Protection and Record Keeping

Inner Space Counselling Ltd. therapists will collect information about you during your initial phone consultations and intake sessions, with your consent, to help them understand the nature of the problem you are bringing. We hold this information as a confidential record and all records are kept securely and accessed only by Inner Space Counselling Ltd. therapists. These records are subject to the General Data Protection Regulation May 2018.

Some of the information we may collect is classified as sensitive personal data and we can only use such data where we have your explicit consent. This data may include: racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious beliefs, trade union membership, physical or mental health, sexual life, criminal proceedings and offences. Your personal and sensitive personal data will only be used in order to provide the service to you.

Adult records are kept for a period of 7 years and are then destroyed; children's records are kept until they are 25 (7 years as an adult). You have a right to access these records if you wish and to make a complaint to the ICO if you think there is a problem with how these records are managed.

Confidentiality

Counselling is a private and confidential form of help and any information held about you is kept in confidence. This means that we will not normally give your name or any information about you to anyone else. However, there are exceptional cases where we might ethically or legally have to give information to relevant authorities, for example, if we have reason to believe that someone, especially a child, is at serious risk of harm or to prevent a miscarriage of justice. We will discuss any proposed disclosure with you unless we believe that to do so could increase the level of risk to you or to someone else.

Inner Space Counselling Ltd. only holds the information you have shared with us since coming to us for treatment. This is kept in a GDPR compliant online appointment booking and diary management system.

We also use a third party specialist call answering service to provide cover when we cannot answer the phone ourselves. This service is also fully GDPR compliant. The staff there will only use information you share to update bookings or to pass messages on to us.

Neither we, nor any third parties we work with, sell your information or use it for any other purpose than to provide the services to you that you have requested from us. No sensitive or confidential information is shared with any third parties.

Reports and Client Records

Occasionally we are asked by a client or by external agencies such as Social Services or the NHS to write reports on the progress made in counselling. We are not normally in a position to do this because of our duty of confidentiality and because we are not trained in the specialist areas of diagnosis or social work assessment. However, we can in some circumstances, and on receipt of written consent from you, report who attended counselling and provide brief information about the dates and number of sessions attended.

In addition, we may be asked by clients, their solicitors, the police and the courts for access to the client records. These are not suitable as evidence in legal proceedings and we reserve the right to resist legal requests to produce the records in court. We do this in order to protect our duty of confidentiality to you and all our clients.