This is the privacy notice of Open Gate Counselling. In this document, "we", "our", or "us" refer to Open Gate Counselling.
Your confidentiality and privacy is extremely important to us and we take the protection of such most seriously.
We regret that if there are any points below with which you are not happy, your only recourse is to leave our website immediately.
The Personal Information we Record
Your personal information may be collected by us via the website (www.opengatecounselling.com), over the telephone, email, other forms of writing, text, Whatsapp, and in person during our meetings. When you contact us you will most likely provide us with personal details such as your name, email address, phone number and availability. During your initial sessions we will ask you to read and sign a counselling contract. We will also complete forms to collect personal information including: name, address, date of birth, telephone numbers, email address, general health, GP details, information relevant to your referral. Furthermore, we may ask for information on: goals for therapy; previous therapy; current medication; network of support; financial and employment circumstances; health and physical issues; mental health history; alcohol and drug use; appetite and sleep; family structure and any information we deem beneficial to your therapy. Aside from the generic details, this information helps to establish your perception of the situation, how it is affecting you, and to discuss what you would like to achieve from therapy.
In addition, when you visit www.opengatecounselling.com, we may collect the following information about your visit: I.P. address, location, search engine, date, time, web pages visited, operating system, and device.
Storing and Processing Personal Information
The GDPR defines a "data controller" as the person who "determines the process and means of processing personal data". The data controller for Open Gate Counselling is Nilufar Rahim. We store your personal information both electronically and physically. Personal information is stored electronically on devices that are password and/or fingerprint I.D. protected, and in files that are further password protected and only accessible by us. Names and contact details are stored separately to other personal information (anonymised format). Information is stored physically using paper records held securely in locked storage in an anonymised format. These records are also only accessible by us. Your telephone number may be stored in a mobile phone and deleted one month from your last session. Your phone number will not be linked to your name (anonymised format).
All text messages and Whatsapp messages are deleted within one month of sending if you are not a client, and within one month of the termination of your therapy if you are a client. All personal information and session notes are retained for the legal requirement of 7 years following the termination of your treatment, after which time they will be shredded and/or destroyed. However, we may need to store your information longer than this on rare occasions e.g. in a claim situation or to comply with my insurance terms and conditions.
In the event of the death of Nilufar Rahim, two counsellor colleagues who comply to the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) ethical framework, have been instructed to destroy all personal information.
All sessions will be conducted in confidence. Some brief session notes may be documented which include the date and session number. During consultations with professional supervisors, clients names are anonymised. Confidentiality, in accordance with the GDPR (2018), will be maintained and applied to all records with the exception of the following:
When you have given your permission to share information for example, statistical data or you write a review.
In cases where we consider there is a real possibility of harm to yourself or others.
In cases in which information is of such gravity that confidentiality cannot be maintained e.g. safeguarding an adult (adult protection), safeguarding a child (child protection), offences involving children under the age of 18,
In cases where we have a duty to share information regarding but not limited to, being compelled to give evidence by a court of law.
If we are required to give information to legal authorities if they so request or if they have the proper authorisation such as a search warrant or court order.
In cases of terrorism, fraud or money laundering.
Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer's hard drive by your web browser when you visit any website. They allow information gathered on one web page to be stored until it is needed for use on another, allowing a website to provide you with a personalised experience and the website owner with statistics about how you use the website so that it can be improved.
Some cookies may last for a defined period of time, such as one day or until you close your browser. Others last indefinitely. Your web browser should allow you to delete any you choose. It also should allow you to prevent or limit their use.
to track how you use our website
to record whether you have seen specific messages we display on our website
to keep you signed in our site
to record your answers to surveys and questionnaires on our site while you complete them
Accessing my personal information
You have the right to find out what information we store about you. You can email to ask for a copy of this information. We may charge a fee for providing this information based on the administrative costs involved.
To assist in combating fraud, we may share information with credit reference agencies, so far as it relates to clients or customers who instruct their credit card issuer to cancel payment to us without having first provided an acceptable reason to us and given us the opportunity to refund their money.
Use of Site by Children
We do not sell products to, or provide services to children, nor do we market to children.
If you are under 18, you may use our website only with consent from a parent or guardian
How you can complain
If a dispute is not settled then we hope you will agree to attempt to resolve it by engaging in good faith with us in a process of mediation or arbitration.
If you are in any way dissatisfied about how we process your personal information, you have a right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner's Office. This can be done at https://ico.org.uk/concerns/