The following policies are designed to protect you and me as your counsellor. They do not affect your legal statutory rights and are shown below in plain English for the avoidance of doubt.
If you have any questions on these policies please ask your counsellor.
Booking data is stored electronically in a encrypted protected document on a password protected computer, and/or encrypted memory drive. It is also stored in a physical paper format in a locked box in a secure alarmed location.
Clients who attend an assessment session and then go on to undertake counselling will have their details stored for 6 years (unless you request otherwise). These details will then be securely deleted.
Client who attend an assessment session but do not undertake counselling will have their details deleted after 3 months of the assessment date.
Case notes from client sessions are all stored electronically in a password protected document on a password protected computer, and/or encrypted memory drive. These are stored for 6 years then securely deleted.
Emails, voicemail and text messages will be deleted periodically but will not be stored for a period longer than 3 months (from the last date on the email or text conversation). Voicemail is provided by GiffGaff (please see their website for their data protection details).
Emails are stored in a password protected account. This is provided by Microsoft Office 365 and complies with all UK data protection regulations.
Telephone numbers are not assigned any identifying criteria in the phone address book.
No data is shared with a 3rd party unless required by confidentiality policy eg sharing of details with GP or police in cases of risk, harm or illegal activity that I am required by law to report. (See confidentiality policy).
Any transfer of data is carried out in a secure way on a password protected computer, encrypted memory drive, password protected email service.
Any data that you provide to a 3rd party in an initial enquiry is subject to their data protection policies (please see their website for their data protection details).
All EAP clients data is stored by the EAP company and this may vary from company to company – you must refer to the EAP provider for details of their record keeping. (please see their website for their data protection details)
Diary data – Only your first name and session number shall appear in my paper diary.
All receipts will be issued with your client number for data protection and confidentiality.
Any reference you place on your bank transfer details is stored by Lloyds Bank (please see their website for their data protection details) and may also be viewed by HMRC and an accountant.
In exception circumstances of counsellor death then a trusted 3rd party shall be granted access to data to inform clients and delete any stored data.
We are registered with the Information Commissioner registration number ZA283177.
I operate a 24 hour cancellation policy. If you need to cancel your pre-booked appointment outside 24hours no fee shall be required. If you cancel within 24hours or do not attend your appointment, then a £15 fee is required. If the missed session cost is not paid then another session will not be booked. In some circumstances these costs may be wavered or reduced but that is based on individual circumstances and a decision shall be made at the time in conjunction with the relevant client. In certain cases of excessive missed sessions your counsellor will have a discussion with you about the suitability of counselling for you at that time.
If I need to cancel an appointment I will also try to provide 24hours notice.
There are certain critical circumstances where 24hours cancellation may not be possible (e.g. unforeseen circumstance including weather, critical incident or health). We apologies in advance if this is the case and a session shall be rescheduled as soon as possible if circumstances allow.
If I am no longer able to provide counselling for any reason you shall be given as much notice as possible up to a maximum of 4 weeks. In circumstances of counsellor death a trusted 3rd party shall inform you of this.
Please see contract for additional details.
Confidentiality means that what you discuss in your counselling session will not be discussed with anyone outside the counselling room or outside the counselling profession where professional discussions may be necessary.
On rare occasions good and ethical practise and the law will require the breaking of confidentiality. These areas are: safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults, terrorism, money laundering, drug trafficking, and risk of harm to yourself or someone else.
I will endeavour to discuss any need to break confidentiality wherever possible (sometimes it is not possible). I wish you to feel free and safe to discuss anything you need to. Only the details relevant to the confidentiality breach will be shared. Every effort to maintain as much confidentiality as possible will be undertaken within the boundaries of the laws that require confidentiality breaches.
All counsellors seek professional or peer supervision (to allow them to offer you the best service), these supervisors are also bound by this confidentiality and all client work discussed is anonymous.
Anonymised case notes (by number rather than a client’s name) and client details are stored separately and securely, these are deleted after 6 years. You are consenting to the storage of these.
Health and Safety
In all circumstances you are responsible for your own belongings and your own safety. Wright Minds holds Professional liability insurance (including Public Liability – your liability for death of, or injury to, third parties or the loss of, or damage to, their property; Professional Indemnity – the risk of being sued for an error in your professional activities). This insurance is provided by Holistic Insurance.
We ask clients to remain as safe as possible and not undertake any activity they feel they are unable to do.
The counselling room is a safe place and violence towards the counsellor and /or client or the room/contents will not be tolerated. This could result in cancellation of the counselling contract or in extreme cases contact with the police and prosecution.
The counsellor retains the right to not see clients they believe may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
We also ask that client refrain from intentionally harming themselves while in the counselling room.
The counsellor will also abide by the above rules.
In the first instance we encourage you to let the counsellor know of any of your concerns so that they can be rectified immediately.
If you feel you need to make a professional compliant you may do so to the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy ) on their website: https://www.bacp.co.uk/ or https://www.bacp.co.uk/about-us/protecting-the-public/ or you can call them on: 01455 883300 or by post: BACP, 15 St John’s Business Park, Lutterworth, Leicestershire LE17 4HB, United Kingdom.
I adhere to the BACP code of ethics, I am registered and accredited with them. https://www.bacp.co.uk/events-and-resources/ethics-and-standards/
Telephone and Video Counselling Policy
This policy is in addition to our standard policies and counselling contact for those choosing to engage in therapy via telephone or video session.
Session are subject to the same data and confidentiality policies as in person (sometimes referred to as face to face sessions)
You, the client, are responsible for finding a space where you feel you are able to talk without interruptions and where you can maintain your confidentiality, any breaches of data or confidentiality due to client location are the client’s responsibility.
You, the client, are responsible for being available at the agreed time of the session. If you are unable to attend a session the 24hour cancellation policy is still in force.
Sometimes, due to remote working, the counsellor may require additional information such as a next of kin or safe contact, from the client in circumstances where the client may be at risk. You can refuse to provide this information but it may impact on the counsellor choosing to discontinue your therapy if they deem it is unsafe to continue without support in place.
Video: The counsellor will make contact with you by sending you a Zoom link prior to the session. A new link will be generated per session to maintain security and confidential to the best of our abilities. We have chosen to use Zoom because of its end to end encryption (https://zoom.us/docs/en-us/privacy-and-security.html). If you do not engage with the Zoom meeting at your allocated appointment time the counsellor will remain with the session open for 15 minutes before they end the session and mark it as a Did Not Attend (DNA).
Telephone: The counsellor will call you at the allocated time of your appointment, they will check you are ready to go ahead with the session, i.e. you are in a safe location and able to talk. You may refuse the session or not answer the phone but this will count as a late cancellation under the 24hour cancellation policy. If you do not answer the telephone, the counsellor will call you back between 5 to 10 minutes from the agreed start time of the session. If you still do not answer or call the counsellor back within 15 minutes from the agreed start time of the session this will count as a late cancellation under the 24hour cancellation policy.