When taking an enquiry and starting to work with each client I ask for the following personal information: name; address; telephone number(s); age; gender; next of kin name & telephone number; GP name & surgery; current or historic mental health diagnoses; current medication.
I will use the information to contact the client, or (with their prior knowledge) their next of kin or GP where necessary. I use their age and gender to monitor the range of clients I see. Having background information about their mental health condition(s) and/or medication helps me to support the client in a measured and appropriate way.
A client’s data would only be shared with their prior knowledge and if I considered this to be necessary where I had concerns that my client or any other person(s) was at immediate risk of harm or if I was under legal obligation to do so.
Clients’ data is stored on paper forms which are locked in a filing box that only I have access to; telephone numbers are anonymised in my mobile phone which has a PIN lock on it. No other electrical data is kept.
Data will be stored throughout the counselling relationship and for 7 years after the termination of therapy in accordance with insurance and GDPR guidelines.
Paper records will be shredded and telephone contact details will be deleted.