What is the General Data Protection Regulations, 2018 (GDPR) and how does it affect me?

The GDPR replaces the 1998 Data Protection Act to ensure that your personal and sensitive, confidential data is kept private and held securely, being processed in the way that you have agreed to. The GDPR is there to protect your rights as a consumer of a service or product that might involve your identifiable data, for example, your name and address or your date of birth or gender. Particularly in respect of the counselling/mentoring/coaching relationship, the counsellors/mentors/coaches may hold sensitive data, such as your counselling/coaching/mentoring history, medication and other information you may be asked to disclose to support your counselling/coaching/mentoring sessions. GDPR also covers any session records, text messages or emails you may exchange.

How long will you hold my information for?

This will be decided by your counsellor/mentor/coach, however there is a general recommendation to hold your data, for seven years after your final session, unless you are a child, in which case your data may be held until your 25th birthday. If you are 17 when treatment ends, your information may be retained until your 26th birthday. All records will be deleted in the 1st month after the applicable retention period has ended.

What if I don’t want my records to be held for that long?

Under GDPR you can make a request in writing to your counsellor/mentor/coach, for all your records to be deleted, confirming in writing to you that your records have been deleted. All your paper records would be shredded with a cross shredding machine and any electronic data such as emails or text messages would be permanently deleted from the devices they are stored on. The request for deletion will be the only document retained.

Why is information recorded?

Information is collected that supports your counselling/mentoring/coaching, which includes, medical information, information about your important others, historical data, alongside session notes that will be used to ensure continuity of counselling/mentoring/coaching between sessions. The information is necessary to provide the services you agreed in the contract. Your contact details / address and Doctors details, will only be used with your explicit consent or if an emergency occurs.

What lengths are made to ensure your information is held securely?

Hardcopy documents – Are stored in a locked cabinet
Text messages – Phones are secured with a pin code.
Emails – Email accounts are secured by a user name and password.

Is what we discuss kept confidential?

Everything you talk about during your sessions is strictly confidential between you and the counsellor/mentor/coach. To ensure your counsellor/mentor/coach is working effectively and supported, they may discuss elements of the sessions with a supervisor. During these discussions they do not disclose any details that may identify you to the supervisor.

In order to safeguard you and the people around you, if you were to disclose that you were going to carry out harm to yourself or someone else, or you disclose that you are a child in a harmful situation then under the “Duty of Care” to you, there is an obligation by law to inform the relevant authorities and where appropriate parents/guardians. This is to support you to live well and be safe. The counsellor/mentor/coach would always aim to discuss such a disclosure, where appropriate, with you or relevant adults, prior to contacting the relevant authorities.

If the counsellor/mentor/coach was issued with a Police warrant or court order, or where they are legally obliged to do so, then by law they would have to provide the Police or the Court with your information. These are valid reasons for disclosure of personal information under the GDPR.

The frequently asked questions and related answers in this document, have been provided to update you on the impact of GDPR on your therapy/mentoring/coaching with Find YOU be YOU.

Processing of your personal data is required to enable to provide you with a service. We do not require consent from you to hold your information securely or to provide you with this service, but we take this opportunity to assure you we adhere to all laws and procedures relating to data protection (Article 9, paragraph 2, (h) of the GDPR) and will only use your data to provide you with counselling/mentoring/coaching and for any other reason you explicitly consent to.

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