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:
Sessions last for 50 minutes.
At assessment, areas for discussion and agreement include:
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 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.
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.
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.
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