Privacy Policy

Steven Mason is committed to ensuring your privacy is protected. I have set out in this Privacy Policy the details of the information that I may collect from you, including how I may use that information and protect it. Please take your time to read this Privacy Policy carefully. 

 

The information I collect is in accordance with all laws concerning the protection of personal data, including the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  As per these laws, Steven Mason is the ‘data controller’, which means he determines the purpose for which, and the manner in which, your data is processed. 

Below you will find a website and digital privacy statement and a practice privacy statement for counselling sessions, which outline the Privacy Policy in more detail.

Website privacy statement - relating to use of website and digital

This website statement applies to: www.stevenmason.net

We have written this statement to explain what information we gather about you and how your data is used whilst accessing or interacting with any pages belonging to the website; www.stevenmason.net

 

Information collected about you: 

Certain information about you may be collected from you by cookies when using pages from www.stevenmason.net

 

It may be possible to ascertain certain information about you from the IP address on the computer you use, Steven Mason will not share this information without your prior consent.  

 

What are cookies?

Cookies and other small files can be stored on your computer, mobile or other device when you visit a website or use an app. These kind of files include your IP address. The cookie file is added, once you agree for it to be done so and the cookie is used to help analyse web traffic.

Cookies help make your online experience more efficient and relevant to your interests. For instance, they are used to remember your preferences on sites that you visit often, to remember your user ID and to help you to navigate between pages more efficiently. Different types of cookies are used to do different things. They also help us to identify ways to improve your overall site experience and are used to measure the number of your site visits and the most popular pages you visit.

This website uses traffic log cookies to identify which pages are being used. This allows data to be analysed in terms of web page traffic. The information is only used for statistical and analysis purposes by Steven Mason and can inform further improvement and development of the website. A cookie in no way provides access to your computer or any information about you, other than the data you choose to share.

You can choose to set your computer browser to decline the cookies from Steven Mason. How to do this varies depending on your browser. Your website browser’s help facilities should be able to explain how you can do this, although it may prevent you from taking full advantage of the website or links to other websites.

This website contains links to other websites that may be of interest. However, once you have used these links and leave the site, please note that www.stevenmason.net does not have any control over other websites and cannot be responsible for the protection and privacy of any information which you provide whilst visiting these sites and, as such, these sites are not governed by this privacy statement. You should exercise caution and look at the privacy statement applicable to the website you visit.

Practice privacy statement - relating to all contact (excluding website and digital apps)

Steven Mason is committed to protecting your privacy and this statement sets out to explain how your data is used when contacting him by phone or email. It contains information on data that would be collected about you if you were to book an appointment and undertake sessions with him, and also explains any limitations to confidentiality. The data that is held about you is specifically only used for the purposes of counselling. We retain information about you for seven years from the date of your last appointment, before it is securely destroyed. This is necessary in order to comply with the counselling organisations that we have membership with and with the provider of our professional indemnity insurance. When visitig our website your computers IP address will be accessible.

 

What personal data about you is retained, where it is kept and for how long

I initially collect the following data, in accordance with this privacy policy: name, date of birth, gender, contact information such as postal address, email address and phone number and healthcare provider (GP) details and emergency contact details.

These notes are kept separate from session notes and stored securely.

I collect the data from you personally, and from data that is collected automatically. I collect data when you contact me through my website, by email, by phone and other means. 

Data collected at assessment

 

I write notes relating to the initial meeting, such as your reasons for starting counselling; these notes are stored securely.
At the assessment you will be asked to sign an informed consent form which gives us permission to process your data, also information about your healthcare provider and emergency contact details. 

 

During therapy

 

After each session I make brief notes of the salient points. The notes are anonymised so that no one would know who the notes relate to. 
 

Other information stored

Bank statements, these will show your name if you pay by bank transfer;
Invoices, retained for 5 years after the 31 January submission deadline of the relevant tax year (as per HMRC regulations);
Enquiry emails, enquiries from potential clients are kept for 6 months before being deleted.

How I store information

 

Your name, telephone number and email address are stored on my mobile phone for the duration of the work you do together. The information is deleted as soon as the work ends. My phone is password protected. 

Sharing your information

I do not share your personal information with anyone else, unless in pursuit of counselling on your behalf and only then if I have your permission to do so. In exceptional circumstances I may be required by law and our ethical responsibilities to break confidentiality with you. I would discuss this with you first wherever possible but if you do not give consent, I may still have to disclose information. 

 

This relates to situations where I believe you are at risk of harming yourself or others, the safeguarding of children, young people and adults at risk. I reserve the right to break confidentiality in order to prevent harm.

I am bound by law to report any information I receive concerning terrorism, drug trafficking, or money laundering;
From time to time I will discuss our work with a clinical supervisor. This is standard practice for counsellors at all levels of experience and it helps counsellors to work ethically and professionally. (Supervision meetings are bound by the same code of ethics and confidentiality as the work we do with you are);
If I am required by a court of law to give evidence, then I may need to break confidentiality (e.g. in criminal proceedings).  

 

Your rights                          

You have the right to:

Object to data being collected in relation to you

Request access or a copy of the personal data that I hold about you, free of charge, in an electronic or paper format

Request for any inaccurate or out of date information to be corrected and/or updated.


Request for your data to be erased if it is no longer necessary for me to retain. Any notes or information that can be linked to identifying them as yours cannot be erased before the 7-year period. Notes are required for me to comply with legal obligations. This makes such information exempt from requests for erasure. However, any other data would be erased at your request.


Withdraw consent at any time for your information to be processed. Again, with the exemption of note keeping and associated information.


Request for your data to be portable. This means that your information can be transferred to a different data controller.

Say that you don't want to be subject to automated decision-making including profiling.

If you are not satisfied with the way a complaint you make in relation to your Data is handled by me, you may be able to refer your complaint to the relevant data protection authority. In the UK this is the Information Commissioner’s Officers website

 

It is important that the Data I hold about you is accurate and current. Please keep me informed if your Data changes during the period for which we hold it. 

 

Contact me

Questions, comments and requests regarding this privacy notice, policies and procedures around privacy and confidentiality are welcomed and should be addressed to me by email

This privacy policy was first created on 23 July 2021.