Privacy Policy

Privacy Statement for Gina Howard Counselling

I am committed to ensuring that I protect your privacy and will seek your explicit written consent to hold personal data about you, specifically and only for the purposes of providing counselling to you.

You can be assured that this information is held securely and will only be used in accordance with data protection principles, my confidentiality policy and my ethical principles (contained in the British Association for Counsellors and Psychotherapists Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions: July 2016). I will honour the confidence and trust you have placed in me.

The basis on which I hold or share information about you is outlined below and also the limits around confidentiality.

  • You have the right of access to information I hold about you and to amend or ask for deletion of information that may not be accurate or correct. Please contact me if you wish to view the data I hold about you.
  • I will not hold your data for longer than is deemed necessary for the purposes of counselling and following best practice and legal guidance.
  • I will keep your basic data and records for 3 years and personal therapy notes for 3 months from the last date of contact with you after which they will be destroyed.

Types of data I collect and usage.

  • I will keep a record of your name, age, contact details including your email address and which GP surgery you are registered with.
  • I will use this information to contact you about appointments and any other relevant information necessary for your benefit.
  • I will also use your this data to meet any legal obligations placed upon me – for instance when you exercise your rights to see what data I hold under data protection law or in order to meet any legal compliance placed on me; or occasions where I may be obliged to disclose information related to safeguarding children, young people and adults at risk.
  • Your written consent will be sought at assessment for the need to meet possible disclosure to other bodies for example your GP if there is risk to yours or others safety.

Storage of personal data and notes

  • All notes are anonymised using a client number and initials and are kept separate from your personal data.
  • Any reference to relationships are also anonymised.
  • Your personal data such as name and contact information is kept separately and in a locked environment in paper format.
  • I will keep a record of your first name and telephone number on my mobile phone and will only be used to contact you about appointments or in the case of an emergency where I may need to cancel.

Use of data for running my business and tax purposes

  • A record of how many clients I am seeing using an identity number.
  • Records of how many sessions I have given.
  • How much I have been paid by each client.
  • During Covid 19 I have been using BACS for payment. Only your first name is kept as a record on my bank statement so that I can keep track of payments for tax purposes.