Privacy Policy

To safely and appropriately provide you with counselling I need to collect personal data from you and I need your written consent to collect this data. You will be given a copy of my Privacy Policy to read and sign prior to your therapy starting. If the client is under the age of 16, the signing must be completed by a parent or guardian. 

Counselling is a confidential process and I do not reveal your personal data, or the content of your sessions, to a third party without your express permission. The only exceptions to this would be if you were threatening your own life or the life of another, there was a safeguarding issue or you were involved in a crime that falls outside of counselling confidentiality boundaries. In these cases, I may decide to contact emergency services or relevant authorities without your permission.

 

This privacy policy also explains what information I collect, how I use it, where I keep it, how long I keep it for and the procedures that I have in place to safeguard your privacy.

When you contact me via my website contact submission form, email or via telephone you give me:

  • Your name

  • Your email address

  • Your phone number 

  • A reason for your enquiry

I collect this information for the following reasons:

  • To ensure I can identify you easily within my caseload, maintaining complete confidentiality for you and your data

  • To monitor and measure the effectiveness of my service

  • To identify all potential factors that may be contributing to the problem you are seeking help with, and that I am adequately trained in that area

My website doesn’t store any personal details. After you fill out the contact form online all further communication will be via phone and email. Please also refer to my cookies policy, for further information.

After our first meeting I will complete an assessment form. Again, this is handwritten and stored in a paper file, which is also shredded after our work ends.

I keep a log of all sessions with my clients. This log is purely the date of the session and a brief overview of the session theme. Again, this is stored on paper only.

My mobile phone & laptop are passcode protected so cannot be accessed without access to this code or my fingerprint. My business phone is not my personal phone so is only kept with me whilst I am working. Any personal travel does not involve taking my business phone outside of my home address. 

My email address is also password protected and all emails remain completely confidential. This email address is solely for my business so you will not have your details passed onto any 3rd parties or receive spam notices. In the unlikely event you receive any emails received in error you are required to return them to me immediately and permanently delete them.

I keep a paper diary and all appointments are written in my diary using your initials only, as this diary travels with me to and from appointments. All notes that are brought to the sessions are kept locked away in transit maintaining complete confidentiality.

If you choose to go ahead with therapy you will be asked to fill out & sign all documentation via my online signature software HelloSign. This means you can sign the documentation online, without needing to print off the documents & scan back to me. To complete this process, you will receive an email which will prompt you to sign the necessary documents. Once you have completed the signing process you will receive a confirmation email with your copy of the signed documents. In order to protect your data, it is recommended you do not forward this email; however, you can choose to do so at your own risk. You will not be required to sign up for a HelloSign account & their individual privacy policy can be found here: https://gb.hellosign.com/privacy?_ga=2.29713846.848962454.1597831836-1358798338.1595328209 

Payments for sessions can be made using on my online invoicing and credit card payment system called Square. You will be sent an email on the day of the session containing your invoice, so you can pay using a credit or debit card. You also have the capability to store your card details, so you do not need to enter your details each time you pay an invoice. Your invoice will be called “Therapy Session” and the reference will be a mixture of our initials and the number of the session, for example LSWW001. When you pay for your invoices, paying by Visa or Mastercard, the following will be displayed on your bank statement “SQ *Lauren Street*”. If you are paying via American Express, the following will be displayed “SQUAREUP EUROPE”. The privacy & security notice for Square can be found here: https://squareup.com/help/gb/en/article/3796-privacy-and-security  

Once you have completed signing the documents via HelloSign I will log into my account & print off your documents. I have an office in my home which contains a locked filing cabinet where your data is then kept and stored. The key to my office and filing cabinet are kept in undisclosed locations in my home which only I have access to. In the unlikely event of my death or incapacitation there are written instructions, in my Clinical Will, as to how your data can be accessed and passed to the clinical directors of the service, I see you in.

Your data will be stored in the same location for 7 years after our therapy has ended, as per my insurance policy. Once the 7 years has passed, all documents I have relating to our work will be shredded. Your records are not classed as medical records or public records.  

You have the right to be informed about the information I collect and store as well as the methods I use for storing it.

You also have the right to access the information I store. Should you wish to do this please contact me to access this information with no questions asked. Please note I legally have 28 days to respond to your request, however, I will aim to do this as soon as I am able to within the 28-day period.

You are entitled to ask for my records relating to our work together to be destroyed within the 7-year period after our therapy has ended. Each application to do so will be considered on an individual basis and I will provide you with a decision to either accept or decline your request within 28 days. In order to make this decision I have to have authorisation from my insurers and membership bodies.

Lauren Street Counselling strives to do its utmost to protect your data. However, in the event of a personal data breach the below action will be taken:

  • All breaches will be reported to you without delay

  • A record of any personal data breaches will be kept

  • The ICO will be informed in writing. My registration number is ZA463997

 

If you feel my handling of any data breach isn’t satisfactory you are within your rights to make a formal complaint to the Information Commissioners Office.

Data controller is Lauren Street and I can be contacted at laurenstreetcounselling@yahoo.com

LMSP Services Ltd, trading as Lauren Street Counselling, registered address:

7 Bell Yard

London

WC2A 2JR

© Copyright of Lauren Street Counselling, 2018.