Privacy Policy for Just Couple Counselling (Mark Russell)

I am a Couples Counsellor, working in my own private practice. I do not employ anyone else.

I abide by The National Counselling Society (NCS) Code of Ethics

The privacy and security of your personal data is important to me. As ‘Data Controller’, in this policy I explain about out the personal information required about you and how I store and use it in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulations 2018.

Without your personal data, counselling will not be possible so I need your consent to hold this information. Giving me your contact details when asking for counselling means you have agreed to my holding personal information about you.

Information required

In order to deliver the counselling service that you are requesting, some of your personal details will need to be recorded. I will require your name, address, age, phone number and email address, relationship status, and age and gender of any your children.

I will need your contact details in case I need to

a) contact you,

b)in case of legal requirements, e.g. due to a court order

c) to inform the authorities if I believe someone, especially a child, is at risk of serious harm.

In order to maintain professional standards, it is a requirement of the NCS that I have monthly supervision, during which I may discuss your anonymised information.

If I am incapacitated and therefore unable to continue counselling, your details will passed onto my supervisor so that you can be contacted and advised of the situation.

How is it collected?

Via your website enquiry, and any subsequent emails, telephone/text messages, your initial consultation and your ongoing sessions. I cannot guarantee the safety of any information sent to me via email or text, so please be aware of this when sending any personal information.

Financial details will appear on my bank statement should you make payment by cheque/online banking.

Security and Storage

I take hand written notes of the information you share during each session which are anonymised. These are stored in a locked cabinet, and will not be transferred onto computer.

The only information stored on computer will be emails exchanged between us. My computer is password protected, and my website is encrypted. Emails will be deleted once your counselling has ended. Your details will not be sent/sold to third parties or used for any other purposes. My mobile phone is password protected and any information on it will be deleted when no longer required.

I’m not required to keep your personal information for any set period of time. I will destroy it at my discretion, normally after a few months, but a maximum of one year, once counselling has finished.

You have the right to ask to see any information held about you and have a copy of it. To do this, please submit your request in writing. You also have the right to ask for information that you believe to be incorrect to be rectified. As counsellor, I will endeavour to provide you with the information requested, within four weeks.

If you are concerned about the way that your information is being held, please discuss this with me. You are also within your rights to make a formal complaint to the information commission’s office (ICO)