Privacy Policy

Privacy of personal information is an important principle to my practice. I am committed to collecting, using and disclosing personal information responsibly and only to the extent necessary for the services I provide. I also try to be open and transparent as to how I handle personal information. This document describes my privacy policies.

Personal information is information about an identifiable individual. Common examples of what I record are gender, age, email address and home or mobile phone numbers.

Like all psychotherapists, I collect and use personal information in order to serve my clients. The purpose for collecting such information is to record who I am seeing, to be able to effectively communicate with clients by email and telephone and to make notes of sessions. Limit mandated disclosure around child protection and suicidal and violent risks.

Like most organisations, I also collect, use and disclose information for purpose related to or secondary to my primary purposes. The most common examples of my related and secondary purposes are to clients and others of special events or opportunities (e.g. a workshop, a publication or information on the internet). I retain our client information for minimum of seven years as required by professional bodies and insurers.

I have taken the following steps to secure data:

  1. Electronic hardware is either under supervision or secured in a locked or restricted area at all times
  2. Password are used on my computers and mobile phone
  3. Paper information is either under supervision or secured in a locked or restricted area.
  4. Paper information is transmitted through sealed & addressed envelopes

Protocol on informed consent

  1. Informed consent must be obtained from all client for psychotherapy
  2. Informed consent must be obtained from at the following points:
    1. At assessment
    2. When there is any significant change in the therapeutic contract
    3. When there is any significant change in risk
    4. Informed consent involves the following
      1. Assessing those clients have the capacity to give informed consent. This has three components:
      2. Assessing that clients can understand and retain the information given
      3. Assessing that the clients grasp on reality is sufficient for them to believe what is begin said.
      4. Assessing that client can weigh up and balance the information given to come to an informed decision
      5. Consent must be given voluntarily i.e. it must be free from coercion. It is important therefore not to seek to persuade clients to consent and ensure that they are not attending because of pressure from, for example, family or GP.
      6. Consent must be informed in the sense that clients must be given sufficient information on the potential benefits and disadvantages and risks that are material to their particular situations.
    5. Where this consent protocol come into conflict with other protocols or polices (e.g. on recovered memory or management of risk) a decision shall be made about which protocol takes priority. This decision about priority should be based on principles consistent with the Human Rights Act 2000, Code(s) of Ethics & Practice, and any other relevant policies and protocols.
      1. A common scenario is where the assessor judges that therapy may risk uncovering a history of sexual abuse. In this case protocol on recovered memories takes precedence
    6. The practical implementations of will involve of following:
      1. Assessing whether the person can orientate themselves to reality enough to give consent. Situation where this is may not be the case includes extreme distress and a psychotic state.
      2. Outlining clearly what is on offer and the potential benefits, disadvantages and risks, both in general terms and those that apply to the particular person
      3. Asking clients whether they feel they understand what has been said
      4. Asking clients whether they think they can weigh up the issues and come to a decision
      5. Avoiding persuading client to accept any proposed therapy or change in therapeutic approach
      6. Fully documenting the informed consent including:
        1. Fully documenting the informed consent including:
        2. What therapy is being offered and why
        3. The potential benefits, disadvantages and risks both in general terms and the ones that apply to the particular person
      7. Any conflict between the consent protocol and any other protocol or policies, any decision about which takes priority and the reason for this.

    Terms & Conditions of Practice

    Appointments

    Sessions last for 50 minutes.

    At assessment, areas for discussion and agreement include:

    1. The most appropriate type of therapy
    2. Time and frequency of regular appointments

    Regular sessions normally take place weekly for individuals and fortnightly for couples.

    The aim is that therapy should end when clients's goals have been achieved, or when it is agreed that no further progress can be made. It is important that therapy should end with a planned session where possible, rather than by telephone or letter.

    Appointment times and holiday dates will be discussed and agreed in advance. If a client arrives late, the session will still have to end at the agreed time. If a client behaves inappropriately (e.g. attending the session under the influence of alcohol) the session or contract may be terminated.

    Sessions conducted on the telephone may be arranged occasionally by mutual consent with the call charge paid by the client. Sessions by Skype are also available.

    Fees and Payment

    Fees are payable at the last session of the calendar month and payments are normally made at the session. Invoices can be issued on request, but an administration fee may be added. Receipts are issued for cash payments, and for cheques on request.

    If fees are to be paid through medical insurance, by another individual, or by an organisation on behalf of a client, the client accepts full responsibility for properly investigating these arrangements and ensuring their viability. Should therapy commence before this has been done, or such arrangements break down, the client accepts financial responsibility for any fees incurred.

    Fees are payable for all missed sessions and for terminated sessions and are reviewed at the beginning April each year.

    Confidentiality

    Every effort is made to protect the identity of clients at all times. Records and notes are kept securely confidential and in compliance with the Date Protection Act.

    If the client is encountered unexpectedly in another setting I will not reveal that they are known to me unless the client acknowledges this first.

    Psychotherapy operates within a code of confidentiality where disclosure may take place in certain situations of risk (e.g. suicidal risk, child protection), preferably with the knowledge and consent of the client. Certain laws also provide for disclosure in situations relating to areas such as drugs and terrorism.

    When Attending

    It would be helpful if you could arrive as near to the appointment time as possible as I do not have a waiting area and am not able to answer the door whilst seeing other clients.

    Please take care coming down the steep drive, particularly in weather that is likely to make it slippery.

    When you arrive please come to the front door.

    Professional Practice

    Psychotherapists are required to have regular clinical supervision. Dr Delroy Hall is professionally responsible to:

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