As a Counsellor, I need to collect and hold some personal information about you in order to be able to support you.
This information divides into three broad categories:
- Contact details (name, address, telephone number(s) and email address). Additionally, GP details you are registered with in case I need to contact them in an emergency.
- Further information – emergency contact details x 2 (in case you are unwell) and date-of-birth. Reasons why you are seeking counselling support.
- Brief information about our sessions together, to allow me to recall work we have done together, to optimise progress.
I will not disclose any of this information without your prior consent, except in an emergency. I might need to break confidentiality if I had a concern for your safety as an individual or the safety of another person.
The only information that I hold electronically is your contact details and the content of communication passed between us, on email or the phone. This information is held for the duration of the counselling sessions and will be deleted a month after counselling is no longer required.
All other information is held only on paper and kept in secure locked storage. This information, including all notes, is kept for seven years after your final session. This is then destroyed after this period.
Due to the nature of attending home visits and walk and talk therapy, I do hold a desk based work diary (stored in secure locked storage). This diary can be accessed only by a couple of safe designated people and only if I go missing whilst on duty. This information only provides details of the addresses I attend or the details of the walk area that I will be visiting. This will be destroyed at the end of each year.