Policies

Payment and Cancellation Policy

Payment is respectfully requested at the end of each session. I offer a free initial session. Sessions thereafter will be charged at a rate agreed during the initial session. My usual rate per 50 minute session is £45.

Cancellations can be made up to 48 hours before a scheduled appointment and will not be charged.

Sessions cancelled within 48 hrs will be subject to full payment.

If an initial free session is cancelled within 48 hours, the next session will be charged at the usual rate of £45.

Payment accepted by cash, Debit/Credit Card or Direct Bank Transfer (details provided on request of this payment type).

Privacy Policy

For GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) requirements, this policy refers to written documents, hard copy client notes, database entries, emails, text messages, visits to the website, social media communication, reviews and appointment updates/reminders through text and or email.

Data is collected for the sole purpose of providing an appropriate service for the individual; Legally termed as ‘Legitimate Interests’.

Personal information is provided by you for referral and commencement of the service only.

All personal information, including contact details, are stored as paper copies in a locked, metal filing box. Session notes are stored in a separate locked, metal filing box. I am the data processor for any and all printed/written paperwork. All stored information is retained for the duration of the counselling and for 7 years after counselling work has ceased.

Social Media

The Facebook business page (Fern Counselling) is processed by Facebook. Instant messaging is disabled as all referral enquiries should be made by email, telephone or text to ensure greater security of your information.

It is recommended that no personal information is shared in comments on any social media page as they are public. Personal information may be removed without warning to protect your privacy.

Clients may leave reviews and recommendations on the Facebook page. These are left at the client’s discretion but it is recommended that you do not share personal information. Should you choose to do so, data will be processed subject to Facebook’s Privacy Policy.

The Instagram business page is processed by Instagram. Should you choose to use the instant messaging function, data will be processed subject to Instagram’s Privacy Policy.

The Twitter business page is processed by Twitter. Should you choose to use the instant messaging function, data will be processed subject to Twitter’s Privacy Policy

Telephone and email

Phone calls are not recorded; however, text messages and voicemail may be stored for up to 90 days. I may use your phone number to return your call, as per standard business practice.

Unless otherwise advised by clients, email addresses and or telephone numbers will only be used to update client appointments and or send reminders for client appointments.

Emails are processed by GMail and are therefore subject to their privacy policies. It is recommended that no sensitive information be shared via email, although I do use FlowCrypt which does a “pretty good job” of securing emails.

All electronic devices which hold personal data are password protected and stored securely.

Information sharing

No personal/sensitive data will be shared with any 3rd party without the clients’ explicit consent. Subject to legal requirements, which will be explained during the initial session as part of the confidentiality agreement.

On occasion, I may ask permission for client feedback to be used for marketing purposes. In this event, all data can be anonymised on request.

I am registered with the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) . In the unlikely event of a data breach, I will comply with GDPR regulations and guidance from the ICO regarding reporting and action taken.

To ensure uninterrupted client privacy in the event of death or an inability to continue in my role, my clinical supervisor will assume data processing responsibility.

This Policy is subject to amendment 

Ethics

I am an Accredited Registrant member of the NCS (National Counselling Society) and adhere to their Code of Ethical Practice.