Everything we talk about is private between us. It is an ethical requirement of all counsellors to be in regular supervision, to ensure quality of work. I talk about my counselling work to my superviser , but I will protect your identity by never using your name or any other personally identifiable information. The only exception to this confidentiality would be if I was concerned that you, or anyone else was at serious risk of harm. In this case I would seek to discuss this with you and encourage you to contact your GP, and if you were unwilling to do this I may, after very careful consideration, decide in the interests of your safety to contact the GP myself.
If for any reason you need to cancel a session, there will be no charge if this is with 48 hours’ notice or more. Less than 48 hours’ notice is charged unless we can rearrange the session in the same week. If I have to cancel I will let you know as soon as possible too, and of course no charge will be made.
Contact between sessions
If you contact me by phone I will get back as soon as possible within available hours. For emergencies the following services offer support :
Emergency help :
Your own doctor / out of hours service or NHS 24,on 111
Police on 999 or Social Work Emergency Service 0131 200 2324, and out of hours 0800 731 6969 (freephone) if concerned about your safety or the safety of others.
Mental Health Assessment Service at the Royal Infirmary for anyone in a mental health crisis 0131 537 6000.
Telephone support :
Samaritans 116 123 , freephone or e mail : firstname.lastname@example.org (24 hrs)
Breathing Space 0800 83 85 87 ( available 6.pm to 2am, Mon – Thurs, and 6pm Friday- 6am Monday)
Edinburgh Crisis Centre,support for those in times of mental health crisis: text,calls, emails -all 24/7 Call 0808 80104 14 , text 07974429075
Counselling consists of a relationship and a process we build together ,and so like any relationship, it is better if endings are planned, as they are part of the process too. You are of course free to stop at any point, but if possible it would be helpful to know before the last session so it is a ‘talked about’ rather than a sudden ending.
The British Association of Counselling is the professional organization with which I am registered and accredited . It supports professional development through publications and workshops and gives advice to counsellors and clients.
If at all possible, if you feel any dissatisfaction with how I am working, it would be good to raise this with me directly so we can talk about it. If for any reason you do not feel able to do this, or you do not feel we have resolved it together, you could seek advice from BACP, whose details are as follows : British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, BACP House,15 St John’s Business Park, Lutterworth, LE17,4HB. Tel: 01455 883300. E mail : email@example.com.
Privacy Impact Statement- Data Protection
What information I need
I collect basic personal information which includes name, address, telephone and/or e mail ; date of birth and GP contact, as well as information about your desired outcomes from counselling. I also need a record of attendance at sessions, and brief factual notes about our work.
Why I need it
I need to know your personal contact details to communicate with you over contact/session arrangements,or possibly to invoice you if I don't see you in person . I need your date of birth and GP contact as part of my duty of care ( see 'confidentiality' above ) and to keep brief factual notes in order to provide you with a quality service in line with our counselling agreement, and to meet legal requirements for insurance purposes.
What I do with it /How long I keep it
I keep the brief written record under a reference number separate from any personally identifiable information as detailed above. All this is locked away securely . The attendance and counselling record, your name and the dates of our contact will be kept for 5 years for insurance purposes; the remainder will be destroyed safely at the end of our contact.
No third party has access unless the law allows them to do so.
What are your rights ?
If at any point you believe the information I process on you is incorrect you can request to see it and have it corrected. Because I am required legally to keep the records by my insurers, there is an exemption over the right to have the record destroyed before 5 years.
If you wish to raise a complaint about how I have handled your information , you can contact me and I will respond, and if you are not satisfied with my response or believe I am processing your personal data not in accordance with the law,you can complain to the Information Commissioner's Office with whom I am registered ( No. ZA099256 ),at ico.org.uk; 45 Melville St, Edinburgh EH3 7HL 0131 244 9001.