Confidentiality and GDPR
If you have referred yourself for counselling then no one apart from myself, David Cooper, would know you have attended or what was discussed. If you feel that someone may need to know information about your counselling sessions then I ask you to make this clear at the commencement of therapy. For example, if you have been referred to me by another party it may be in your interest for there to be some liaison.
In certain circumstances, I may have to make exceptions to the general rules of confidentiality and personal information may be passed on without consent:
- If I believe there is a serious risk of harm to yourself or others.
- When I cannot contact you but believe that you may be in danger. For example, if you had not been seen for several days and colleagues and friends felt concerned.
- Where there is a legal requirement to disclose information. This could be because it has been ordered by a court, or because the law requires, for example under the Terrorism Act 2000 or the Drug Trafficking Offences Act 1986 and to report harm or intention to harm a child, either by the client or a third party.
Notes and Record Keeping:
My policy is to keep minimum notes and records. The information I do store includes but may not be limited to:
- Personal information, such as your name, date of birth, address etc.
- Background information that might be relevant to the counselling process.
- Your signed contract with me.
- Confidential case notes (describing the main focus of the session with any important information).
You can request in writing to see your personal information that I hold.
Any notes I may make after a session will be anonymised and securely stored in line with GDPR compliance. I retain this information for 7 years unless it is requested by you that I destroy them beforehand. Any specific personal reflections and supervision notes are destroyed as soon as they have fulfilled their purpose or at the end of our therapeutic relationship.
If you have any concerns about this policy on confidentiality and note-keeping, you are welcome to discuss it fully prior to commencement.
Under the General Data Protection Regulations 2018, you have certain rights. These are:
You are allowed to see your notes. This is facilitated by making a formal request.
Records are kept for 7 years after termination of therapy and then destroyed.
You may request to have your records amended (change of name and address etc).
In the case of clients under 18, records are kept for 7 years after the child turns 18.
Under GDPR, you can request your data to be erased. However there are exceptions to this.
In the case of counselling records, insurance companies and ethical bodies ask for records to be available for the period of time as outlined above.
As part of an Initial Consultation I may ask details regarding your health. This is classed as ‘Special Category Information’ for which you need to give your permission.
Clients paying via bank transfer need to be aware that their name may be shared with my accountant, bank, HMRC or any other professional who requires access to my bank statements to carry out their lawful business.
All therapy is undertaken under the law and ethical guidelines of the practitioner's own country of residence.
Currently, I only work with clients based within the United Kingdom.