Individual Psychotherapist & Relationship Counsellor
This privacy notice applies to the online use of www.yourtherapy.org.uk and to anyone contacting Michelle Baldwin (referred to as MB throughout this notice) and/or using the service provided by her. This policy explains how MB may use and secure information provided and collected from visitors of this site and those who engage as clients. By visiting the website, you are agreeing to the contents of this Privacy Notice.
Commitment to You
MB is committed to maintaining the online and offline privacy of existing clients, potential future clients and those interacting with www.yourtherapy.org.uk.
Links to Websites
Information Collected Online
To avoid potential security breaches, there is no facility provided on the ‘Your Therapy ‘site for payments to be made. Once you have engaged with MB, you may decide to make fee payment via BACS, Faster Payment, Standing Order or Cheque. Please be aware that these transactions include your name, and will be clearly identified through your personal bank and the banking provider of MB.
If you initiate contact with MB through the enquiry form on this site, you will be providing MB with your name, email address and any other information you volunteer though the ‘message’ section on the enquiry form. This enquiry will be sent to the inbox of the email of MB, addressed as firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note, the transmission of information via the internet cannot be completely secure. MB has in place measures to protect your personal data but cannot guarantee the security of data transmitted via the Your Therapy site or by email. Once your information is received, MB will use procedures (please see ‘protection of data’) as far as is reasonably possible to prevent unauthorised access.
If you do not wish to use the online enquiry form, you may make direct contact through the telephone number or email listed. Only MB is permitted to access this email account and telephone the number is related to. If you contact MB via email or by phone you will likely be asked to provide certain information by which you can be identified. Any of the information you provide MB is held securely and will only be used in accordance with data protection principles outlined in this privacy notice.
Consent to Hold Your Information
MB is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected and will seek your explicit written consent to hold any further personal data and information about you, at the beginning of assessment. This consent may be withdrawn at any time- please inform MB in writing if you wish to do so.
For MB to advise you of or deliver a service to you, upon initial contact you will be asked to provide identifying data such as your name, email address and telephone number. You may also wish to inform MB of the reason you are seeking therapy and provide some details of your current situation. After this, you may be invited for an initial assessment of which you have no obligation to agree to attend.
At assessment, MB will gather further personal details from you. Specifically, these will include your address, date of birth/age, gender identity, cultural heritage, GP surgery, health issues. medication, occupation, family history (including parents, siblings, children), relationship status, past or current issues with food, drugs, and alcohol, psychiatric history, suicidal ideation/attempts, previous/current experience of counselling and criminal convictions.
Using Your Data
MB collects certain data and information to help understand whether she can provide you with a professional service as a Psychotherapist/Counsellor and is for the sole use of MB. If MB is unable to provide you with this service, MB will usually suggest another option. The data collected from you will not be passed onto any other service that is suggested by MB. Assessment data and information will be held in accordance with the timeframe outlined in this notice.
If you engage with assessment and/or into on-going services with MB, your data and personal details obtained during your contracted term will be held on file. Outlined below are the ways in which your data will be used:
Home Address, Telephone Number and Email Address- MB may use any of these to maintain contact with you throughout your work together or send correspondence. MB may use your contact details after your therapeutic contract has ended to send invoices, request outstanding fees, follow up on any issues, provide information of future or relevant services or check on your wellbeing,
Age, Gender Identity, Cultural Heritage, Occupation, Family History, Relationship Status- This information helps MB to form an understanding of who you are, the environment you have come from and the context you exist in now.
Health Issues, Medication, Issues with Food, Drugs or Alcohol, Psychiatric History, Suicidal Ideation/ Attempts, Previous/Current Experience of Counselling, Criminal Convictions- This information helps MB to understand if her service is appropriate for you, how she may need to tailor these services to you and recognise if any additional monitoring needs to be in place.
GP Surgery, Date of Birth – You may ask MB to contact your GP on your behalf or MB may need to contact your GP if she felt you were at risk of harm to yourself. Your permission will usually be sought, unless immediate contact is necessary. Your date of birth is usually required to help identify you correctly at your GP surgery.
Other- Due to the nature of the psychotherapy/counselling profession and the work carried out, MB may keep further notes on information and details shared in session. These records are intended as an aide-memoire during the continuation of therapeutic work together and/or as a historical record used to support potential re-engagement with therapy in the future; these notes will not contain your name or any of your contact details. These notes will be filed separately to Initial assessment information and contact details, which are held together.
Contact data and personal information held will not be passed on or transferred to third parties, except where your permission is granted, under extenuating circumstances or where MB is legally required to do so by a court of law. The data that MB collects from you is not transferred outside the European Economic Area (“EEA”). Limits to confidentiality are outlined below.
Extenuating Circumstance - These extenuating circumstances would be if MB believed you were at risk of harm to self or another and include breaches or suspected breaches of the Children Act (2004) and Terrorism Act (2006). Details of the above-mentioned legislations can be found at www.legislation.gov.uk.
Supervision - As required by the ethical body MB is registered with ‘The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), MB attends regular one to one supervision and peer supervision. The aim of these meetings is to ensure MB is working as ethically and responsibly as possible and working to the best of her ability. In these supervisory meetings, MB may share information about you and the work being carried out together. MB will not disclose your full name or any of your contact information. These meetings are carried out with colleagues who are guided by the same code of ethics provided by the BACP. Further information on this ethical body can be found here: www.bacp.co.uk.
CCTV is present and active in both office buildings MB works from. CCTV is used as a crime prevention tool and is not installed in therapy rooms. MB does not have access to either CCTV systems and has no control over how it is used and processed by office service providers.
Protection of Data
MB is committed to taking reasonable steps to protect the individual identifying information that you provide. Once your data is received and made record of, MB will make best efforts to ensure its security. Steps taken to keep your data secure include: a separate password enabled business phone, a password enabled computer with anti-virus software and paper notes/hard copies are kept in locked storage when not in use.
Duration Data is Held
If you choose at the time not to move forward into assessment after initial contact, MB will not hold the contact data you have provided. If you are undecided, MB will hold your contact data for one month, after which, contact data will be disregarded.
If you meet for assessment and beyond, all records are kept throughout our contracted work together (except for some emails, voicemails, text messages) and for up to 7 years after the completion of our work. During the 7 years following or at the point of 7 years, any hard copies of data will be shredded, and data held through technology (e.g. emails, text messages) will be deleted from the device they exist on or from the digital place they are stored.
Access and Amendment of Data
You may request details of the information MB holds on you and to ask for an amendment or deletion of data that is inaccurate or incorrect or withdraw your consent for data to be held. To make a request, please contact Michelle Baldwin in writing at: Parkshot House, 5 Kew Road, Richmond, TW9 2PR.
If you would like more information on new data protection guidelines under GDPR as of 25th May, 2018, please visit the Information Commissioner’s Office website www.ico.org.uk.
Any changes to this privacy notice will be published on this page.