Privacy Notice 

Introduction

 

Your privacy is very important to Echidna Counselling (EC) and you can be confident all personal information you provide will be kept safe and secure and will only be used for the purpose it was provided.

 

Echidna Counselling adheres to data protection legislation, including the General Data Protection Regulation (EU/2016/679) (the GDPR), the Data Protection Act 2018 and the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003.

 

This privacy notice outlines how the personal information you provide, from initial point of contact through to therapy conclusion, is handled including:

  • Why your information is processed and for what purpose,

  • Whether you have to provide it,

  • How long it is stored for,

  • Who the information is shared with,

  • Whether it is transferred to another country,  

  • Whether automated decision-making or profiling is conducted, and

  • Your data protection rights.

 

‘Data controller’ is the term used to describe the organisation that collects and stores and has responsibility for personal data. In this instance, the data controller is: Echidna Counselling.  

Lawful basis for holding and using your personal information

 

The GDPR states there must be a lawful basis for processing your personal data. There are different lawful bases depending on the stage at which Echidna Counselling is processing your data. These are explained below:

  • If you have had counselling which has now ended, “legitimate interest” is used as the lawful basis for holding and using your personal information

  • If you are currently having counselling or if you are in contact to consider counselling, your personal data will be processed where it is necessary for the performance of the contract.

  • The GDPR also requires any sensitive personal information provided is appropriately handled. This type of information is called “special category personal information”. The lawful basis for processing this type of information is for provision of health treatment (in this case counselling services) and necessary for a contract with a health professional (i.e. between client and counsellor).

How we use your information

Initial Contact

When you make initial contact with EC with an enquiry about counselling services. Information will be collected to help satisfy your enquiry.

 

We collect your name, address, email and telephone numbers on initial contact. We ask that you give telephone numbers on which we are able to leave confidential messages if necessary.

 

Your date of birth, GP, occupation, details of medication, previous experience of counselling, first names of significant people and brief description of your problem are given by you on the Confidential Client Questionnaire provided to you with your initial appointment letter and returned by you.

 

While you are accessing counselling

Please be assured that everything you discuss is confidential, as outlined in the counselling agreement. In exceptional circumstances, it may be necessary to break confidentiality for example if there is cause to believe that you are at risk of seriously harming yourself or others, where there is a Safeguarding issue or where there is an order by the Court. Your counsellor will always try to speak to you about this first, unless there are safeguarding issues that prevent this.

 

In accordance with BACP’s Ethical framework, your counsellor will keep brief factual notes on the discussion. These notes do not constitute part of your official health record. Your personal data will not appear on the notes and you will be identified in a manner which protects your anonymity.

 

They are kept privately, and confidentiality filed where only your counsellor can access. Records may be stored in a coded, encrypted and password-protected electronic form in a cloud storage system which meets security requirements.

 

All client data and records will be kept securely for a period of SEVEN YEARS after counselling has ended and will then be destroyed, in line with Insurance requirements.

 

If you decide not to proceed with counselling, your personal data is deleted within NINETY DAYS. If you would prefer your information to be deleted sooner than this, please provide a written notice.

 

Your personal information may exist within:

  • text messages

  • email

  • written notes

  • contract document

 

Please be aware that Echidna Counselling operates from a private residence which has a Ring Doorbell. Nothing is done with the images collected, it is for the purpose of the private residence. No audio recording is made unless the doorbell is rung. Please do not approach the front door for the purpose of your counselling. Entrance is made via the side gate. You can request that your image is destroyed at any time and all reasonable efforts will be made to do so. Their privacy notice can be found on the Ring Website.  

 

Social Media

It is important to maintain boundaries for both counsellor and client in order to do so the following applies:

  • EC Instagram is set to public and is considered open to all, any comments are visible to all.  

  • Counselling cannot take place over social media, DM can be sent for enquiries for counselling but no further. If in crisis a client should seek alternative methods of contact or support via their General Practitioner.

  • The contents of sessions shall never be mentioned, respecting client confidentiality.

  • EC blog is a public form, and as such you may need to be aware that any comments are visible to all.

  • Personal social media accounts are considered private spaces, no follow/friend requests or DMs should be sent.

The information stored in social media forums is not controlled by EC, please refer to their individual privacy notices.

Third party recipients of personal data

 

Your data is not passed on to any third party for marketing purposes. It is important that when you share your contact details with EC that they are either confidential or that you are agreeable to messages being left on telephone numbers, or necessary correspondence being sent to the addresses given.

 

EC will sometimes share personal data with third parties, for example, where EC has contracted with a supplier to carry out specific tasks. In such cases, third parties are carefully selected, and an agreement exists stating what they are allowed to do with any data shared to them. The agreement stipulates your information is not used in any way other than the task for which they have been contracted.

 

Your right to know what we know about you


EC tries to be as open as they can in terms of giving people access to their personal information. You have the right to ask for your personal information to be deleted, to limit how your personal information is uses, or to stop processing of your personal information. You also have a right to ask for a copy of any information that I hold about you an to object to the use of your personal data in some circumstances. You can read more about your rights at

If EC does hold information about you, they will:

  • Give you a description of it and where it came from,

  • Tell you why they are holding it, tell you how long it will be stored and how that decision was made,

  • Tell you who it could be disclosed to,

  • Let you have a copy of the information in an intelligible form.

 

You can also ask at any time to correct mistakes there may be in the personal information held about you.

 

To make a request for any personal information held about you, please put the request in writing addressing it to echidnacounselling@gmail.com.

 

If you have a complaint about how your personal data is handled please do not hesitate to get in touch by writing or email. All suggestions for improving data protection procedures are welcomed.

 

If you would like to make a formal complaint about the way your personal information is processed, you can contact the ICO which is the statutory body that oversees data protection law in

the UK. For more information go to 

 

 

How we keep your data safe and who has access to it

 

The security of all data held about you is taken very seriously and every effort is taken to ensure it is kept secure by applying a ‘defence in depth’ strategy covering physical, technical and administrative security throughout EC.

 

Your personal details are kept on a database on a password secured server which can only be accessed by personnel authorised to do so. Users of the server are kept to a minimum. To preserve your anonymity, once your details have been entered on to the database you are referred to only by your first name and a reference number. Your counsellor may be given your contact details for necessary contact, but they will not be stored in a way that connects you to EC as a service user.

 

Keeping your information up to date

 

It is important that the information we hold for you is up to date. It is your responsibility to inform your counsellor as soon as possible if you change any of your personal data, eg. address. GP, telephone number. This information may be required in cases of emergency.

 

Visitors to my website

 

Echidna Counselling is hosted on the Wix.com platform. Wix.com provides us with the online platform that allows us to sell our services to you. Your data is stored through Wix.com’s data storage, databases and the general Wix.com applications. They store our data on secure servers behind a firewall.

 

Standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns are collected. This is done to find out things such as the number of visitors to the various parts of the site. This information is only processed in a way that does not identify anyone. I do not make, and do not allow attempts to find out the identities of those visiting my website.

 

I use legitimate interests as my lawful basis for holding and using your personal information in this way when you visit my website.

 

Like most website, we use cookies to help the site work more efficiently – find out about our use of cookies.

 

If you wish to find out detailed information regarding Cookies consider visiting 

 

You can set your web browser to warn you about attempts to place cookies on your computer, limit the types of cookies you allow or refuse cookies altogether, however, you may not be able to use some or all of the features of the services, or your experience will be different or less functional if you refuse/disable cookies.

By using our website, you consent to our use of cookies and other data collection tools as described in this Privacy Policy.

 

Other use of your data

 

We do not use and will not use in the future any of your personal data for any marketing.

Changes to this Privacy Policy

 

We reserve the right to modify this privacy policy at any time, so please review it frequently. Changes and clarifications will take effect immediately upon their posting on the website. If we make material changes to this policy, we will notify you here that it has been updated, so that you are aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we use and/or disclose it. 

 

Echidna Counselling is happy to talk through any questions you might have about this data protection policy and can be contacted:

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Chelmer Village, Chelmsford