What are the General Data Protection Regulations, 2018 (GDPR) and how do they affect me?
The GDPR replaces the 1998 Data Protection Act to ensure your personal and sensitive, confidential data is kept private and held securely, being processed in the way that you have agreed to. It is there to protect your rights as a consumer of a service or product that might involve your identifiable data, e.g. your name and address or whether you have a specific condition. It also covers any session records, text messages or emails we exchange. For more information your can read the policy documents accessible via an information pack that will be sent in advance of the first session.
How long will you hold my information for?
As per psychotherapy guidelines (BABCP, BACP et al) I will hold your data for seven years after your final session. After that, any paper documents will be shredded and any computer documents will be deleted.
What if I don’t want my records to be held for that long?
Under the GDPR you can make a request in writing to me, for all your records to be deleted. In this case all your paper records would be shredded and any electronic data such as emails or text messages would be permanently deleted from the devices they are stored on. I would have to save the request for deletion you made but would not save any other data. In some circumstances my insurance companies legal team may want to verify information I process.
Why do you need to record this information?
I collect information about; why you are using the service, a small amount of medical information and a small amount of information about your important others, alongside brief session notes. This information enables me to provide a high quality service to you, ensuring I am equipped with the knowledge of our previous discussions prior to each session. Your contact details / address and doctors details will only be used with your explicit consent. See consent form below.
I also have some third party services that collects information that cannot identify you, when you visit my website. This lets me know how many visitors visit my website, what country they are from, and how long they spend visiting my website.