MY Counselling is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Register of Data Controllers (ICO) and as such is required to be transparent about how and why personal data is gathered, recorded, stored, how and when it is deleted.
The personal information we record
During your initial consultation we will ask you to read and sign a counselling contract, we will also complete forms to collect personal information including:
Name, address, date of birth, telephone numbers, email address, general health, GP details and information relevant to your referral.
This information helps us to establish what your current situation is, how it is affecting you and will enable us to discuss what you would like to achieve from sessions.
How we store your personal information
All personal information on paper is stored in a locked filing cabinet and retained for 5 years, after which time it is shredded.
Counselling records of sessions may be stored electronically and backed up in the cloud with a UK based company and will be retained for 5 years after which time they will be permanently deleted.
Any emails you send will not be electronically retained and either deleted or printed and placed in your records within one month of sending.
All text messages are deleted within one month of sending.
Your telephone number may be stored in a mobile phone and deleted one month from your last session.
All sessions will be conducted in confidence with the date, time, session number and brief notes documented.
Confidentiality, in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 (GDPR), will be maintained and applied to all records with the exception of the following:
When you have given your permission to share information for example, statistical data
In cases where we have a duty to share information regarding (but not limited to) the following:
When compelled to give evidence by a court of law
If it is considered there is a real possibility of causing harm to yourself or others or in such instances when information is of such a gravity that confidentiality cannot be maintained for example:
Safeguarding adults (adult protection)
Safeguarding children (child protection)
Offences involving children under the age of 18
Cases of terrorism and drug trafficking
We will seek your permission to:
Contact you via your preferred method and will only leave a message with your consent.
Share information outside of the above exceptions.
Use anonymous details for continued professional development (case studies or training).
Publish any marketing material such as case studies or testimonials including those using a pseudonym.
Our online contact form
When you use the online contact form we may collect, use and store the following types of personal data:
Information relevant to your referral
Other information you choose to send to us
What we do with the information you provide via the contact form
We use this information to understand your needs and provide you with a better service and for the following reasons:
To contact you and assess your needs
Answer any questions you may have
Arrange and send confirmation of your initial consultation
Transmission of data and information via the website is not a secure or an encrypted transmission method for sending your personal data, unless otherwise indicated on the website. Your attention is therefore drawn to the fact that, any information and personal data carried over the internet is not secure. Information and personal data may be intercepted, lost, corrupted or accessed by other people.
Upon receipt of your personal data we are committed to ensuring that your information is secure. In order to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure, we have in place appropriate physical and electronic procedures to safeguard and secure the information collected online.
A cookie is a small file which asks permission to be placed on your computer’s hard drive. Once you agree, the file is added and the cookie helps analyse web traffic or lets you know when you visit a particular site. Cookies allow web applications to respond to you as an individual. The web application can tailor its operations to your needs, likes and dislikes by gathering and remembering information about your preferences.
We may use traffic log cookies to identify which pages are being used. This helps analyse data via Google Analytics about web page traffic and improve the website in order to tailor it to customer needs.
Overall, cookies help us provide you with a better website, by enabling us to monitor which pages you find useful and which you do not. A cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or any information about you, other than the data you choose to share with us.
You can choose to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. This may prevent you from taking full advantage of the website.
Each time you visit a website Google analytics automatically tracks information such as (but not limited to) your geographical location, IP address, browser type, browser version, operating system, referral source, page views, length of visit, the times and dates you visit the site, navigation paths, whether you are a new visitor or a returning visitor.
When you visit www.mycounselling.net the information collected by Google analytics may be used by us to customise the website according to your interests and help improve products and services.
Links to external websites
Controlling your personal information
You may choose to restrict the collection or use of your personal information in the following way:
If you have previously agreed to us using your anonymous personal information for continued professional development or marketing purposes, you may change your mind at any time by writing to Melanie Youngman at 8 Manor Way, Lee on the Solent, Hampshire, PO13 9JH or emailing email@example.com.
We will not sell, distribute or lease your personal information to third parties unless we have your permission or is required by law to do so.
You may request details of personal information which we hold about you under the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 (GDPR). If you would like a copy of any stored personal information, please write to Melanie Youngman, 8 Manor Way, Lee on the Solent, Hampshire, PO13 9JH.
We aim to keep all personal data up to date, if you believe that any information we are holding about you is incorrect or incomplete, please write to us as soon as possible, at the above address and we will promptly correct any information found to be incorrect.
Amendments and updates