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 directly.. The type of personal information I collect and process are:
Date of Birth.
Telephone number (plus permission to text or leave messages).
Emergency contact details
Medical conditions relevant to counselling.
Prescribed medication, relevant to counselling.
Reason for counselling
What do I use your information for?
I obtain this information in order to:
Know how to refer to you
Enable me to contact you outside of booked sessions where necessary
Be able to provide you with counselling services
If there is a health emergency, it will enable me to, with your consent, contact someone. This may include, but not limited to, the emergency services or a local crisis team.
If I were to receive a request for your data, it will help me identify if it’s a genuine request from you.
There may be occasions where I’m required by law (E.g. terrorism) to disclose to the authorities your details, and some of these may be required without obtaining your consent.
Who I may share this information with
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.
I have regular meetings with a supervisor who will only know of you by first name, and any presenting issues.
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
How I store and dispose of your personal information
Your information is securely stored.
This includes the contract, contact information, and brief session notes.
They will be retained for a period of 7 years from when we have finished working together.
A client code document (to enable me to link documents). This will be retained for 7 years from when we have finished working together, and then erased.
Any emails or texts we may exchange. These will be kept for a month after we have finished working together, and then erased.
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.
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.
Your right to erasure – Whilst GDPR gives you the right to request that you be forgotten when you finish working with me, GDPR gives me the obligation to decline that request on the basis that my insurance provider requires me to keep notes and records on file for 7 years, due to the potential for case complaints or legal claims.
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 at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to make a request.
How to complain
If you have any concerns about how I use your personal information, please contact me in the first instant. I will do my utmost to resolve any concerns you may have. If for any reason I cannot resolve your concerns, you can contact the ICO.
The ICO’s address:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Helpline number: 0303 123 1113
ICO website: https://www.ico.org.uk