Privacy Policy

 

This Privacy Policy explains how I, Sharon Nicholson of Sharon Nicholson  Counselling, use and protect any information that you give to me when you use this service.  


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.  

By visiting www.sharon-nicholson.com  (my site), and working with me, you are accepting and consenting to the practices described in this policy. By continuing to use my site, you are agreeing to my use  of cookies described below. 

Any changes I make to my privacy and cookie policy will be posted on this page and, where appropriate, notified to you by e-mail. Please check back frequently to see any changes to my privacy and cookie policy. 


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: 

  • technical information, including the Internet protocol (IP)  address used to connect your computer to the Internet, browser type and version, time zone setting, browser plug-in types and versions, operating system  and platform; 
  • information about your visit, including the full Uniform Resource Locators (URL) clickstream to, through and from my site (including date and time); services you viewed or searched for; page response  times, download errors, length of visits to certain pages, page interaction information (such as scrolling, clicks, and mouse-overs),  and methods used to browse away from the page. 

Cookies

My  site uses cookies to distinguish you from other users of my site. A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers that my site may store on your browser or the hard drive of your computer if you agree. Cookies contain information that is transferred to your computer’s hard drive. My site uses the following cookies: 

  • Strictly necessary cookies that are required for the operation of my site. 

If you don’t want my site to use cookies in  your web browser, you can remove them from your computer or change your  browser settings so that it either blocks cookies altogether or asks you  if you’d like to accept them from some websites. Some of my cookies  are essential for my site to work properly. 

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:

  • to carry out my obligations arising from any contracts entered into between you and me and to provide you with the information and  services that you request from me 
  • to notify you about changes to my service 
  • to administer my site and for internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research, statistical and  survey purposes 
  • to improve my site to ensure that content is presented in the most effective manner for you and for your computer 
  • to allow you to participate in interactive features of my service, when you choose to do so 
  • as part of my efforts to keep my site safe and secure
  • Internal record keeping – for example, client hours
  • To operate my business efficiently including financial records 

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.


Contact 

Complaints, questions, comments and access requests should be addressed to Sharon Nicholson at 

sharon-nicholson@protonmail.com