Shannon Hart Counselling uses a secure system for online counselling, protecting the information that is collected. All email and contact forms are encrypted. All telephone calls are confidential.
All email accounts are double password protected and fully encrypted. If you send an email to the counsellor’s email address, only they will have access to it.
Sessions may be recorded for note taking, record keeping and client’s files. This will be stored on a password protected and encrypted hard drive that only the counsellor has access to. This will be explained to you before and during the initial session.
All phones, tablets, laptops, or storage devices required to conduct or aid counselling sessions have anti-virus and/or double password protected locks. When they are not in use for sessions, they are kept securely in a locked pin access compartment that only the counsellor has the password for.
The compartment is further kept secure in a locked room and/or locked cabinet that only the counsellor has access to, this is to ensure your privacy and to meet ethical guidelines. If the counsellor is travelling, the compartment safe is stored in a portable locked carry case.
Shannon Hart Counselling will advise clients of confidentiality and the importance it has on the individual counselling sessions. Any discussions during counselling sessions will be strictly confidential.
If your sessions are paid for or arranged via a third party, e.g. a friend, partner, spouse or family member, other than payment requests, invoices or receipts your counselling information will not be shared. Details about what is discussed in your sessions remain confidential between you and the counsellor. Any other information can only be shared with the consent of the client (person receiving counselling).
Even if sessions are paid for or arranged by a third party, such as a friend, partner, family member, employer, company, charity or organisation, your consent is required to begin counselling sessions. If you do not consent to the sessions, then they will not begin. The only information that will be shared with your approved third party is payment requests, invoices, receipts and confirmation that your counselling sessions are taking place. Any details about what is discussed in your sessions remain confidential between you and the counsellor. Any other information can only be shared with the consent of the client (person receiving counselling).
When the counsellor receives supervision from a qualified supervisor, they will always protect your identity. All work is completed to the highest ethical standards.
Information will only be disclosed if necessary, for e.g. if either counsellor or client is at risk of harm, we are then required by ethics to seek advice and guidance from other professionals. We would try to discuss this beforehand with you to obtain your assent. We may also disclose information if there is a suspected case of child abuse or alleged child abuse, known or suspected case of adult or elder abuse. If the counsellor receives information, regarding a proposed or actual act of terrorism or other serious crime, he/she is required to share this with the police by ethical guidelines and by law. Upon receipt of a subpoena, from a judge in a UK court of law, your counsellor will be bound by British Law to release any information.
Only the necessary information for the effectiveness of online and telephone therapy will be asked. We do not store information in a way that makes you personally identifiable. A service where you have the option of being able to use another name for the purpose of online or telephone counselling is offered. You may use a name you feel comfortable with during the session, the choice is up to the individual client.
Collection of information
We do not require personal data such as race, sexual orientation, political opinion or religion.
Shannon Hart Counselling does not require identification such as a passport or a licence etc. Before online and telephone sessions begin, the client messenger ID or telephone number, contacts etc. as well as brief details of what you feel you wish to talk can be discussed with the counsellor during the initial free 30 minute session. This information is accessed only by the counsellor.
Shannon Hart Counselling will ensure basic information is gathered accurately. The email address that you initiate contact from, will be used as a form of contact in order to book and conduct sessions and for email counselling. If you, the client wish to use instant chat or telephone counselling, you will only be contacted via messenger or phone, as per your request, at pre-booked times to have your session.
The counsellor may choose to keep offline information about their client's session time/date to stay organised. This information held by the counsellor is destroyed within 6 months.
Disclosure of information
You will never be contacted via phone or messenger at any time other than for pre-arranged sessions. Your telephone number, messenger ID or email address will not be shared with any outside agencies or third parties.
Shannon Hart Counselling does not require proof of income or financial status, discounts are available to all. We do not request banking and financial information or card payments taken via the phone. Purchases for counselling sessions are made securely via appointment booking gateway. You can check your purchase history with them directly, also via email when they send the receipts after each purchase.
Access to information
You are able to request any information that is being held about you. To request any information, please contact the counsellor directly, we ask that you allow up to 21 days for the request to be fulfilled. Please note that we only hold basic details for up to 6 months after your last session purchase.
Deleting your information
Within 6 months of last your session, all appointment, payment and contact details will be destroyed. Recordings, client notes and treatment plans will be stored in a secure offline storage for up to 10 years, in accordance to UK Data Protection Laws. The details held are unlikely to make you personally identifiable. However, if you would like the appointments, payment and contact details to be removed before the 6th month please contact the counsellor directly to make that request, we ask that you allow 14 days for that request to be fulfilled.
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