Privacy Policy & Confidentiality

Mellissa Hamley Counselling Services is committed to complying with the terms of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and to the responsible and secure use of your data. I have a legitimate interest in processing personal data to provide counselling services.

 

I am registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), reference ZA482633.

 

 

What information do I collect?

I collect personal information from you at the start of therapy. This information includes contact details, and other relevant personal information. At the initial consultation I will ask about your current personal, medical and social circumstances along with the issues affecting you now. I might also ask about your background and family history to allow me to decide about offering counselling to you.

 

 

What do I use your information for?

Your data will be used only to provide you with my services and to give you information relating to my services. I will not share your details with any other person or organisation without your knowledge and permission unless there is a legal requirement or as detailed below.

Confidentiality

In adherence with The National Counselling Society ethical code, I am obliged to break confidentiality if:

 

  • You or others seem to be in danger or at serious risk of being harmed.

  • I am required to do so by subpoena (Court order or instructions from a coroner)

  • You infer involvement in or knowledge of an act of terrorism, money laundering or drugs trafficking.

  • The client infers knowledge of or involvement in behaviours that may lead to harm or neglect to a minor or vulnerable adult.

 

Where possible I will discuss this with you first.

 

Further information can be found within the National Counselling Society’s Code of Ethics and at: www.nationalcounsellingsociety.org/about-us/code-of-ethics/safeguarding-policy

 

 

In the event of my death or sudden illness that means I am unable to contact you, I have appointed a Therapeutic Executor who will take care of contacting you on my behalf. They are a qualified counsellor and adhere to the same ethical framework and confidentiality that I adhere to. They will only access your contact details in an emergency, and discuss with you appropriate onward arrangements.

 

 

Supervision and confidentiality

The content of your sessions will not be communicated with anyone except for the purposes of supervision of my practice. During supervision no identifying information is used. My supervisor also follows the same procedures for confidentiality as I have outlined.

Record Keeping

All client material is treated in complete confidence. Session notes will be kept separate and non-identifiable to your personal information, and will be stored in a locked filing cabinet only accessible by me. Both will be retained for 5 years from when your counselling with me has ended, in accordance with insurance requirements. After this time the information will be deleted and any paper documents will be shredded.

 

 

Your Rights

If you would like to see the information I hold about you, or would like to correct, update or delete any records, please contact me through the BetterHelp platform in the first instance. Alternatively, I can be contact by email on mellissa.counselling@outlook.com. It may take up to 28 days for this to be provided.

If you have any concerns about my use of your data, please contact me directly. I will do my utmost to resolve any concerns you have. If for any reason I cannot resolve the issues you may choose to contact the ICO directly.