I am committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. Should I ask you to provide certain information by which you can be identified when using this website, then you can be assured that it will only be used in accordance with this privacy statement.
For the purpose of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Regulation (EU) 2016/679)- the data controller is Sharon Nicholson.
Information I may collect
You may give me information about you such as, but not limited to, your name, address, email and phone number, by corresponding with me by phone, email or otherwise. I may receive information about you from other sources, such as through an agreed referral to counselling from your employer or other agency, Google Analytics, or if you use any of the other services I provide.
With regard to each of your visits to my site, the following information may automatically be collected:
The internet industry body, the Internet Advertising Bureau, has set up a website to provide information and advice on cookies: www.youronlinechoices.com/uk/.
Another source which gives information about how to delete and control cookies is www.aboutcookies.org/.
I may provide links to other websites offered by third parties. I have no control of, and accept no liability for, their privacy policies and practices, or any breach thereof. I advise that you read the privacy policies of any other sites that you visit.
I will use your information for the following purposes:
Disclosure of your information
Any information I record about you is confidential and collected in order to carry out my professional and contractual obligations during our therapeutic relationship.
I maintain confidentiality in accordance with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) Ethical Framework for Counselling professions – this can be viewed at https://www.bacp.co.uk/events-and-resources/ethics-and-standards/ethical-framework-for-the-counselling-professions/
If I have safeguarding concerns regarding either yourself, children, or other people that you are in contact with, I may need to share this information with other agencies.
I will look to gain your consent if these situations arise, but I retain the right to break confidentiality without prior consultation with you, should I consider that the urgency of the situation requires me to act immediately to safeguard the physical safety of yourself or others.
I will record your name, DOB, address and GP details for these purposes.
I may record information about your health or medications that are relevant to your well-being and my professional and contractual obligations to you during our therapeutic relationship.
I am obliged to share information if the courts order me to do so. Your consent will be sought where possible, and in writing.
I have a legal obligation to report any information that relates to terrorism, money laundering and radicalisation.
Counsellors have supervision to ensure safe and ethical practice. If I discuss our work together with my supervisor, I will not disclose your identity, and will only use your first name, or an alias. The supervisor will also abide by General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Where I store your personal data
The transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although I will do my best to protect your personal data, I cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to my site; any transmission is at your own risk. Once I have received your information, I will use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorised access.
I may make brief notes about our sessions together. Any information that is recorded/written will be kept on a secure encrypted computer/hard drive or in a lockable filing cabinet in my office. Outside agencies do not have access to this.
I am registered with the ICO for safe keeping of this information - I understand GDPR practices and abide by these.
Emails and electronic enquiries will be deleted after any action is agreed, and within 3 months of receipt.
If we work together, I may store your contact number in my mobile phone, it is stored with a code and not your name. This will be deleted within 3 months after counselling has ended. My mobile phone is password protected.
After we finish working together, the data I collect about you will be destroyed after 5 years (paper notes will be shredded/incinerated), this is at a time that is in line with my insurance company policy.
Access to information
You can request access to the personal information that I hold about you, and you can transfer that information to a third party if you wish. I will provide a copy of this information except in the limited circumstances in which I am permitted not to.
Requests will be processed within 30 days, and free of charge, unless manifestly unfounded or excessive. An admin fee will be charged if the request is excessive and this may take longer to process.
You may request amendments to the personal information that I hold about you that is inaccurate or out-of-date. If you request that I delete your personal information, I will take all reasonable steps to do so unless I need to keep it for legal, auditing or internal business purposes.
If I discover there has been a data breach of your personal information that could put you at risk, I will undertake to tell you within 72 hours.
Complaints, questions, comments and access requests should be addressed to Sharon Nicholson at