Details of what information I collect from you, what I do with it and who it might be shared with.
South Belfast Counselling is compliant with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and takes data protection seriously. The Data Controller is Gary McKeever.
What information do I collect from you as a counselling client?
When you first come to counselling, I will collect some personal information as part of an agreed counselling contract. This contract acts as the foundation of our work together.
Personal information I usually request of you includes: your name, postal address, email address, telephone number and the telephone number of an emergency contact person.
I also keep concise notes on your progress in counselling. These notes are anonymised, coded with a reference number and stored separately from your contact details.
Some information recorded in counselling notes may include additional personal information – e.g. religious belief, criminal convictions, health or relationship status.
Personal information is recorded electronically and in a written format.
Why do I collect this information?
Any information provided by you is necessary to ensure a counselling service is provided to a high ethical standard.
Who might I share your information with?
Although counselling is a confidential arrangement between the counsellor and the client, there may be occasions when I may need to talk to someone else about what you might disclose in therapy. This is usually only undertaken in order to ensure you or someone else is kept safe from serious risk of harm and I would hope to gain your consent for this to happen. However, this might not always be possible.
Individuals or agencies I might talk to usually include the police, social services, emergency services, medical supports and your emergency contact person.
Information on what you talk about in counselling might also be shared with the courts, should you be involved in legal proceedings.
I may also need to disclose information about possible criminal acts or security threats to the appropriate authorities.
As a registered and senior accredited member of BACP, I operate in line with the Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions. This means I am committed to reviewing my client work in supervision with a qualified clinical supervisor.
Your personal information will not be shared with any third parties for marketing purposes.
What do I do with your information?
Counselling contracts and client notes are scanned, password protected and stored securely as digital files. The originals are then shredded.
All records are kept securely for a period of seven years from the termination date of therapy and then destroyed.
How can I access the information you hold about me?
You have the right to request a copy of the information I hold about you.
You also have the right to object to your personal information being gathered and the right to withdraw your permission at any time.
If you would like a copy of some or all of your personal information, please use the contact form on this site or write to me at South Belfast Counselling, Room 9, 52 University Street, Belfast BT7 1HB.
In order to verify your identity, please provide a copy of your passport or driving license and proof of address.
I aim to provide you with a copy of your information in a commonly used format within a month of receiving your request.
You have the right to have any inaccuracies corrected or information deleted. This can be requested verbally or in writing.
This service is provided free of charge.
Data protection complaints
Should you be unhappy with how your personal data is handled, you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office.
The South Belfast Counselling website is a secure site, protected by a Positive SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. The SSL certificate ensures your information is private when sent to this site.
South Belfast Counselling uses WordPress to publish its website. WordPress is operated by Automattic Inc.
By default, WordPress does not collect personal data or analytics data about visitors and only collects anonymous information about users’ activity on the site, for example the number of users viewing webpages to monitor the effectiveness of the site.
For more information about how WordPress processes data, please see Automattic’s Privacy Notice.
South Belfast Counselling uses Facebook and X to promote the counselling service and both platforms are compliant with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
South Belfast Counselling uses Google Meet for online counselling interactions.
Google Meet is compliant with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). You can access Google’s privacy policies here.
South Belfast Counselling does not record calls made through these platforms and any associated user data, such as telephone numbers and email addresses are password protected.
Cookies are small files that are placed on your computer by websites that you visit. They are used to ensure websites work properly or work more efficiently, as well as to provide information to the site’s owners.
You can usually choose to set your web browser to remove or reject cookies before using Automattic’s websites, although certain features of these websites may not function properly without the aid of cookies.
South Belfast Counselling has installed the WPForms Lite plugin on its website to enable users to submit a comment or message to the service and this is usually undertaken to arrange a counselling appointment. The form asks users to supply their name, email address and telephone number and this information is only used so that South Belfast Counselling can contact the user to arrange an initial appointment or reschedule an existing appointment. This information is retained for the duration of the agreed counselling period and is deleted at the completion of therapy.
The South Belfast Counselling website also uses the Google Analytics Dashboard for WordPress (GADWP). This plugin has been set to ensure user IP addresses are anonymised.
By default, the GADWP plugin doesn’t send personal information to Google and Google Analytics reports don’t include a user’s IP address.
According to Google Analytics terms of service, customers are prohibited from sending personal information to Google.
To opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites, visit http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout.
Reviewed on 6 December 2023