Privacy Notice for Email Enquiries
The privacy and safety of your personal information is of utmost importance. By using the email contact form on this website, you are agreeing for your email address, name and information you send in the email to be held securely by Sarah Comerford (the data controller). Your email and any other contact details will only be used to respond to your enquiry by Sarah Comerford. Your details will NOT be used for any marketing purposes or shared with any other person, organisation or company.
Please be assured that enquiries submitted through this contact form are sent directly to Sarah Comerford's email, which is GDPR compliant and password protected. Webhealer, the website management organisation delete all enquires from their system and do not view or retain any information sent through the contact form.
Please find below the counselling agreement between Sarah Comerford and yourself as the client. This details practice around confidentiality, data protection, fees and privacy.
- Your counselling sessions will take place at the same time, day and place each week, unless a change is agreed in advance by counsellor and client.
- Each session will last 50 minutes.
- The number of sessions will be reviewed by us together, with an appropriate time given for ending counselling.
- Fees are £60 per session.
- You will be required to pay by bank transfer.
- Fees are payable at the end of each session or you can pay for sessions in advance.
Missed Sessions and cancellations
- The agreed timeslot is allocated to you for the duration of your counselling on the understanding that you will attend all sessions.
- Advance notice of at least 24 hours is required if you are unable to attend a session, otherwise the full fee will be charged.
- If I am unable to attend a session, I will always try and give you as much notice as possible and will not charge you for the missed session.
Safety and Covid measures
- You will notify me if you are experiencing any covid symptoms and will not attend your appointment in person. We can either reschedule for when you are better and/or out of isolation or we can resume the session online or over the phone.
- During our counselling appointments and while on the property of the counselling service, you agree you will not harm yourself, the property and its contents, or me.
- Alcohol or recreational drugs should not be used prior to our session. If you are under the influence of recreational drugs or alcohol, I will end the session immediately and you will be charged the full fee.
- I will keep the room as ventilated as possible (weather permitted) with a window open during our session and thoroughly clean any
areas you may come into contact with.
- There will be no communal items, such as water or tissues provided, please bring your own should you require these.
- We will be seated over 2 metres apart, I will not be wearing a face mask, there is no requirement for you to wear a mask, but please feel free to wear one should you feel more comfortable doing so.
Confidentiality and ethical framework
- I am a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and work within the guidelines, codes and ethical frameworks of this organisation.
- My work is fully insured.
- Everything discussed in our session will remain private and confidential to us.
- This confidentiality will not be upheld in exceptional circumstances where:
- There is a risk you may seriously harm yourself or someone else.
- I have a child safeguarding concern.
- A risk that a serious illegal act may take place; this includes an act of terrorism, drug trafficking and money laundering.
- Should these circumstances arise, I will always endeavour to discuss this with you and inform you if I need to share something we have discussed.
- All counsellors are required to work under supervision; this improves my ability to work effectively with clients. I meet with my supervisor and peer supervision group on a regular basis. My supervisor and those involved in the supervisory process are bound by the same agreement of confidentiality and BACP code of conduct.
Working online and social media
- When working remotely, either on the phone or online, confidentiality is maintained as it is working face to face. I will be working in a confidential space that will not be interrupted or overheard by anyone else.
- I use Zoom to work online; I have enabled end to end encryption security and a waiting room, where only you will be admitted to the session. Whilst I have made every effort to ensure the highest level of security when using online technology, I hold no responsibility should a security breach occur by Zoom or any other online platform we choose to use.
- In order to work effectively and safely, neither you nor I will attempt to record a session or part of a session without prior permission.
- It is important when you attend our sessions, that you find a space that you will not be interrupted or overheard and feel able to talk freely.
- If you are going to attend the session in a public space or outside, we will need to ensure confidentiality can be maintained and there is limited disruption from outside influences, such as the weather and noise.
- In the event that our session is disrupted or cut short due to issues relating to internet/electricity/phone signal, we will discuss how you would like to proceed. This may involve continuing the session over the phone or rescheduling the session.
- In relation to all social media, I will not receive or accept friend requests in order to protect the boundaries of our therapeutic relationship.
- If working with clients who are outside of the UK, my contract is subject to English Law with the Exclusive Jurisdiction of the Courts of England and Wales.
It is important that you know and formally consent to the information I will hold about you and our sessions together; how I will hold and store this information and why I am holding this information. This is in line with the Data Protection Act (GDPR, 2018).
What data I hold about you; how I record and store this; and why I require this information
In order to work safely, ethically and professionally with you, I need to hold certain information about you and our work together. This is likely to include the following:
- Your name and address
- Your phone number and email address
- An emergency contact’s name and phone number
- Your GP’s name and contact details
- Relevant medical and/or psychiatric information
- Your payment information
- Communications we have outside of sessions, including texts and emails
- Session notes
In order to keep a record of our work together, I will keep brief session notes. These are anonymised and securely stored, either in a locked filing cabinet or on a secure online system. Your contact details, GP information and medical information will be kept locked in a filing cabinet and kept separate to my session notes. Your payment information and any identifying details you use, may identify you in my banking records, these may be requested by my accountant and/or the Inland Revenue.
All electronic information kept on my work phone is password protected and only I have access, this includes your name and contact telephone number and messages sent between us for the purposes of arranging counselling work together. Emails sent between us are from a secure password protected browser-based account.
All records are kept as long as is reasonable for the purpose for which they were prepared, in most cases for five years after we have stopped working together, and are then securely destroyed. I am registered with the ICO; my registration is ZB059269.
Rarely, permission is asked by clients, their solicitors, the police and/or the courts to access counselling records. Any request to provide a written report made by the aforementioned will be considered on a case by case basis on receipt of written consent by you, if this is required. Any report provided will not refer to specialist diagnosis or other matters outside my training and will be restricted to brief details of each session, dates and number of sessions attended.
In the event of my death or my mental or long term physical incapacity, In line with ethical guidelines, a named trusted colleague, who is also a therapist and registered member of the BACP will inform you. This colleague will securely and confidentially hold your name and contact details for the duration of our work together.
In accordance with UK-GDPR guidelines, I am required to gain your explicit consent to hold and use your data as I have detailed above. Please read and sign below to indicate your consent. You have the right to withdraw your consent at any time.
Please sign below to consent that:
- You have read and understood my data policy
- You are happy for me to hold and use your data as described above