Like all health professionals I need to keep notes about my clients. This is to keep track of their problems and the therapy I’m giving them. I do not record information that is not needed for this purpose. I do not share information with anybody else, unless I had reason to believe that a client was about to do serious harm to their self or other people.
The code of conduct of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy requires that I keep written records for this purpose. Therefore if you do not want me to keep written records of what you tell me, I cannot provide therapy to you. By commencing therapy with me you will be providing implicit consent to my keeping records, and you may be asked to sign your name to confirm this.
Like most health professionals I am required to have “supervision” meetings. This means I meet with another therapist to discuss ongoing cases. During these meetings, no information is disclosed that could identify the client. The person with whom I meet for this purpose is Dr John Campbell-Beattie PhD.
Information about clients’ problems and therapy is kept for seven years after each client finishes therapy. This is required by the Code of Conduct of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy. In the case of a person under 16, the records will be kept for seven years after they turn eighteen. These files are kept on paper in a secure location and do not contain full names or other information that could identify the client.
My insurers (Balens) have informed me that my obligation under rules of United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy to retain all client records for seven years from end of therapy, or from client’s 18th birthday if they are under 18, to exercise or defence of legal claims overrides the legal right of erasure.
Clients’ email addresses and phone numbers are retained for as long as the client remains in contact with me. Clients’ IP addresses and postal addresses are not collected.
None of the above data is shared with anybody else, nor will it be shared, except in the following situations.
Firstly, if I were to receive a legal subpoena from a Court of Law.
Secondly, if I had reasonable cause to believe that a client was about to attempt suicide or to cause serious harm to other persons.
Clients may see their own records on request but if they want me to copy their records then a small fee may be charged. Clients may request for any factual errors in their records to be corrected. I will only respond to any such requests if I am sure that the request comes from the client himself or herself, this would normally require a face-to-face meeting with the client as I can’t be sure that other persons don’t have access to the client’s phone or email.
In the event of my death, my executors have instructions to destroy all client-related data.