As from 25th May 2018, new regulations came into force that affect how client information is used and stored. In accordance with these regulations, and to provide complete transparency, I detail below why and how client information is gathered, used, stored and accessed. If you have any questions, please contact me.
This is not something new to me – I’ve been doing this for many years!
How information is collected
Before a first session, a potted life history of the client is often requested, detailing the key events and relationships in their life to date. This is usually sent in the body of an email or as an email attachment. Rarely, it is provided in paper form which is then scanned and stored electronically. The original paper is then diamond-cut shredded.
In addition, there are emails that will inevitably contain confidential information.
During a session a client may request an audio recording and, if agreed, the whole session is recorded on a digital recorder. It is then ‘toped and tailed’ to remove the hypnosis induction and deepening, converted to .mp3 format then sent to the client on CD or via a demand-led download. The recording is retained in case the client needs a copy.
After each session, notes of that session are typed and stored electronically.
Why information is collected
The potted life history is a useful first stage of a therapy programme because it;-
- Starts getting the unconscious mind hunting for and releasing past memories. Hypnotherapy can involve a continuation of this, so the history can act as a powerful foundation.
- It can provide some useful pointers as to the root of the therapeutic need.
- If regression involves visiting an apparent past life, then knowing about relationships can be invaluable, to see if behavioural traits are being continued.
- The client may also use a person’s name in hypnosis, so knowing who that name relates to and their relationship with the client, is useful.
Audio recordings will be made if the client requests it, and if it is appropriate for the work we are doing together – typically in the case of a past life regression.
Outline details of each session, typed after each session, are necessary as a record of what was discussed and the modalities used. This information is usually read before any subsequent sessions as an important starting point for further therapy.
My insurers require that information relevant to clients and their sessions, be retained for at least 8 years – longer if a client has indicated that they may initiate action. This is because English law allows for legal action to be taken against a therapist some time after the therapy. Information that is not required to be retained is deleted after 8 years.
How is information stored and accessed?
All hypnotherapy client information and emails are securely stored on computer in multi-encrypted volumes, and the computer itself is BIOS and password access protected.
Only Martin Richardson knows the passwords and has access to the computer.
Any information that is printed – typically before a session – is immediately shredded afterwards, using a diamond-cut shredder.
Backups are regularly taken onto external drives. These backup the already-encrypted volumes and are stored securely in a locked safe. The backups themselves are password protected.
How information is used and shared
The information is used to support the work of the therapist in a session and in any subsequent support. It will never be shared with anyone else. Email addresses will never be shared and will never be used for unsolicited communication.
A clients rights
A client has the right to receive copies of all information stored about them, and this usually includes;-
- Client history
- Audio recordings
- Therapists notes
Because of the confidential nature of this work and because it often involves relating to third parties, client information will only be supplied, on printed paper (or CD for audio recordings), to the client themselves in person, and with the production of photo identification. The client will be required to sign a receipt for the document(s~). There will be a reasonable administration charge for this service, to be paid when the initial request is made. All requests must be in writing, signed by the client – an email request will not be accepted as the identity of a sender cannot be 100% verified.
Last modified 26th May 2018