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Privacy Policy (v.3) Copyright © 2014-2018 Ashwood Therapy
Your personal information

At Ashwood Therapy, your privacy is of the utmost importance. You can be confident that your personal information is processed lawfully and securely. This web page should answer your questions about how your information is processed and your rights under the General Data Protection Regulation legislation.

Should you have any further questions or queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch via the secure online contact form.

What data does Ashwood Therapy collect?

Data collected by Ashwood Therapy is only used for the purpose for which it was originally obtained.

This means, for example, that if you provide your email address to sign up to the weekly wellbeing email blog, your information will not be used to send you marketing messages or passed on to a third party. If you request further information about the counselling services provided by Ashwood Therapy, your name and email address will only be used for that enquiry. If you become a client of Ashwood Therapy, data needed to ensure a safe and ethical service will be collected and used only for that purpose.

The minimum amount of data needed to provide the services on offer is collected.

When signing up for the email blog

If you sign up for the weekly Ashwood Therapy email blog, your email address will be stored in order to send you the mailing.

You can unsubscribe from the mailing list at any time by following the instructions at the bottom of the weekly blog email.

Your personal information is encrypted before it is securely sent from the Ashwood Therapy website.

When sending a website contact form enquiry

Your name and address, your request for further information about the counselling services provided (if any), and your message to Ashwood Therapy (if any) are collected for the sole purpose of responding to your enquiry.

Your personal information is encrypted before it is securely sent from the Ashwood Therapy website.

When booking a free initial consultation

When you book a free initial consultation through the Ashwood Therapy website booking system, your name and email address is collected so that you can be provided with information about how to access the consultation.

You will also be emailed a booking confirmation, and a booking reminder approximately 24 hours before your reserved slot. Your email address may also be used so that Ashwood Therapy can liaise with you about any counselling you may wish to access going forwards.

You may also optionally choose to enter your mobile (cell) phone number at the booking stage; should you choose to give this information, you will receive booking confirmation and a reminder by SMS text message also.

Your data will only be used to facilitate your free consultation and to follow up your enquiry about the services provided.

When using the website live chat function

Any information you share when using the live chat function on the Ashwood Therapy website will only be used to facilitate your enquiry about the counselling services provided.

You do not have to disclose your name, email address or any other personal information should you prefer not to - enquiries through the live chat facility can be made anonymously if you so choose.

While you may wish to outline some of your current situation during your chat, it is important to remember that the live chat function is not suitable for engaging in in-depth discussion about sensitive issues. It is best to wait until the Ashwood Therapy Assessment, Agreement and Application stages have been followed through before disclosing personal details.

On finishing the live chat, you have the option to request that the chat transcript (a copy of what was said) is emailed to an address of your choosing. A copy of the chat will automatically be emailed to Ashwood Therapy, and this information will only be used to facilitate your enquiry about the services on offer, if indeed you wish to take your enquiry further.

When completing the Assessment for online counselling

If you decide that you would like to go forward into the counselling process, an Assessment is required to ensure that online counselling would be suitable for you and that you would be likely to benefit from online therapy. In order for Ashwood Therapy to assess this, a comprehensive Assessment form must be filled in online. This form is anonymised (you only provide the first letter of your first name), and is encrypted before it is securely submitted through the website.

You are free to answer 'prefer not to say' for any of the questions asked. The Assessment requests the following information:

~ Approximate age

~ Gender

~ Whether you have ever trained or practised as a counsellor yourself

~ How you have been feeling over the past month

~ Details of your mental health history

~ Details of any recent or past self-harm

~ Your experience with and confidence in using technology

As consideration of this information is essential in order to provide a safe and ethical service, the counselling provided by Ashwood Therapy can only proceed if you give your consent to having this data processed and securely held.

When applying to start therapy

If, having completed the Assessment, it is felt that you would be likely to benefit from accessing online counselling with Ashwood Therapy, you are asked to fill in an Application form online. The personal information you provide on the form is encrypted before it is securely sent from the Ashwood Therapy website.

The Application requests the following information:

~ Your full name

~ Gender

~ Your confirmation that you are aged 18 or older

~ Your preferred email address

~ Your post code / zip code

~ Your mobile (cell) phone number

~ Whether you would like an appointment reminder by SMS text message

~ Your doctor's (GP) name, address and telephone number (for emergency contact)

~ Your VSee username (video call / instant messaging (text) chat clients only; for connecting online via the VSee app)

~ Your email exchange preference (email clients only)

As consideration of this information is essential in order to provide a safe and ethical service, the counselling provided by Ashwood Therapy can only proceed if you give your consent to having this data processed and securely held.

Once you are a client

If, following the Assessment and Application stages, you start counselling with Ashwood Therapy, personal information will be collected in the form of clinical notes, in line with best practice guidelines laid down by the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy). These are anonymised notes written after each therapeutic session in order that the progress and direction of your therapy can be reviewed.

These are held in encrypted local storage (not in the 'cloud' or online), and are not shared with other people, except as detailed in the service confidentiality agreement. (In brief, information is only shared in the event of the risk of harm to the client, harm to someone else or harm to a child. In some instances Ashwood Therapy may be required to pass on information about potential terrorist activity. Client information discussed in clinical supervision will be anonymised).

As consideration of this information is essential in order to provide a safe and ethical service, the counselling provided by Ashwood Therapy can only proceed if you give your consent to having this data processed and securely held.

What rights do I have over my data?

You have the right under the General Data Protection Regulation legislation to access a copy of the data that Ashwood Therapy holds about you (in an electronic format), and the right to ask for this data to be amended if incorrect, or deleted entirely.

There is no charge to request a copy of your data, or its amendment or deletion, and you have the right to expect your request for any of the above to be fulfilled within one month. Should you wish to receive a copy of your data, have it amended or erased, please contact Ashwood Therapy by email or via the secure online contact form.