The lawful basis for processing your data
I only use information about you in ways that are core or legally essential for me to fulfil my role as an effective, safe, ethical and responsive psychotherapist.
I never keep or use your information in non-essential ways. For example: as a matter of principle, I do not have any social media linked to my website and I do not send newsletters or marketing campaigns.
Under GDPR regulations 2018, I am what is known as the ‘data controller’ and also the ‘data processor’, and I have specific responsibilities and requirements, accompanying these roles to protect your privacy.
My business is registered with the Information Commissioners Office, the UK authority for upholding data protection, (www.ico.org.uk). I am bound by their policies with regards your privacy, as well as the BACP code of professional practice.
- Customize the website to make your experience more personal and engaging;
- Guarantee overall performance and administrative functions run smoothly.
Disclaimer: Your role in protecting your own privacy
- You acknowledge that the privacy of your communications and personal information can never be completely guaranteed when it is being transmitted over the internet.
- You acknowledge and agree that you share information via the internet at your own risk.
- You agree to take responsibility for your own role in safeguarding your data privacy in the email address you choose to use and whether or not you choose to password protect information you send to me.
My policy is to request that clients endeavour to take the following actions wherever possible:
- To email me from an email address that does not have your full name in it
- To only include your first name in any documents you send me
- To password protect documents that you may send me
How do I obtain information about you?
I obtain information from:
- what you choose to share with me when you first contact me via my website’s contact form, or when you phone or email me to make an enquiry.
- what you choose to share with me – information you send me by email and over the phone (text or voice message)
- sessions we have together in person face to face, by phone and online (Skype or zoom etc)
- your health insurance company or healthcare provider, if relevant, and with your consent
- If we agree to work together, I will of course want to get to know you, your needs, aims and life context so we can work really well together, with a good shared understanding.
Your privacy when you first get in touch
I’ll only keep your contact information if I have the capacity to respond and be of help to you.
My website’s contact form
If you get in touch via my useful contact form, you’ve got options to choose what information you wish to share with me.
Your information is not stored anywhere on my website platform – I’ve disabled that option, so your contact form goes directly through to me via email.
Your privacy in our teamwork together
Emailing each other
After we have decided on an initial appointment I will usually send you a confirmation email detailing the venue, fee and other relevant practicalities.
Skype services have updated their privacy measures to ensure they are fully compliant with GDPR regulations 2018.
What type of information do I collect about you?
I will collect the following personal information from you if we decide to work together, because, as a registered healthcare practitioner, I would be reasonably expected to have this in case of an emergency:
- Your name and contact details
- Who should be contacted in case of an emergency (e.g. next of kin)
- GP address
What do I use your information for?
I may at times need to ask you about some of the above sensitive information with the specific purposes of ensuring that:
- the service I provide to you is properly responsive to your specific circumstances and needs.
- I make safe and effective clinical and therapeutic decisions
- I respond to you in the most considerate way
- we communicate openly with one another to make wise and appropriate decisions together in a teamwork approach
With regards personal and sensitive information, I don’t need to have a written record of everything you share with me. I keep my note taking outside of sessions to a minimum, and encourage my clients to keep their own notes of useful ideas, insights and reflections. As they relate to you and your progress, it’s much more relevant and helpful that notes are written by you and stay in your possession.
There are of course some things that I must, legally, have a written record of, if it is in direct relation to your safety or the safety others, such as emergency contact information, or information related to suicide risk, child protection, domestic abuse, or other violent crime, or should I ever need to account for my clinical decisions and/or respond to complaints.
Your Individual Rights
You have a number of rights when it comes to your personal data. Please do visit so you can get fully informed about all of your data rights. I have listed three particularly important rights here
Your right of Access
You have a right to make a written request for the details of personal information that I hold about you.
You can simply email me and I will be happy to share the records that I have for you.
Your right to rectification
If you believe that any information I am holding on you is incorrect, incomplete or needs updating, please email me with details and I will promptly make the right changes. I will always show you any report or letter I write to a third party before I send it, and invite you to rectify it as you see fit.
Your right to portability
Any information that gets generated in our work together, such as reports or letters, you are most welcome to share with other people if that would be helpful to you. I will do my best to only keep information in a form that is easily portable for your convenience.
Your right to lodge a formal complaint
If you believe that your rights under the GDPR regulation have been infringed, or that the processing of personal data relating to you does not comply with lawful regulation, visit the Information Commissioners Office to find out how such matters can be dealt with on your behalf. Their helpline is 0303 123 1113.
Responding to family members and concerned others:
Occasionally I get enquiries from people’s family members or partners making initial enquiries that share sensitive information about their loved ones because they want to help. In these circumstances, if I have not had explicit written consent about information sharing from a potential client themselves, my policy is to not respond to such enquiries in order to ensure that I safeguard, rather than accidentally breach privacy rights, or compromise trust with a future client.
If this applies to you, and you are concerned about a loved one, I recommend that you are transparent in sharing your care and concern for them, and encourage them to contact me directly, or else their GP wherever possible. You are of course welcome to forward them a link to my website and to share my public contact details with them.