Confidentially is very important in our work together. It is a key principle of the ethical framework I adhere to as part of my accredited membership of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP). However, I do collect and store personal information as a counsellor, acting as both Data Controller and Data Processor.
If you enquire about counselling and have an initial assessment, I will store contact information, correspondence, GP details and some brief notes of the initial assessment. If we decide not to go ahead with counselling, then I will destroy your contact information and GP details as soon as possible, and certainly within a fortnight. I will however, keep the brief session notes and correspondence for a period of seven years for legal and insurance reasons, after which they will be destroyed.
If you continue with counselling, then I will store that same information as well as a copy of the Statement of Understanding, and any correspondence and consent forms. Again, these will be held for a period of seven years after the last session date, after which they will be destroyed.
For others with whom I have an ongoing contractual relationship for other reasons, I will store information for a period of seven years after the last contact, after which it will be destroyed.
As part of my ethical obligation as a BACP registered and accredited member, I engage in regular supervision. Some information may be shared with my supervisor who also abides by the Ethical Framework’s key principle of confidentiality.
There may be some rare instances where I will consider sharing information further. These are:
With your explicit consent
If there is legitimate interest where I believe there may be a risk of serious harm to yourself or to another
If I am legally obliged to do so.