Data Management and Retention Policy

Urmston Hypnotherapy practice, Andrea Szentgyorgyi hypnotherapist is a member of  IAHT (International Alliance of Holistic Therapists), the National Society of Hypnosis, Psychotherapy & Mindfulness and a trainee member of UKCP. I am registered as a data controller with the Information Commissioner and adhere to all requirements of this body and the Data Protection Act 1998.

This means that I promise to:

  • value the personal information entrusted to me and go further than just the letter of the law when it comes to handling personal information by adopting high practice standards
  • consider and address privacy/confidentiality issues at every stage of my contact with clients
  • be open with clients about the extent of confidentiality (see below) and its exceptions
  • keep personal information to the minimum necessary and delete it when it is no longer needed

Specifically, this means:

  • any financial information (e.g. credit card information) is shredded as soon as processed
  • client notes are kept in a handwritten form and are held in a locked filing cabinet
  • a coding system enables the therapist to know whose notes are whose but a stranger seeing the notes would not be able to identify whom they referred to
  • little is written about the client, but instead, a record is kept of the interventions and progress
  • emails are kept on a password protected computer for as long as the client/therapist relationship is active and permanently deleted thereafter
  • any therapy conducted by email will be by way of a password protected word document, not within the email body itself
  • clients are encouraged to use text or email to discuss appointment times, not for communication of therapeutic material
  • see also social media policy

Confidentiality 

It’s important that you know that the law may forbid our standard confidentiality in the following circumstances:

  • If I become aware or have good reason to suspect, that you have knowledge of:
  • A past or future incident/situation that may be dangerous or harmful to a child, you or another adult, and that is not known to the relevant authorities.
  • Future or past criminal activity that has not been resolved in law. This means any criminal activity, of which the relevant authorities are either unaware of or a case they know about which they consider not to be closed (provided you do not present information in therapy which would reasonably re-open the case). This does not include parking or traffic offences unless there is an intent, by you or anyone else, to cause danger to yourself or others, or that it is deemed to be a “serious offence”. For our purposes, a serious offence is something for which you could be imprisoned and for which the sentence (not necessarily imprisonment) hasn’t yet been served.

In these circumstances, I will work with you to make appropriate disclosures.

It is also compulsory to report terrorism, potential radicalisation, money laundering and female genital mutilation to the appropriate authorities.

Other than as required by law, I will routinely discuss your case with my supervisor in order to ensure that you get the best service. My supervisor will have access to your details in order to contact you and offer you ongoing care if I am suddenly unavailable. I may talk or write to your GP (but I will not give any personal details beyond what you are working on).

Also, note that I reserve the right to record sessions where it is deemed appropriate.

Anti-discrimination policy

I am strongly committed to anti-discrimination. I value difference and diversity and do not discriminate on the grounds of age, gender and gender identity, sexual preference or orientation, marital/partnership status, religion, race, colour, national origin, disability, heritage or political belief.

Cancellation and missed session policy

If for any reason you are unable to attend your appointment, please let me know as soon as possible. The required notice for cancellation is forty-eight hours. Where there is less notice of cancellation or if you do not attend your appointment you will be charged the full fee. In certain circumstances, the charging of the total fee can be waived at the discretion of Andrea Szentgyorgyi. With adequate advanced notice, where possible, you will be offered an alternative appointment.

If, for any reason, I need to cancel your appointment, I will endeavour to provide you with as much advance notice as possible.

Death or incapacity of a therapist

If a psychotherapist dies suddenly leaving potentially vulnerable clients, then it is necessary to liaise with and inform outstanding clients of the therapist’s demise.

Therefore, I have arrangements in place to allow an experienced psychotherapist (currently my clinical supervisor) access to my clients` contact details and he will make contact with outstanding clients and offer the appropriate support and advice. This person would not need access to my confidential client notes.

I declare that I understand the above information.         

Signature…………………

Date ………………………

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