About this privacy policy

This policy is effective from 27 May 2018.

This privacy policy sets out how Hamilton Counselling (as the Data Controller) uses and protects any information that you give me when you use the counselling service and this website.

I may change this policy from time to time by updating this page and will tell you when I do so.

I am registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office.

What information I collect

Counselling session notes

I often make brief handwritten notes after a counselling session. These notes are anonymised. The notes do not contain your name or other people’s names that you may discuss. The notes are stored in a locked cabinet. The notes are not kept for longer than two years, after which they are shredded.

Contact information & bookings

I store the contact information that you have provided to me including your name, phone number and email address. Your name and contact information is kept separate from your counselling notes. Your contact information is destroyed when you end counselling.

I keep bookings of our sessions in my diary.

Your communications

Emails and text messages you send me are retained until I delete them. They are always deleted within two months of me having received them.

Payment information

I keep a log of payments received and payments outstanding.

Online booking 

I collect the following information if you book a session using the online booking system:

  • Your name
  • Your email address and phone number
  • Calendar information
  • The type of counselling you are looking for (individual or couples)

I use a UK-based firm YouCanBookMe to run my online booking service. The firm is GDPR compliant. I am the Data Controller. YouCanBookMe is the Data Processor and retains booking information for two years.

Controlling your personal information

You may request details of personal information which I hold about you. If you would like a copy of the information held on you please contact me.

If you believe that any information I am holding on you is incorrect or incomplete, please tell me as soon as possible. I will promptly correct any information found to be incorrect.

Sharing your personal information

I must pass on any information to the relevant authorities in cases where human safety is concerned including the following cases:

  • If you threaten to harm another person
  • If I believe a child or protected adult is at risk of harm or abuse
  • If the courts instruct me to give information
  • If you share information about a proposed act of terrorism or other illegal act

If I feel that either someone else is in danger or at risk of harm I would first try to discuss with you my decision for breaking confidentiality. However, I retain the right to break confidentiality without prior consultation with you should I consider that the urgency of the situation requires me to act immediately to safeguard the physical safety of others.

I will not distribute your personal information to third parties not already mentioned within this privacy statement. I will not contact you with marketing or promotional material.

How we use web cookies

A cookie is a small file which asks permission to be placed on your computer’s hard drive. Once you agree, the file is added and the cookie helps analyse web traffic or lets you know when you visit a particular site. Cookies allow web applications to respond to you as an individual. The web application can tailor its operations to your needs, likes and dislikes by gathering and remembering information about your preferences.

We use traffic log cookies to identify which pages are being used. This helps us analyse data about webpage traffic and improve our website in order to tailor it to customer needs. We only use this information for statistical analysis purposes and then the data is removed from the system.

Overall, cookies help us provide you with a better website by enabling us to monitor which pages you find useful and which you do not. A cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or any information about you, other than the data you choose to share with us.

You can choose to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. This may prevent you from taking full advantage of the website.

Cookies used by this site

Cookie Name Typical content Expires Information
_utma Randomly generated number 2 years This cookie keeps track of the number of times a visitor has been to the site. Google Analytics uses this information to calculate return visitor behaviour.
_utmb Randomly generated number 30 minutes The cookies _utmb and _utmc are used to establish the length of a session.
_utmc Randomly generated number When user closes browser The cookies _utmb and _utmc are used to establish the length of a session.
_utmz Randomly generated number 6 months This cookie tracks how visitors reach the site, for example via a search engine result, a direct link, or an ad that links to the page.

Links to other websites

Our website may contain links to other websites of interest. However, once you have used these links to leave our site, you should note that we do not have any control over that other website. Therefore, we cannot be responsible for the protection and privacy of any information which you provide whilst visiting such sites and such sites are not governed by this privacy statement. You should exercise caution and look at the privacy statement applicable to the website in question.