Bristol Counselling and Psychotherapy Data Protection & Privacy Policy

Any personal data provided by you to Bristol Counselling and Psychotherapy through any means (verbal, written, in electronic form, or by your use of our website) will be held and processed in accordance with the data protection principles set out in the Data Protection Act 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulation for the purposes for which you have given consent, to provide the services you have requested from us, and to meet the legitimate interests of the charity.


Bristol Counselling and Psychotherapy, the ‘data controller’, referred to below as “BCP”, “us” or “we”) is committed to protecting your privacy. Please read the following in order to learn more about BCP’s privacy policy and our information collection and use practices.
This policy only applies to data collected by BCP staff and volunteers, and via our own forms and website. Third party agents, and websites which are linked to ours, are not covered by this policy. If you have any queries concerning your personal information or any questions on our use of the information, please contact the Director using our contact form.
When you request counselling with the BCP, become an employee or volunteer with the BCP, or otherwise provide your personal details to us, you will be asked to consent to our processing of your data under the terms of this policy.


  • Counselling Requests– Registering with us to request access to our counselling service can be done online, on paper or in person. Our request process involves providing us with your name, address, telephone numbers and email address. I may also request information on your availability, therapeutic issues, and other details which I deem relevant to processing your request.
  • Initial Assessment Appointments– At an initial appointment I ask about your current personal, social, medical and financial circumstances.  I  may also ask about your background and family history, as well as the issues which are affecting you now. I  require this information so that I can decide about our offer of counselling to you, to assign you to a counsellor, and to manage the service I provide to you.
  • Volunteer Placements – Counsellors, receptionists and other volunteers may apply for placements by form, letter, or email. They may also be interviewed.  I  may ask about your background, qualifications, experience, and professional memberships.  I also ask for your name, address, telephone numbers, email address, and address and telephone details for referees and people I may need to contact for you in emergencies.
  • Employment – In order to apply for job opportunities advertised on our website and elsewhere, and to become an employee of the charity, you will be required to provide your contact details and other personal information contained in your CV (such as employment history and qualifications), as well as contact details of referees. This information is only processed for the purpose of considering your job application, making any offer of employment, and administering your contract of employment.
  • Donors – The information you give us when making a donation may include your name, postal address, email address, phone number, amount donated, Gift Aid status, and messages.
  • Website – I use Google Analytics to collect anonymous data relating to user behaviour and ‘web traffic’ statistics. The collection and use of this data by Google Inc. is subject to their own Privacy Policies.
  • Other Forms – The information you give us on our forms (including all enquiry and application forms) may include your name, postal address, email address, phone number and other messages to us.


I use information held about you in the following ways:

  • To provide clients with the professional counselling service requested from us.
  • To enable us to offer appropriate opportunities and support to our counsellors, receptionists and other volunteers.
  • To offer suitable counselling appointments, and to allocate clients and counsellors for counselling.
  • To notify you about changes to your appointments and other changes to our services.
  • To seek feedback from you on your experience of counselling with us.
  • To improve our service to ensure that it is provided in the most effective manner for you and for us.
  • To administer our service, including the arrangement of appointments, the handling of donations, and for financial control, data analysis, research, statistical and survey purposes.
  • To keep in touch with those who consent to this, for the purposes of organisational, service and professional development.
  • To fulfil our administrative, legal and contractual obligations as an employer.


I will not share any information about you with other organisations or people, except in the following situations:

  • Consent – The BCP may share your information with professional carers, GP’s or others whom you have requested or agreed I should contact.
  • Serious harm – The BCP may share your information with the relevant authorities if I  have reason to believe that this may prevent serious harm being caused to you or another person.
  • Compliance with law – The BCP may share your information where I am required to by law or by the regulations and other rules to which I am subject.
  • It is necessary to provide your employee details to our payroll management company.
  • As part of the backups of encrypted data processed and held by professional IT security companies.


All information you provide to me is stored as securely as possible.  All paper forms and correspondence are kept in locked filing cabinets on our premises.  All electronic records are stored securely on a cloud server using the latest firewalls and data security protocols, and all access is by password-protected authentication, or by our IT service provider using secure cloud technology.

Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is never completely secure. Although I  will do our best to protect your information using industry-standard protocols and encryption, I cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to us via email, including forms completed on our website which are transmitted by email; any transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your information, I  will use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorised access.

Your identifiable personal information is kept separately from any session notes and other descriptive material. Client notes and other documentation are destroyed 3 years after the end of counselling.  Gift Aid declarations are destroyed/deleted after 7 years, and personal contact details are destroyed/deleted after 7 years of no contact or updates.


You have the right to ask us to provide a copy of the information held by us in our records. You also have the right to require us to correct any inaccuracies in your information. If you would like to do this, please contact the Director using our contact form.

You may withdraw your consent for us to hold and process your data at any time.  However, if you do this while actively receiving counselling at the BCP, your counselling would have to end.  You can withdraw your consent by submitting our Consent Withdrawal Form, or by contacting the Director.


I  do not use cookies to collect any personal information on our website, or to share your browsing behaviour with any third party except:

  • Google Analytics – Like hundreds or thousands of websites you visit, I  use Google Analytics to collect generic, anonymous data from all visitors to monitor how our website is used. This data is shared with Google in return for the service they provide.
  • Cookie Notice – Ironically, the law requires that you receive a notification about our use of cookies, and so I  have to use another set of cookies specifically and only to collect the information that you have seen this notice and agreed to it.

That’s it. If you are aware of, or find any other cookies on this website, please let me know immediately as they have not been installed by us.


I  may edit this policy from time to time. If I make any substantial changes I  will notify you by posting a prominent announcement on our website.