Westgate Counselling GDPR Policy
Westgate Counselling treats all client data with the upmost care and acts in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 (GDPR), which regulates how any personal client information is collected, stored and shared. As part of this requirement all counselling clients are requested to read the following GDPR policy and sign a printed copy to indicate their agreement at their first session.
Personal Information We Collect
Session summaries following each session (referred to as session notes)
How We Store Personal Information
Brief session notes. These are anonymous and a client code is therefore used to identify the client rather than their names. Any easily identifiable material (such as other people’s names, locations etc) is also not recorded. These are stored securely and separately from any documents that identify individual clients by name.
GDPR agreement (this document)
Client code (linking documents)
Client phone numbers are stored in a password protected phone. The clients’ names are not stored, with client codes used instead. This allows counsellors to contact clients at short notice in case of last minute changes or cancellations.
Email addresses and correspondence will be stored within our email account by nature of clients contacting us by this method. This email account is password protected.
How We May Process / Share Personal Information
All BACP registered counsellors are required to seek monthly consultation with another therapist qualified in this process and bound by the same obligations with regards to client confidentiality. This is to ensure good practice and allow counsellors’ ethical standards to be monitored for the safety and well-being of clients. In order to maintain client privacy, consultants will only be told a client’s first name.
A therapeutic executor has been informed how to access clients’ names and contact details in the event of the counsellor’s death, so that clients can be contacted.
If your life or health is in immediate danger I may share your contact information with emergency services. If we believe you have intent to cause harm to another person or organisation the law may require that an authority be informed without seeking the client’s consent (for example in relation to possible acts of terrorism). In this case the law may require personal information to be shared without consent being given.
As required by our insurance provider, we will keep session notes for up to seven years after the client has ended their counselling. After this time, these will be shredded.
Clients have the right to:
Be informed about how and why your information is held (this document)
Request to see any information held about you
Withdraw consent to any information being used / held, although this may mean it is no longer possible to access counselling
Request personal details to be erased, however in the case of session notes these may be retained for insurance purposes (as previously explained)