Your privacy is very important to Heart of Harrogate Counselling and you can be confident that all personal information you provide will be kept safe and secure and will only be used for the purpose it was provided.
Heart of Harrogate Counselling adheres to data protection legislation, including the General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR), the Data Protection Act 2018 and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003.
This privacy notice outlines how the personal information you provide, from initial point of contact through to the conclusion of counselling, is handled. This includes:
‘Data controller’ is the term used to describe the organisation that collects and stores and has responsibility for personal data. In this instance, the data controller is: Helen Smith of Heart of Harrogate Counselling.
Heart of Harrogate Counselling is contactable at:
Address: Ashgarth Court, Harrogate, HG2 9LE
Telephone: 07563 179 031
Lawful basis for holding and using your personal information
The UK GDPR states there must be a lawful basis for processing your personal data. There are different lawful bases depending on the stage at which Heart of Harrogate Counselling is processing your data. These are explained below:
How your information is used:
Upon making initial contact to enquire about counselling services, your information will be collected to assist the enquiry, which includes:
“Name, telephone number, email address and nature of enquiry” information.
If you decide not to proceed, your personal data is deleted within NINETY DAYS. If you would prefer your information to be deleted sooner than this, please provide a written notice, see ‘contact information’.
While you are accessing counselling:
A record of your personal details may be maintained to help Heart of Harrogate Counselling run smoothly. These details are retained securely in that paper records are kept in a locked safe with access restricted to only Helen Smith and computerised records are firewall and password protected.
Your personal information may exist within:
Please be aware that all counsellors are required to undergo regular supervision, of which some details of your counselling may be discussed to ensure safe and ethical practice. Your information is presented in an anonymised way and is treated confidentially by supervisors. Rest assured, confidentiality is at the heart of counselling supervision.
After counselling has terminated.
Unless subject of a court order, or legal requirement, your electronic and hard copy information is stored securely for 5 years (or until you have turned 18 for children and young people) after counselling services have terminated before being deleted/shredded. If you would prefer your information to be deleted sooner than this, please provide a written notice, to the contact details provided above.
Third party recipients of personal data
Your personal information may be shared with selected third parties, for example, for the purposes of supervision. In such cases, third parties are carefully selected, and an agreement exists stating what they are allowed to do with any data shared to them. The agreement stipulates your information is not used in any way other than the task for which they have been contracted.
You have a right to request your personal information be deleted; to limit how your personal information is used, or to stop processing your personal information.
You have a right to request a copy of any information held about you and to object to the use of your personal data in some circumstances. You can read more about your rights at ico.org.uk/your-data-matters.
Where personal information is held about you, you can request:
Please use the contact details provided at the top:
If you would like to make a formal complaint about the way your personal information is processed, you can contact the ICO which is the statutory body that oversees data protection law in the UK. For more information go to ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint.
The security of all data held about you is taken very seriously and every effort is taken to ensure it is kept secure by applying a ‘defence in depth’ strategy covering physical, technical, and administrative security throughout Heart of Harrogate Counselling.
My obligation to you:
Your commitment to me:
Social Media Policy
The basis for this policy is to truly protect our therapeutic relationship and your confidentiality in session. As a counsellor, I must keep my relationship with you completely confidential (except in cases of where you might harm yourself or others). Thus, if you post on Heart of Harrogate’s page, people may infer as to how we are connected. You have a choice as to what you reveal about yourself online, however I will not reveal my connection to you. This policy explains how I handle different social media encounters:
FRIENDING - To respect your privacy and confidentiality, I do not accept friend requests on my personal Facebook page from current or former clients.
LIKING - You may “like” Heart of Harrogate’s Facebook business page if you wish to. However, the information on my Facebook page is often on my website as well. If you “like” my page, you are choosing to reveal that you are connected to me in some way. My business page exists to be a forum of information and inspiration. I will acknowledge I have read a comment but will not engage in conversations with you on my page. However, if you find it helpful then that is great!
FOLLOWING – I may sometimes publish blogs on Heart of Harrogate’s website. I have no expectation that clients will want to follow my blog. You are welcome to use your own discretion in choosing whether to follow me. Note that I will not follow you back. If there are things from your online life that you wish to share with me, please bring them into our sessions where we can view and explore them together, during the therapeutic hour.
INTERACTING - Please do not use messaging on social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to contact me. If there was an emergency I would not be able to respond in a timely way, as I do not check these accounts daily. The best way to interact with me is by email or phone. If you post on Heart of Harrogate’s Facebook wall, it may create the possibility that these exchanges become a part of your legal medical record and will need to be documented and archived.
USE OF SEARCH ENGINES - I do not “Google” clients or look up information on them for any reason. I think it is important that I know you as you are in the counselling room. If I do come across your information online, I will move on and avoid reading content.
EMAIL - I prefer using email to arrange or modify appointments. Please do not email me with specific content related to your counselling sessions, as email is not completely secure or confidential. If you choose to communicate with me by email, be aware that all emails are retained in the logs of our Internet service providers. Whilst it is unlikely that someone will be looking at these logs, they are, in theory, available to be read by the system administrator(s) of the Internet service provider.
LOCATION BASED SERVICES
If you use location-based services on your mobile phone, you may wish to be aware of the privacy issues relating to using these services. Heart of Harrogate is on Google My Business. Therefore, if you have GPS tracking enabled on your device, those who you have agreed can locate you via your phone may surmise that you are a counselling client due to being 'seen' at the same place on a weekly basis.
Thank you for taking the time to review my Social Media Policy. If you have questions or concerns about any of these policies and procedures or regarding our potential interactions on the Internet, do bring them to my attention so that we can discuss them.
Please use the button below to email me, which acts as an e-signature, to confirm that you have read and agreed to the Privacy Notice, Covid-19 Policy and Social Media Policy.