Any personal data provided by you to Cairn Counselling Service through any means (verbal, written, in electronic form, or by your use of our website) will be held and processed in accordance with the data protection principles set out in the Data Protection Act 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulation for the purposes for which you have given consent, to provide the services you have requested from us, and to meet the legitimate interests of the charity.
Cairn Counselling Service is committed to protecting your privacy.
This policy only applies to data collected by us, and via our own forms and website. Third party agents, and websites which are linked to ours, are not covered by this policy. If you have any queries concerning your personal information or any questions on our use of the information, please contact us.
When you request counselling, you will be asked to consent to our processing of your data under the terms of this policy.
What information do we collect?
- Counselling Requests– contacting us to request access to our counselling service can be done via email, by phone or in person. Our request process involves providing us with your name, telephone number and email address. We may also request information on your availability, therapeutic issues, and other details which we deem relevant to processing your request.
- Initial Assessment Appointments– At an initial appointment we ask about your current personal, social, medical and financial circumstances. We may also ask about your background and family history, as well as the issues which are affecting you now. We require this information so that we can decide about our offer of counselling to you, to assign you to a counsellor, and to manage the service we provide to you.
- Other Forms – The information you give us on our forms (including all enquiry and application forms) may include your name, postal address, email address, phone number and other messages to us.
What do we use your information for?
We use information held about you in the following ways:
- To provide clients with the professional counselling service requested from us.
- To notify you about changes to your appointments and other changes to our services.
- To seek feedback from you on your experience of counselling with us.
- To improve our service to ensure that it is provided in the most effective manner for you and for us.
- To administer our service, including the arrangement of appointments.
- To keep in touch with those who consent to this
- To fulfil our administrative, legal and contractual obligations as an employer.
What information do we share?
We will not share any information about you with other organisations or people, except in the following situations:
- Consent – we may share your information with professional carers or others whom you have requested or agreed we should contact.
- Serious harm – we may share your information with the relevant authorities if we have reason to believe that this may prevent serious harm being caused to you or another person.
- Compliance with law – we may share your information where we are required to by law or by the regulations and other rules to which we are subject.
How do we keep your information safe?
All information you provide to us is stored as securely as possible. All paper forms and correspondence are kept in locked filing cabinets in our private homes. All electronic records are stored on our own personal computer, all access to which requires password-protected authentication.
Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is never completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your information, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to us via email; any transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your information, we will use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorised access. We use firewalls and MacAfee to secure our computers from possible viruses.
Your identifiable personal information is kept separately from any session notes and other descriptive material. Client notes and other documentation are destroyed 3 years after the end of counselling. Personal contact details are destroyed/deleted after 10 years of no contact or updates.
You have the right to ask us to provide a copy of the information held by us in our records. You also have the right to require us to correct any inaccuracies in your information. If you would like to do this, please contact us and this will be provided within 30 days of your request.
You may withdraw your consent for us to hold and process your data at any time. However, if you do this while actively receiving counselling, your counselling would have to end.
Changes to this policy
We may edit this policy from time to time if necessary.