Privacy Policy

Our Confidentiality, Data Protection and Privacy Statement

We take the privacy of your personal information very seriously. We respect the privacy of our users, we also want to be clear about the data we collect, how it’s used and explain your rights to control it. We want you to be confident that your information will be properly protected whilst in our possession. This privacy statement describes how we process your data.
Name and Address of Data Controller
Christine Joyce is registered as a Data controller with the ICO (Information commissioner’s office) for Stepping Stones Counselling. You can contact Christine on the details provided on this website.
How do we use the data you pass to us?:
• Your initial contact details given to Stepping Stones Counselling either by email or telephone will be shared with your permission with one of our counsellors in order to facilitate arrangement of a counselling appointment.
• The data we collect in your first appointment is name, address, email address contact number, will be kept for 3 months after you last session or no further contact, and then destroyed.
• The purpose of this data is so we are able to communicate with you specifically to advise you of appointments. Or where you have agreed on specific information being sent to you regarding your treatment, or any unforeseen event where one of our counsellors is not able to attend an appointment.
Confidentiality Policy:
Your counselling session is confidential*
*The only exceptions are as follows:
• You tell us you intend to harm yourself or another person
• You reveal that a child is being or is in danger of abuse
• The Terrorism Act (2000) requires us to disclose any belief of suspicion of acts of terrorism
• The Drug Traffic Act (1986) requires that the counsellor disclose to the police information of any individual making money through drug trafficking
• The Road Traffic Act (2000) requires the counsellor to provide information to the police that might identify a driver in a traffic offence. In addition, if a counsellor becomes aware that a client may be driving whilst unsafe (e.g. through epilepsy, medical condition, drug or alcohol abuse) the law requires the counsellor to pass this information to the DVLA.
• If we receive a court order
If the Counsellor believes there are grounds for releasing confidential information, for the
safety of the client, where possible this will be discussed with the client beforehand. The
Counsellor will also consult their clinical supervisor or other suitable counsellor, if at all
possible before any action is taken.
Any other person who the client requests we should disclose information, e.g, GP, will
require the written consent of the client.
As BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) members, we are
bound by BACP’s Code of Ethics and Practice and its Complaints Procedure. Regarding
confidentiality, the BACP states that counsellors must offer the highest possible levels of
confidentiality in order to respect the client’s privacy and create the trust necessary for
counselling. However, in exceptional circumstances, where there are good grounds for
believing that serious harm my occur to the client or to other people, and/or where
there are good grounds for believing that the client is no longer willing or able to take
responsibility for his/her actions, confidentiality may be broken.
In the event of any concerns about any of the above exceptions, the session will be
stopped. This will be discussed fully with the client in the hope of reaching mutual
consent for the course of action or disclosure to take place.
Clinical Supervision
The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy require all counsellors to
attend regular Clinical Supervision and clients can be discussed there, but will only be
known either by initial or first name. This is to ensure that the client receives the best
quality of care and counselling.
Counsellors Notes
As recommended by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, case
records are kept securely for 3 years and then destroyed. The records kept include brief
factual session notes, session number and date and time of the sessions.
You have the right to request what information is stored about you.
You have the right to cease data collection and withdraw your consent under certain
Internet and Telephone Security:
It should be noted that there is no 100% guarantee when using the internet, submitting
details across the internet, emails, electronic communications or telephony services.
Cookies and Website Analytics
This site uses cookies – small text files that are placed on your machine to help the site
provide a better user experience. In general, cookies are used to retain user preferences,
store information for things like shopping baskets, and provide anonymised tracking
data to third party applications like Google Analytics. As a rule, cookies will make your
browsing experience better. However, you may prefer to disable cookies on this site and
on others. The most effective way to do this is to disable cookies in your browser. We
suggest consulting the Help section of your browser or taking a look at the About
Cookies website which offers guidance for all modern browsers
The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only.
Whilst we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no
representations or warranties of any kind, explicity or implied, about the completeness,
accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the
information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any
purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own
In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect
or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of
data or profits arising out of, or in connection with, the use of this website.
Through this website you are able to link to other websites which are not under our
control. We have no control over the nature, content and availability of those sites. The
inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views
expressed within them.
Every effort is made to keep the website up and running smoothly. However, we take no
responsibility for, and will not be liable for, the website being temporarily unavailable
due to technical issues beyond our control.
Review of this policy
We keep this policy under regular review. The latest review is dated June 2020.