confidential, your therapist is only legally required to disclose these to a judge or coroner (with a court order) or to you, you can do this by requesting to do so in writing.
Text messages and emails
Therapists have mobile phones specifically for their clients to be able to contact them on. For identification reasons your therapist may store your number on their dedicated handset with your first name. If you do not wish for them to do so please indicate this within your initial appointment. The handsets are password protected. Email correspondence is provided through dedicated email addresses and all reasonable precautions are taken to preserve confidentiality. However, as technology is constantly changing, emails are sent at your own risk and we suggest not including sensitive information.
Who might my information be shared with?
It is of paramount importance that you feel able to share anything that you’d like to within therapy. To adhere to the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy’s Ethical framework for good practice all therapists are required to attend supervision sessions where they may discuss some client issues with their supervisor in your best interests. You will be referred to as either your first name or by your reference number to preserve your confidentiality.
Limits to confidentiality
Your therapist may consider sharing information with a further professional body should they consider that there is a serious risk of harm to you or to others. Your therapist will endeavor to act in your best interests and unless there is a good reason not to do so will discuss any potential disclosures with you prior to the act. Extremely rare exceptions to this involve terrorism, drug trafficking and money laundering which will be reported directly to the police.