Privacy Policy

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

This privacy policy governs the manner in which Opal Counselling uses, maintains and discloses information collected from clients using Opal Counselling.  This privacy policy applies to the practice, website and services offered by Opal Counselling online, by telephone and within private practice.


Clients seeking therapy will be issued with a paper copy of the Privacy Policy at their Initial Assessment which contains the following information & they will be asked to sign that they understand & agree with how information is collected, stored & held before therapy can commence.


Personal Information Adult over 18 years old

  • Name

  • Address

  • Preferred contact number

  • Counselling history

  • GP details including medical conditions relevant to counselling

  • Medications


Personal Information child under 18 years old

  • Name (Child and Guardian)

  • Preferred contact number (Guardian)

  • Counselling history (Child)

  • GP details including medical conditions relevant to counselling (Child)


How I store information:


Notes: Notes pertaining to sessional content are electronically encrypted and saved under an anonymous coding system. Personal contact details including a copy of your signed contract are kept separate in a locked cabinet.


Mobile phone: My work phone is locked & is only accessible using a password. I do not store your contact number and I do not save any names to numbers. I access your phone number from personal information form in a locked cabinet.


Email /Texts: Email addresses are accessed from personal information form. Text messages are only assigned to numbers not names.


Website: No personal information is stored on my website other than to momentarily collect & send enquiries to my outlook account for initial contact purposes.


Third party websites: Clients may find content on my website that link to the sites of other third parties. I do not control these sites which have a link to mine and I am not responsible for how they collect, store or use information.


Documents Held:


  • Contract/Agreement form: Adult client is issued with a copy at commencement of counselling & a hard copy held by the counsellor for reference.


  • Consent form: Consent form is signed by a parent/guardian where child under 18 years old.


  • Privacy statement signed by client: Client is issued with a copy at commencement of counselling & a hard copy held by the counsellor for reference.


  • Assessment form


  • Contact form


  • Client code


  • Client sessional notes: Notes are kept for 7 years to comply with insurance policy terms and conditions.


How I may share your personal information:


Supervision: I attend fortnightly clinical supervision to ensure my practice remains safe & ethical. Session details & client codes may be shared with my supervisor.   


Therapeutic Will: Your name & contact details will be shared with my Therapeutic Executor so that in the unlikely event of my sudden death you can be contacted should you still be in therapy with me. My Therapeutic Executor will sign a confidentiality agreement document.


Emergencies: If your health is in jeopardy I may share your details with a healthcare service such as your GP or/and Mental Health Crisis Team, Local Authority or/and school.


Erasing your information

  • All electronic enquiries are erased after 3 months. All texts & contact numbers are erased 3 months following the cessation of therapy. Some emails might be kept for purposes of multiagency work or court hearing if applicable.                               

  • I hold your written information for up to 7 years following the cessation of therapy. This is so I have a reference should you decide to return to therapy in the future.                                             


Your Rights:


Right to Access: You have the right to ask for a copy of your personal information, free of charge, in an electronic or paper format. You also have the right to ask me to amend or change any incorrect information about you.


Right to be Forgotten: You have the right to ask me to erase any information that I hold about you. This includes your personal information that is no longer relevant to original purposes, or if you wish to withdraw consent. In all cases and when considering such requests, these rights are obligatory unless it’s information that I have a legal obligation to retain.


Data Portability: As the client, you have the right to receive your personal information which you previously provided, also you have the right to transfer that information to another party. For the purposes of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) 2018, the data “controller” is Vicky Ross, Opal Counselling November 2018.