Reg. Member MBACP (Accred.)
Member of ACTO
Ethics and confidentiality
I adhere to the British Association for Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP) Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions and I always aim to promote safe and professional counselling. More information about professional conduct and complaints procedure can be found on the BACP website.
For video/audio counselling I ask that we use Skype or Vsee. For instant messaging, I suggest we use Vsee, as Skype is not as secure for instant messaging counselling.
Skype (www.skype.com) is a secure application that uses Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). Written data is stored on Microsoft servers for a short period however (even if deleted off users’ machines) and this could potentially cause a small risk. This is why Skype is not as secure of text based online counselling.
VSee (www.vsee.com) is a secure application that is fully encrypted to a high standard and is HIPAA compliant, which is an additional protection that is required by law in the US (but not in the UK). This means that it is very difficult for a third party to hack into the communication and all stored data remains fully encrypted.
There is no guarantee that online counselling is 100% safe, but provided care and consideration is used, the risk that a third party can hack in to the communication is minimal.
Original client records are kept in accordance with BACP guidelines and are the property of the therapist. I use BacPac, a secure and encrypted online system to store client details and notes. Any other paperwork related to my work is locked in a secure cabinet or password protected if in electronic format. A copy of clincial notes can be requested in writing at any time. After seven years client records are destroyed. I am also registered with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) adhering to the Data Protection Act in the UK.
Maintaining the privacy of your online exchange
I ask that clients ensure they secure their computer and emails against unauthorised viewing by third parties. This may include adopting the use of password protection for all personal email accounts and documents etc. I also recommend that a client does not engage in online counselling using a public computer, or use a computer in a public place, where the content of exchanges could be viewed by others in the close proximity.
During the course of online counselling, it may become clear that a different type of counselling, approach or type of help would be more suitable for you. In this case it would be appropriate to refer you to a different counsellor or other healthcare professional. This would be discussed with you at the time.
Due to the confidential nature of our work and to protect the counselling relationship, I do not follow or befriend current or past clients on social networks. If you follow my professional page or feeds on Facebook or Twitter I will not reply to comments or tweets.
©Talking It Over Counselling - Cecilie Sasu - 2016 - 2018