Maria BellisCounselling and Psychotherapy

Privacy Notice

In line with European General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), and as a professional registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office, I am obliged to share information regarding how your data is protected. The following is a summary and a more detailed Privacy Policy is available as part of my contract should you start work with me.

What information do I hold?
As a psychotherapist and counsellor in private practice I collect the following information:

1. Basic Information: client name, address, phone numbers, email address, date of birth, health history and GP details.
2. Case notes: I also hold initial background notes and ongoing case notes.

What I do with your information?
The information you give me when we contract to work together is stored securely
•Paper records are stored in a locked cabinet.
•Documents are password protected on my devices.
•I do not store personal information on the cloud.
•I store only telephone numbers (first name only) and email addresses on my phone.
•Case notes are anonymised using initials only and kept separate from basic information.
•Your telephone number and email address on my devices are deleted within three months of our work together ending.
•Your case notes are kept for six years for legitimate legal reasons and then securely destroyed.

Further Use of your information.
I will never share your data with a third party unless you ask me to, there is a risk of immediate substantial harm to yourself or others, or unless obliged to by a Court of Law. In this unlikely event, I would always try to inform you first.

I do use limited, anonymised information to discuss and develop how I work in supervision and training.

If I want to use recordings, develop a case study, carry out research or write an article on our work I will always discuss this with you and ask for your permission and signed consent. Even if you agree, you can change your mind at a later date.

I have an arrangement with another therapist to act as my ‘Clinical Executor’ to access my records only in emergency. This person would contact you in the event of my serious illness or death or being unable to contact you myself. They are bound by the same duty of confidentiality and ethics as I am.

Under Data Protection Law you have a right to request a copy of data about you and an explanation of how it is used. In certain circumstances, you can request amendments and, if you feel you have experienced substantial damage or distress by data processing, you can request compensation.

I would prefer we discuss your needs to see them and any likely impact beforehand. My job is to make sure you are well supported in your process. I would need notice in writing and records would be available within 30 days.

You are welcome to discuss anything about this agreement at any time but this policy will be discussed further when contracting. A more detailed Privacy Policy is part of my contract of work with you.

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