Counselling and psychotherapy is a private and confidential form of help. At the St Marylebone Healing and Counselling Centre (the Centre) we hold information about each of our clients and the counselling they receive in confidence. This means that we will not normally give your name or any information about you to anyone outside the organization. However, there are exceptional circumstances where the Centre might ethically or legally have to give information to relevant authorities, for example, if we had reason to believe someone, especially a child, is at serious risk of harm or to prevent a miscarriage of justice. We will discuss any proposed disclosure with you unless we believe that to do so could increase the level of risk to you or to someone else.
In any teaching, writing or supervision undertaken by our therapists for professional purposes, we guarantee to protect your anonymity by removing any information that might identify you.
Occasionally the Centre may be asked by our clients, or by external agencies such as the NHS, to write reports on the progress made in therapy. We are not normally in a position to do this because of our duty of confidentiality to our clients. However, we can in some circumstances, and on receipt of written consent from the client, provide brief information about the dates and number of sessions attended.
The information about confidentiality, as required, conforms to your rights under the General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 (implemented May 2018) (the GDPR) to access personal data the Centre holds on you. The Centre keeps confidential records and statistics about its clients. All records are kept securely and are only seen by the authorized personnel of the Centre. These records are subject to the GDPR. We collect personal information including
- first name or given name
- family name or surname
- telephone numbers
- email address
- date of birth
Some of the information we collect is classified as sensitive personal data and we can only use such data where we have your explicit consent. This includes
- marital status
- physical and mental health
- financial information
Your personal and sensitive personal data will only be used in order to provide the service to you and for managing and quality assuring the service.
Records are kept for seven years and are then destroyed.
You have the following rights with respect to your personal data.
When exercising any of the rights listed below, in order to process your request, we may need to verify your identity for your security. In such cases we will need you to respond with proof of your identity before you can exercise these rights.
- The right to access information we hold on you. At any point you can contact us to request the information we hold on you as well as why we have that information, who has access to the information and where we obtained the information from. Once we have received your request we will respond within one month. There are no fees or charges for the first request but additional requests for the same data may be subject to an administrative fee.
- The right to correct and update the information we hold on you. If the data we hold on you is out of date, incomplete or incorrect, you can inform us and your data will be updated.
- The right to have your information erased. If you feel that we should no longer be using your data or that we are illegally using your data, you can request that we erase the data we hold. When we receive your request we will confirm whether the data has been deleted or the reason why it cannot be deleted (for example because we need it for our legitimate interests or regulatory purpose(s)).
- The right to object to processing of your data. You have the right to request that we stop processing your data. Upon receiving the request we will contact you and let you know if we are able to comply or if we have legitimate grounds to continue to process your data. Even after you exercise your right to object, we may continue to hold your data to comply with your other rights or to bring or defend legal claims.
- The right to data portability. You have the right to request that we transfer some of your data to another controller (professional organisation). We will comply with your request, where it is feasible to do so, within one month of receiving your request.
- The right to withdraw your consent to the processing at any time for any processing of data to which consent was sought. You can withdraw your consent easily by telephone, email, or by post (see Contact Details below).
- The right to object to the processing of personal data where applicable.
- The right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office.