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PRIVACY POLICY

SYNERGY COUNSELLING AND THERAPY

 

Introduction

 

Your privacy is important to me and taken seriously. You can be confident that your personal information will be kept safe and secure and will only be used for the purpose it was given to me. I adhere to current data protection legislation, including the General Data Protection Regulation (EU/2016/679) (the GDPR), the Data Protection Act 2018 and the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003.

This privacy notice tells you what I will do with your personal information from initial point of contact, to after your therapy has ended, including: Why I am able to process your information and what purpose I am processing it for, how long I store it for, whether there are other recipients of your personal information, Whether I do automated decision-making or profiling, and Your data protection rights.

I am happy to chat through any questions you might have about my data protection policy and you can contact me via sharon@synergyct.co.uk.

 

What is a Data Controller?

 

‘Data controller’ is the term used to describe the person/organisation that collects and stores and has responsibility for people’s personal data. In this instance, the data controller is me.

I am registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office C1137540.  

My postal address is: 12 Pearsons Close, Rotherham, S65 3BU. My phone number is: 07391073515. My email address is: sharon@synergyct.co.uk.

Why do I want to process your information?

My contractual obligations to you as a counsellor/therapist are the lawful basis for my processing of your personal information. I need to process your personal information to fulfil my contractual obligations to you as a therapist, for example, to assess whether I can offer you therapy in the first place and then deliver effective therapy to you if therapy commences. Your personal information helps guide my assessment process and clinical decision-making during therapy.

GDPR also makes sure that I look after any sensitive personal information that you may disclose to me appropriately. Examples of this type of information could include information about your health, race, sexuality, sex life, or religion. This type of information is called ‘special category personal information’. The lawful basis for me processing any special categories of personal information is consent initially. Usually, this is information about your mental health, and I need to process it to fulfill my contractual obligations to you in delivering safe, effective therapy. I will then retain any therapy records in case of the need to reference them in the future (the official legal basis is to defend against potential legal claims).

 

What information will I collect and when?

 

When you contact me with a direct inquiry about my therapy services, I will collect information to help me satisfy your enquiry. This will include Name & Contact details (telephone and/or email) to arrange an initial consultation. During the consultation I will ask for further information such as psychological issues, symptoms, address, goals and availability. Alternatively, your GP, health professional or professional directory may send me your details when making a referral/initial contact or a parent or trusted individual may give me your details when making an enquiry on your behalf. If you decide not to proceed, I will ensure all your personal data is deleted within 1 week. If you would like me to delete this information sooner, just let me know.

 

Once we have agreed that therapy with me is suitable for you and your therapy commences, I will collect further information from you that may include: goals for treatment, G.P. contact details, date of birth, previous therapy, current medication, intimate relationships/support, next of kin details, financial and employment circumstances, health and physical issues, and alcohol and drug use.

Most of the personal information I process is provided to me directly by you either verbally or through writing through an initial contact form. I also obtain information about you in other ways. For instance, when you visit www.synergct.co.uk, a third party may collect the following information about your visit: I.P. address, location, search engine, date, time, web pages visited, operating system, and device.

 

How I use your information?

 

Rest assured that everything you discuss with me is confidential. However, there are a few exceptions to this listed below:

 

  • That confidentiality will only be broken if I believe you or someone you are in contact with is at significant risk of harm and I will endeavour to discuss this with you beforehand.

  • I am also legally obliged to disclose information if a client discloses involvement in, or information about acts of terrorism, and cannot inform the client of their intention to do so.

  • If you give me information regarding money laundering or drug-trafficking offenses, I am obliged to pass this information to the police.

  • If a judge or coroner can legally order the release of client notes.

  • You request disclosure

 

I will always try to speak to you about this first, unless there are safeguarding issues that prevent this.

 

How will I store your information?

I will keep a record of your personal details and session notes to help the therapy services run smoothly. These details are kept securely both electronically and physically and are not shared with any third party. Personal information is stored electronically on devices and files that are password protected and only accessible by me. Names and contact details are stored separately from additional personal information (anonymised format). Information that is stored physically using paper records are held securely in locked storage in an anonymised form. These records are also only accessible to me.

Where therapy services are provided through another organisation such as an EAP, session notes may be stored on their secure encrypted systems (you will be advised of this during initial session)

For security reasons I do not retain text messages after the therapy services have been completed. However, if there is relevant information contained in a text message, I will transfer this to an electronic format which will be kept securely with session notes. Likewise, any email correspondence will be deleted after the completion of the therapy sessions if it is not important. However, if it seems necessary and important I will transfer this information in an electronic format and it will be kept securely with session notes after therapy has ended. Once therapy has ended your records will be kept for 7 years from the end of our contact with each other and are then securely destroyed. If you want me to delete your information sooner than this, please tell me.

 

How might it look?

 

I sometimes share personal data with third parties, for example, where I have contracted with a supplier to carry out specific tasks. In such cases I have carefully selected which partners I work with. I take great care to ensure that I have a contract with the third party that states what they are allowed to do with the data I share with them. I ensure that they do not use your information in any way other than the ones for which they have been contracted

 

What are your GDPR rights?

 

I try to be as open as I can be in terms of giving people access to their personal information. You have a right to ask me to delete your personal information, to limit how I use your personal information, or to stop processing your personal information. You also have a right to ask for a copy of any information that I hold about you and to object to the use of your personal data in some circumstances. You can read more about your rights at ico.org.uk/your-data-matters.

 

If I do hold information about you I will:

• give you a description of it and where it came from;

• tell you why I am holding it, tell you how long I will store your data and how I made this decision;

• tell you who it could be disclosed to;

• let you have a copy of the information in an intelligible form.

You can also ask me at any time to correct any mistakes there may be in the personal information I hold about you. To make a request for any personal information I may hold about you, please put the request in writing addressing it to sharon@synergyct.co.uk.

If you have any complaint about how I handle your personal data please do not hesitate to get in touch with me by writing or emailing to the contact details given above. I would welcome any suggestions for improving my data protection procedures.

If you want to make a formal complaint about the way I have processed your personal information you can contact the ICO which is the statutory body that oversees data protection law in the UK. For more information go to ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint.

 

What happens if I visit your website?

 

When someone visits my website, I use a third-party service, Wix.com, to collect standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns. I do this to find out things such as the number of visitors to the various parts of the site. This information is only processed in a way that does not identify anyone. I do not make, and do not allow Wix.com to make, any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting my website. I use legitimate interests as my lawful basis for holding and using your personal information in this way when you visit my website.

 

I use Wix.com so that I can continually improve my service to you, you can read Wix.com privacy notice here https://www.wix.com/about/privacy. I use Wix CMS as the content management system for our website - find out about https://support.wix.com/en/article/cms-content-management-system-an-overview  and data protection.

 

Like most websites we use cookies to help the site work more efficiently. For reference see bacp.co.uk/notices/cookies. No user-specific data is collected by me or any third party. If you fill in a form on my website, that data will be temporarily stored on the web host before being sent to me.

 

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