About Your Privacy
Hay Counselling takes privacy and data protection extremely seriously. This page explains how Hay Counselling uses and stores personal data such as your name, address, and clinical notes.
Anonymous Website Browsing
No personal information, such as your e-mail address or other contacts which may identify you, is ever collected or stored by Hay Counselling when you browse this website. Except where you choose to enter your own contact details and other personal information in the on-line contact form, your use of this website is completely anonymous.
Email And Other Communications
When you send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or complete the on-line contact form on the website, the information you provide is accessible only by Hay Counselling. Contact forms are delivered to a private, password-protected email address. All communications are treated in the strictest confidence. Whatever personal information you choose to include in your communications will only be used for issues related to your counselling sessions.
Your Contact Details
The nature of psychotherapy and counselling means that the relationship between therapist and client may continue or be re-initiated over long periods. For this reason, contact details of clients and enquirers will normally be kept for as long as the relationship exists, or until they are deemed as no longer needed by Hay Counselling. Your contacts will always be stored securely, and will never be used for marketing purposes.
You can request your contact information to be permanently deleted at any time, by emailing email@example.com.
Your personal information will never be shared with any other person or organisation unless it is clinically necessary for your psychotherapy or counselling (which will be done with your full involvement wherever possible), or required for legal or regulatory reasons.
If you start psychotherapy or counselling sessions with Hay Counselling, some brief handwritten notes on sessions may be kept. All notes are anonymised and stored securely in line with latest data protection regulations from the UK Information Commissioners Office (ICO). You can request to see these notes at any time. Notes may be kept for up to seven years after your final session (or, for children, up to seven years from the time they turn 18) in order to comply with professional and insurance regulations, after which time they will be destroyed.
Material Discussed In Sessions
Therapists understand and completely respect the need for privacy and discretion when discussing sensitive issues. All psychotherapists and counsellors abide by stringent professional codes of ethics, set by their membership bodies, which include a commitment to the utmost privacy and confidentiality.
If what you share in your sessions seems to indicate a high risk of serious harm to yourself or someone else, then your therapist will most likely want to discuss that further with you, to see if anyone else might need to be informed. However, such a disclosure would wherever possible be made with your full involvement and consent.
There are a very limited number of instances where a therapist has professional or legal obligations that may affect the confidentiality of material discussed in sessions:
- For UK therapists, it is a requirement of most professional membership bodies to have regular Clinical Supervision. This means that if you are undergoing current therapy, some details of your sessions may occasionally be discussed by your therapist with their clinical supervisor. Any such discussions are strictly bound by the same professional codes of confidentiality that apply to your own counselling sessions.
- For clients under 18, it is a legal requirement for therapists to conform to the safeguards of UK Child Protection laws. This may involve disclosure of certain information to parents or other responsible adults, in order to prevent harm.
- For all clients, it is a legal requirement for therapists to conform to the obligations of the UK Terrorism Act 2000. This may involve disclosure of certain information to the relevant authorities, in order to prevent terrorism.