Sarah Comerford Counselling in Berkshire

Privacy Notice for Email Enquiries

The privacy and safety of your personal information is of utmost importance. By using the email contact form on this website, you are agreeing for your email address, name and information you send in the email to be held securely by Sarah Comerford (the data controller). Your email and any other contact details will only be used to respond to your enquiry by Sarah Comerford. Your details will NOT be used for any marketing purposes or shared with any other person, organisation or company.

Please be assured that enquiries submitted through this contact form are sent directly to Sarah Comerford's email, which is GDPR compliant and password protected. Webhealer, the website management organisation delete all enquires from their system and do not view or retain any information sent through the contact form.


Counselling Agreement

Please find below the counselling agreement between Sarah Comerford and yourself as the client. This details practice around confidentiality, data protection, fees and privacy.

Sessions
Your counselling sessions will take place at the same time, day and place each week, unless a change is agreed in advance by counsellor and client. Each session will last 50 minutes. The duration of sessions will be reviewed by the counsellor and client together with an appropriate time given for ending counselling.

Payment
Each session will cost £50, you will be required to pay by bank transfer. Payment is required at the beginning of each session or you can pay for sessions in advance. Payment must be made no later than 48 hours after your session.

Missed Sessions
The agreed time slot is allocated to you for the duration of your counselling on the understanding that you will attend all sessions. Advance notice of at least 24 hours is required if you are unable to attend a session, otherwise full payment will be required. If you miss a session without contacting me, I will assume you no longer wish to continue counselling and your time slot will be reallocated.

Safety
During our counselling appointments and while on the property of the counselling service, you will not harm yourself, the property and its contents, or me. Alcohol or recreational drugs should not be used prior to our appointments. If you are under the influence of recreational drugs or alcohol, I will end the session immediately and you will be charged the full fee for the appointment.

Confidentiality and Code of Conduct
I am a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and am bound by their code of conduct and ethical guidelines. All our sessions are confidential, unless I have serious concerns for your safety, the safety of others or a child protection issue. Should these circumstances arise, I will always endeavour to discuss this with you and inform you if I need to contact an outside organisation/professional.

Should I become aware that I have contracted Covid 19, I may be required to disclose your name and contact details to NHS Test and Trace if we have had face to face sessions. I will inform you of this and only your name and phone number will be disclosed.

All counsellors are required to work under supervision, this improves my ability to work effectively with clients. Supervisors aim to protect clients and counsellor by acting as an impartial third party in the work of the counsellor and client. I meet with my supervisor and peer supervision group on a regular basis, I will keep your identity anonymous when discussing our work. My supervisor and those involved in the supervisory process are bound by the same agreement of confidentiality and BACP code of conduct.

In the event of my death or incapacity, I have arranged for a therapeutic executor, who is a therapist and registered member of the BACP to contact you.

Working Online and Social Media
When working remotely, either on the phone or online, confidentiality is maintained as it is working face to face. I will be working in a confidential space that will not be interrupted or overheard by anyone else. I will be using Zoom to work online, I have enabled end to end encryption security and a waiting room, where only you will be admitted to the session. In order to work effectively and safely, neither you nor I will attempt to record a session or part of a session without prior permission.

It is important when you attend our sessions, that you find a space that you will not be interrupted or overheard and feel able to talk freely. If you are going to attend the session in a public space or outside, we will need to ensure confidentiality can be maintained and there is limited disruption from outside influences, such as the weather.

In the event that our session is disrupted or cut short due to issues relating to internet/electricity/phone signal, we will agree in advance how you would like to proceed. This may involve continuing the session over the phone or rescheduling the session.

In relation to all social media, I will not receive or accept friend requests in order to protect the boundaries of our therapeutic relationship.

Data Protection
I am the Data Controller for purposes of the Data Protection Act 2018. Specific data is collected from you voluntarily and retained for the purposes of our counselling arrangement.

These include records of client details which are completed at the start of our work together. Background notes of our sessions and content, and copies of any questionnaires may be kept on file as a memory aid and to monitor progress. These records are subject to the provisions of the Act and are kept secure, private and confidential, except as indicated in the confidentiality part of our agreement.

Any paper records will be stored securely and your name will not be used on any notes kept, apart from the initial assessment form completed. Any data stored electronically, such as session dates, emails, texts are password protected and encrypted. All client information is pseudonymised. If you pay me by bank transfer, any identifying details you use may identify you in my banking records, these may be requested by my accountant and/or the Inland Revenue.

The only electronic records that are kept on a portable device (my mobile telephone) are password protected and encrypted, this includes client first name and contact telephone number and messages sent between us for the purposes of arranging counselling work together. Emails sent between us are from a secure, encrypted and password protected browser-based account. These records are kept as long as is reasonable for the purpose for which they were prepared, in most case for seven years, and then securely destroyed.

Rarely, permission is asked by clients, their solicitors, the police and the courts to access counselling records. Any request to provide a written report made by the aforementioned will be considered on a case by case basis on receipt of written consent by you to the request if this is required. Any report so provided will not refer to specialist diagnosis or other matters outside my training and will be restricted to brief details of attendance, dates and numbers of sessions attended.


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