The Online Counselling Service will only ask for information that is considered necessary for the effectiveness of online, telephone therapy and coaching. The information requested is unlikely to make you personally identifiable. An anonymous service where you have the option of being able to use another name for the purpose of online or telephone counselling is offered. You may use a name you feel comfortable with, the choice is up to the individual client.
Collection and use of information
We do not require personal data such as full name, address, date of birth, race, sexual orientation, political opinion or religion.
We do not require identification such as a Passport or a Licence etc. Before Online and Telephone Sessions begin, the client messenger ID or telephone number, as well as brief details of what you feel you wish to talk about may be requested. This information is accessed by the Admin team and your assigned Counsellor only.
The Online Counselling Service will always ensure basic information is gathered accurately. Your email address will be used as a form of contact in order to book and conduct sessions, to receive a requested free E-book and for email counselling. If you use instant chat, voip or telephone counselling, you will only be contacted via messenger or phone at pre-booked times to have your session.
The assigned Counsellor may choose to keep information about their client's session time/date to stay organised. The information held by the Counsellor, as well as any session slot bookings such as dates and times that Admin may have access to on the booking calendar, is deleted within 6 months.
Disclosure of information
You will never be contacted via phone or messenger at any time other than for pre-arranged sessions. Your telephone number, messenger ID or email address will not be shared with any outside agencies or third parties. If you request a free E-book you will not receive unsolicited emails.
We do not request proof of income or financial status, discounts are available to all. We do not request banking and financial information, no card payments are taken via the phone or on the website. Purchases for counselling sessions are made securely via the Paypal payment gateway. You can check your purchase history with them directly, they generally send email receipts after each purchase. You may also wish to view transactions by logging into your Paypal account if you have one.
We use Google Analytics. The cookies are set by Google. Inc and are used to review information about how visitors use our site, this information is used to help us improve the site. The cookies information is in an anonymous form, it includes the number of visitors to the site, where visitors have come to the site from and the pages they visited. You can choose to accept or decline cookies on your device. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, however, you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. This may prevent you from taking full advantage of the website. We ask that you read our Cookies Policy.
The Online Counselling Service uses a secure system for online counselling, protecting the information that is collected. All email and contact forms are encrypted. All telephone calls are confidential. Furthermore:
- All email accounts are double password protected and fully encrypted. If you send an email to your Counsellor’s email address, only they will have access to it.
- VoIP and Telephone sessions are never recorded. Instant messenger and email sessions are deleted.
- All phones, tablets, laptops, or storage devices required to conduct or aid Counselling sessions have anti-virus and/or double password protected locks. When they are not in use for sessions, they are also kept securely in a locked pin access compartment safe that only your Counsellor has the password for.
- The compartment safe is further kept secure in a locked room and/or locked cabinet that only your Counsellor has access to, this is to ensure your privacy and meet ethical guidelines. If your Counsellor is travelling the compartment safe is stored in a portable locked carry case.
When possible, The Online Counselling Service will advise clients of confidentiality and the importance it has on the individual counselling sessions. Any discussions during counselling sessions will be strictly confidential.
If your sessions are paid for or arranged via a third party, eg a friend, partner, spouse or family member, other than payment requests, invoices or receipts your counselling information will not be shared. Details about what is discussed in your sessions remain confidential between you and your Counsellor. Any other information can only be shared with the consent of the client (person receiving counselling).
If your sessions are paid for or arranged via your employer, company, charity or organisation the only information that will be shared is payment requests, invoices, receipts and confirmation that your counselling sessions are taking place with OCS. Details about what is discussed in your sessions remain confidential between you and your Counsellor. Any other information can only be shared with the consent of the client (person receiving counselling).
Each Counsellor receiving Supervision from a qualified supervisor will always protect your identity. All work is to the highest ethical standards. The Online Counselling Service will only disclose information if necessary, for eg. if the person either Counsellor or client is at risk of harm we are then required by ethics to seek advice and guidance from other professionals. We would, of course, try to discuss this beforehand with you to obtain your assent.
We may also disclose information if there is a suspected case of child abuse or alleged child abuse, known or suspected case of adult or elder abuse. If a Counsellor receives information, regarding a proposed or actual act of terrorism, he/she is required to share this with the police. Upon receipt of a subpoena, from a judge in a UK court of law, your Counsellor will be bound by British Law to release any information.
Access to information
You are welcome to request any information we hold about you. This is generally very basic and is unlikely to make you personally identifiable. To request any information, please contact your Counsellor directly, we ask that you allow 30 days for the request to be fulfilled. There is a £10 charge. Please note that we only hold basic details for up to 6 months after your last purchase.
Deleting your information
6 months after your last purchase all details will be deleted. The details are unlikely to make your personally identifiable, however, if you would like those details to be removed before the 6th month please contact your Counsellor directly to make that request, we ask that you allow 14 days for that request to be fulfilled.