Any personal data provided by you to Ian Stevenson Counselling Services through any means (verbal, written, in electronic form, or by your use of our website) will be held and processed in accordance with the data protection principles set out in the Data Protection Act 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulation for the purposes for which you have given consent, to provide the services you have requested from us, and to meet our legitimate interests.
Ian Stevenson Counselling Services (the ‘data controller’, referred to below as “ISCS”, “us” or “we”) is committed to protecting your privacy. When you request counselling with ISCS or otherwise provide your personal details to us, you will be asked to consent to our processing of your data under the terms of this policy.
What personal information do we collect?
- Counselling Requests – Registering with us to request access to our counselling service can be done online, by email, by telephone or in person. Our request process involves providing us with your name, address, telephone numbers and email address. We may also request information on your availability, therapeutic issues, and other details which we deem relevant to processing your request.
- Initial Assessment Appointments – At an initial appointment we may ask about your current personal, social, medical and financial circumstances. We may also ask about your background and family history, as well as the issues which are affecting you now. We require this information so that we can decide how best to offer of counselling to you. We have a standard Client Agreement that we ask our clients to sign.
- Notes, completed forms and follow-up emails - To provide you with the best possible service, we need to take notes during a session of the topics we have covered and we may ask you to complete and return completed forms. We may send summary notes of a session, and information about agreed activities between sessions - such as logs or diaries to complete.
What do we use your personal information for?
We use information held about you in the following ways:
- To provide clients with the professional counselling service requested from us.
- To notify you about changes to your appointments and other changes to our services.
- To seek feedback from your sessions and follow-up information - with your consent
- To improve our service to ensure that it is provided in the most effective manner for you and for us.
- To administer our service, including the arrangement of appointments.
- To keep in touch with those who consent to this.
- To fulfil any administrative and legal obligations.
What information do we share?
We will not share any information about you with other organisations or people, except in the following situations:
- Serious harm – ISCS may share your information with the relevant authorities if we have reason to believe that this may prevent serious harm being caused to you or another person.
- Compliance with law – ISCS may share your information where we are required to by law or by the regulations and other rules to which we are subject
How do we keep your information safe?
All information you provide to us is stored as securely as possible. All paper forms and correspondence are transcribed to electronic form and shredded . All electronic records are stored securely on a cloud server using the latest firewalls and data security protocols, and all access is protected by two-factor authentication.
Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is never completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your information using industry-standard protocols and encryption, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to us via email, including completed forms; any transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your information, we will use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorised access.
Your identifiable personal information is kept separately from any session notes and other descriptive material. Client notes and other documentation are destroyed 1 year after the end of counselling and personal contact details are destroyed/deleted after 3 years of no contact or updates.
You have the right to ask us to provide a copy of the information held by us in our records. You also have the right to require us to correct any inaccuracies in your information. If you would like to do this, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
You may withdraw your consent for us to hold and process your data at any time. However, if you do this while actively receiving counselling at the PF, your counselling would have to end. You can withdraw your consent by emailing email@example.com
If you want further information or you wish to register a data protection related complaint, you should contact the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) - see https://ico.org.uk/
- Google Analytics – Like hundreds or thousands of websites you visit, we use Google Analytics to collect generic, anonymous data from all visitors to monitor how our website is used. This data is shared with Google in return for the service they provide.
Changes to this policy
We may edit this policy from time to time. If we make any substantial changes we will notify you by posting a prominent announcement on our website.
This policy was last reviewed and updated in November 2021