JMA Counselling Privacy Policy as of February 2023

My contact details:

Name: Jan Matthews; JMA Counselling

Address: Chesham, Bucks

Phone Number: 07946 531 033

E-mail: info@jmacounselling.co.uk  

The type of personal information I collect:

I collect and process the following personal data directly from you as an enquirer for the purpose of sending further information and arranging counselling (aka ‘therapy’) sessions:

  • Full names
  • Email addresses
  • Phone numbers

Once counselling (aka ‘therapy’) sessions commence, personal data is stored and maintained in accordance with General Data Protection Regulation (May 2018) for the sole purpose of delivering counselling services as requested by you as a client. This personal data includes:

  • Full name
  • Email addresses
  • Phone numbers
  • Basic progress notes

This data is then retained for 8 years (as required by Public Liability Insurance). After this time, digital files are deleted, and any written notes destroyed. I have arranged for this data to be professionally and confidentially destroyed should I be unable to do so (through death or illness).  

How I get the personal data and why I have it:

The personal data I process is provided to me directly by you via my website; via email or text; and within counselling (aka ‘therapy’) sessions. I use this information for the purpose of sending you further information; arranging counselling sessions; and as part of the therapy process. Once counselling sessions commence, this information is retained for 8 years as required by Public Liability Insurance.

Under the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR), the lawful bases I rely on for processing this information are:

(a)Your consent. You are able to remove your consent at any time. You can do this by contacting JMA Counselling at info@jmacounselling.co.uk or 07946 531 033

(b) I have a contractual obligation.

(c) I have a legal obligation.

(d) I have a vital interest.

(e) I need it to perform a public task.

(f) I have a legitimate interest.

There is seldom a need to breach privacy or confidentiality by providing information to third parties, but it may be necessary to do so in the following rare circumstances:

a) When the client gives their consent for the confidentiality to be broken;

b) When the therapist is compelled to by a Court of Law;

c) If, in the counsellor’s (therapist’s) opinion, the client is a danger to themselves or others, particularly a child. In this situation the therapist will first discuss the intention to reveal information with the client. If the counsellor (therapist) is not able to discuss this with the client the therapist will inform appropriate agencies for the protection of the client and anyone else involved. If an agreement cannot be reached between the counsellor (therapist) and the client, the counsellor (therapist) may still choose to breach confidentiality in the interest of harm reduction;

d) When the client discloses involvement in terrorist activities or non-reported involvement in Road Traffic Accidents;

e) In a situation when a complaint has been made and the counsellor (therapist) is required to provide evidence of his/her practice.  

How I store your personal information:

Any data you provide is securely digitally stored.

Once counselling sessions commence, I keep your name, email address, phone number and any relevant notes in a digital database for 8 years. I will then dispose of your information by deleting the database file.

Your data protection rights:

Under data protection law, you have rights including:

  • Your right of access – You have the right to ask me for copies of your personal information. Note: in couple and family work, an individual client must receive the consent of the other(s) to access or utilise any data, including counselling (therapy) session progress notes.
  • Your right to rectification – You have the right to ask me to rectify personal information you think is inaccurate. You also have the right to ask me to complete information you think is incomplete. This does not apply to counselling (therapy) session progress notes.
  • Your right to erasure – You have the right to ask me to erase your personal information in certain circumstances. Your right to restriction of processing – You have the right to ask me to restrict the processing of your personal information in certain circumstances.
  • Your right to object to processing – You have the right to object to the processing of your personal information in certain circumstances.
  • Your right to data portability – You have the right to ask that I transfer the personal information you gave me to another organisation, or to you, in certain circumstances. You are not required to pay any charge for exercising your rights. If you make a request, I have one month to respond to you.

Please contact me, Jan Matthews at info@jmacounselling.co.uk or on 07946 531 033 if you wish to make a request.  

How to complain:

If you have any concerns about our use of your personal information, you can make a complaint to me Jan Matthews in writing at JMA Counselling; info@jmacounselling.co.uk

You can also complain to the ICO if you are unhappy with how we have used your data.

The ICO’s address:  

Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF  

Helpline number: 0303 123 1113 ICO website: https://www.ico.org.uk