Privacy Policy

When you undertake counselling it is a confidential, trusting and safe space just for you. However, there are some legal and ethical limits to confidentiality which we can discuss when we meet. Below is outlined our privacy policy for Positive Horizons. It explains what data is collected, why we collect it and what we will and won’t do with it. When you request counselling with a Positive Horizons counsellor or provide us with any of your personal details, you are consenting to our processing your data as outlined here.

Any contact information you provide when contacting us regarding counselling (including the contact form on this site) is solely used for matters such as to make appointments, arrange payment, client registration or follow up information.

Before we work together it is important that you read and understand this information. Please ask about anything you are not sure about.

Privacy Statement and Data Protection

Your confidentiality and privacy are very important to us at Positive Horizons. Under the General Data Protection Regulations, we are required to inform you how we keep safe and store the data you provide. We are also bound by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy’s Ethical Framework. We will never sell your data to any other individual, company or organisation for any purpose.

Liz is the registered data controller for Positive Horizons with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

What data do we keep and why do we need it?

Client data you provide enables us to work safely and professionally while following the BACP Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions. Under GDPR you have the right to know what client data is held, why it is held and for how long. The counselling client data that we hold may include:

  • Your name, age and address
  • Your phone numbers and email addresses
  • An emergency contact’s name and phone number
  • Your GP name and contact details
  • Relevant medical information
  • Session notes
  • Payment information
  • Emails to you, and yours to us
  • Consent to contract agreement

You also have the right to view it, and to ask for changes to be made if it is incorrect. When sensitive data is to be destroyed, it will be shredded or deleted. If a data breach of your personal information has been discovered we are obligated to let you know.

Name and age: This helps us to build a therapeutic relationship. Your age is important to ensure you are placed with the right counsellor as some only work with adults. Also this enables us to comply with our insurance.

Address, email address, phone number: This information provides a way of contacting you to arrange your sessions and organise payment. With regards to online counselling clients we also need to know you are in the UK for our work to be covered by our insurance policy.

GP details: If we are concerned that you are at risk of harm then we may need to contact your doctor. Where possible we will discuss this with you first.

When undertaking email counselling all theraputic correspondence is done via the encrypted email service ProtonMail to ensure your confidentiality and privacy is maintained.

Will your data be shared?

Your data will only be shared:

  • If notes are called for by a court of law.
  • In the unfortunate event the counsellor can no longer work with you due to unforeseen circumstances, there is a procedure in place where a ‘Clinical Executor’ will have access to your details and will get in touch with you.

How your data is stored

Your details will be stored on a desktop computer and business mobile phone. Both of these devices are password protected. Only the counsellor has access to their own devices.

Details documented on paper (for example, your phone number in case of technology letting us down) will be kept in a locked cabinet and shredded when no longer needed.

Session notes are kept in a password protected document on the counsellor’s desktop computer and are anonymised or in written form in a locked cabinet.

How long your data is stored

Your session notes are kept for 3 years and then deleted.

Your phone number will be deleted from mobile phones 1 month after our work finishes.

All emails from you will be deleted as soon as they are no longer needed and within 1 month of us finishing working together.

Your rights

You have a right to request to see, have amended or have destroyed any data we may keep about you. We will respond to any such request made within 30 days.

If you are not happy with the way we use your data you can complain to the ICO at ico.org.uk or phone them on 0303 123 1113.

Consent

If you do not consent to us using your data in this way it is unlikely that we will be able to work or continue working with you.

Changes to this policy

This policy may be updated from time to time and revisions will be posted here. If any substantial changes are made we will notify current clients by email.