Data Protection Policy
The 2016 General Data Protection Regulations classify me as a data controller and require me to tell you how I protect your data. In the process of undertaking psychotherapy sessions, some of your personal data will be stored and processed. This document is provided in order to make as transparent as possible how I use it, where I keep it and what I do with it. For more information please refer to the EU GDPR website: https://www.eugdpr.org/
Personal Data Processed and Stored
Data Retention / Deletion
Updated May 2018
The nature of an online presence can blur interpersonal boundaries: it is important to me to be as clear as possible about how boundaries may be challenged in an online environment. As a general rule, I like to keep clinical work in the consultation room as much as possible. However, the nature of the digital world can sometimes stretch these boundaries, so I offer the best clarity I can below. If you have any questions or suggestions arising from this they are most welcome to be brought for discussion in the therapy room.
I do not currently use an email encryption programme, so any emails we exchange may be vulnerable to viruses or human error. For this reason, I recommend you are thoughtful about what you include in emails to me, and which email addresses you choose to use with me, and that you rely on email only for non-confidential information such as setting up appointment times. Where possible it is best to keep confidential material for discussion between us in the therapy room.
Please be aware that all emails are retained in the logs of Internet Service Providers, which means that whilst it is extremely unlikely to happen, their contents are potentially accessible by system administrators. In addition there is always the risk of vulnerability to viruses and unintended forwarding or replication.
If you are very concerned about the confidentiality of your emails, you may wish to contact me by telephone instead.
I usually send invoices as attachments to emails. If you would prefer not to receive invoices by email, please let me know and I can bring you a printed copy at the end of each calendar month.
Text messaging can be very convenient for informing me about running late for a session or other similar reasons. For anything more involved or complex text messaging struggles to convey context, so in these cases I would advise bringing the issue to our session, or if this is not possible then phoning me and leaving a message. As above please be mindful of what material you send which you may wish not to be recorded.
Telephone and On-line Video Messaging:
At present I do offer remote sessions via encrypted video conferencing software such as Zoom, where it is not possible to meet face to face. I would want to discuss any such sessions with you in advance. This may involve you downloading particular software or logging into a web-based application. When engaging via video conferencing, we both agree not to record sessions. It is also crucial that you’re sure that the environment from which you are conferencing with me is safe, secure, and private.
I do not normally provide telephone sessions, although there are potential situations where we may need to make contact over the phone. Where possible this will be discussed in advance during our sessions together.
Facebook & Linked In:
I maintain a business Facebook page and Linked-In account for professional reasons. Although I have an online presence in this way, I would prefer that our relationship remains as much as possible between us in the therapy room. Whilst it is your choice, for reasons of confidentiality and preserving our therapeutic relationship I would advise not 'liking' my Facebook page.
I also have a private Facebook account kept for my personal life. I aim to keep this as private as possible. It would not be appropriate for me to be Facebook ‘friends’ with former or current clients. Potentially there is the possibility of an unexpected overlap between social networks. If this is the case then it would be something we would need to discuss in our sessions together.
I am aware that you will likely have ‘googled’ me before we make contact. If you have any questions or queries arising from such searches then I suggest we talk about this together as soon as possible. As a general rule I do not ‘google’ clients as I believe information about you is best communicated directly from you.
Updated May 2018