Counselling in Stevenage
Privacy & Cookies Policy
The General Data Protection Regulation
Clients seeking therapy will be issued with a paper copy of this policy at the initial assessment session which you will be asked to sign that you understand and agree with how information is collected, stored and used.
When you start therapy with me I will collect some personal information. This will be your name, address, contact details, GP and other professionals that you may already be working with, medications and other history.
How I store your information
I keep basic factual handwritten clinical notes of our sessions. These notes are kept separate to the above contact information and do not have your name on them.
Your contact number will be saved in my smartphone with your first name only for calls and text messages about appointments. My smartphone is secured with a fingerprint password.
Your email and correspondence between us, is stored on my computer which is password protected.
If you start therapy with me I will keep some documents relating to you. These are:
Terms of therapeutic engagement - You will be asked to sign this and be given a copy at our first session.
Privacy Statement - You will be asked to sign this and be given a copy at our first session.
Counselling information form
Client medical and confidentiality release form
Clinical session notes
How I may share your information
Supervision - I attend monthly clinical supervision to ensure I am working to my best ability for you and the work we have undertaken together. I will not identify you there but will talk about the work we are exploring.
Therapeutic will - Your name and contact details will be shared with my therapeutic executor in the unlikely event of my sudden death or inability to work so you can be contacted, informed, and supported in exploring other arrangements for your therapy.
Emergencies - If in our sessions I become concerned for your health or risk of harm to yourself or to someone else, I will with your knowledge and wherever possible your consent share this information on a need to know basis with someone in a position to help such as an emergency service, healthcare service, GP or mental health crisis Team.
Child Protection Issues - If through our sessions you disclose to me a child is currently at risk of abuse, (not historical abuse) I have an ethical requirement to report to the appropriate authorities. This will not be undertaken without your knowledge and where ever possible your consent. The aim will always be to work with you in terms of who, where, when, and how the disclosure is made.
Legal Order - If I am legally required to share my notes by a court of law.
Act of Terrorism - I am legally required to report any acts of terrorism disclosed to me.
Erasing your information
Electronic enquiries are erased after 3 months. All texts and contact numbers in my phone are also erased after 3 months of finishing therapy with me.
I hold your written information for 7 years after finishing therapy as is common practice in line with guidance from my professional bodies.
Right to access - You have the right to ask for a copy of your personal information. You also have the right to ask me to amend or change any incorrect information about you.
Right to be forgotten - You have the right to ask me to erase any personal information that I hold about you if it is no longer relevant to original purposes, or if you wish to withdraw consent. When considering these requests, these rights are respected unless I have a legal obligation to retain them.
Data Portability - As a client, you have the right to receive your personal information which you have previously provided, you also have the right to transfer that information to another party.
How you can complain
If you are not happy with any aspect of how I collect or use your data, or how I have responded to a request about it, you have the right to complain to the information commissioners office. The UK supervisory authority for data protection issues at www.ico.org.uk/concerns Tel 03031231113. If you do have my concerns I would welcome you contacting me in the first instance so I can endeavor to resolve your concern.
For the purposes of the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 The data controller is Jo Gibson (Synthesis Counselling Services) and the legal basis for collecting and processing data is Consent, Contract, Legal obligation, Vital interests, and Legitimate interests.
What is a cookie
A cookie is a piece of information that is placed on the internet user;s hard drive by a web page server and they generally improve the experience of the user on a website.
Cookies used on this website
A Vistaprint website such as this uses two cookies. They are performance and Third-party cookies.
These are used to count the number of unique visitors to the website so Vistaprint knows how many people visit the website they are hosting, this facility allows Vistaprint to provide additional services to their customers in order to improve their website. This information is reported back to me - Jo Gibson of Synthesis Counselling Services via the website's dashboard. This cookie does not collect information that identifies you, nor does it use or store any personally identifiable information and is not used for any other purpose.
By using this website you agree to have these types of cookies placed on your computer.
When using this website there are links to other organisations to offer further information, support, and guidance. When accessing these, you may be sent cookies by these organisations.
Please note - Jo Gibson of Synthesis Counselling Services has no access or control over cookies used by these companies or third-party websites and is not responsible for any content of these external organisations.
How to manage and remove cookies from your computer
If you use a PC - Click Help at the top of your browser window and select the about option
If you use a MAC - With the browser window open, click on the apple menu and select the about option.
If you have any questions about this policy please contact Jo Gibson on 07770850480
Synthesis Therapy Services