Helen Leaper Counselling is registered with the Information Commissioner's Register of Data Controllers (ICO). I am therefore required by law to be transparent about how and why I gather, record and store personal data, and how and when I delete such data.
The Personal Information I Record
During our initial consultation, I will ask you to read and sign a counselling contract. I will also record your name and a contact number for you. In addition, I will also record a brief note following each session.
Any personal details including records which I hold in relation to you, will be used solely for the purpose of running my business, including contacting you about appointments.
How I Store and Delete Your Personal Information
All personal information and session notes are stored in a locked filing cabinet and retained for 6 months after the end of therapy, or from when I last hear from you. I will get rid of your information by using a confidential shredder.
Your contact number may be stored electronically and securely in my phone under a confidential code, for the sole purpose of contacting you in the unlikely event an emergency arises. These details would be deleted within month from your last session.
Any emails, text and answer phone messages we exchange, will not be retained and will be deleted within one month of sending/receiving.
All sessions will be conducted in confidence, although on occasion I will need to discuss our work with my professional supervisor and with a trained and qualified peer Counsellor, although your identity would remain anonymous.
Confidentiality, in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 (GPDR), will be maintained and applied to all records except in exceptional cases, where I have a legal or ethical duty to share information,. This would only apply if it was considered there was a real possibility of harm to yourself or others, or in such instances when information is of such gravity that confidentiality cannot be maintained for example:
- Safeguarding adults (adult protection)
- Safeguarding children (child protection)
- Offences involving children under the age of 18
- In cases of terrorism, fraud or money laundering.
- Information relating to the identification of a driver involved in a traffic offence
I will seek your permission to:
Contact you via your preferred method and will only leave a message with your consent.
Use anonymous details for continued professional development.
- You have the right to see the information I hold about you (please ask me and you can view it in a session)
- You can ask me to change any information that I hold about you that is incorrect.
- You have the right to ask me to delete information that I hold about you, which I will do save for that which I have a legal obligation to keep - for example, for my business tax purposes.
If you wish to complain about how I handle your data, in the first instance please contact me, Helen Leaper, who is the Data Controller at Helen Leaper Counselling. If your complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction you can contact the Information Commissioners Office https://ico.org.uk/concerns/handling/ or 0303 123 1113.