Privacy Notice


Your privacy is very important to me and you can be confident that your personal information will be kept safe and secure, and will only be used for the purpose it was provided. I adhere to current data protection legislation, including the General Data Protection Regulation (EU/2016/679) (the GDPR), the Data Protection Act 2018 and the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003.

This privacy notice tells you what I will do with your personal information, from initial point of contact to conclusion of counselling, including:

  • Why I am able to process your information and for what purpose

  • Whether you have to provide it to me

  • How long I store it for

  • Whether there are other recipients of your personal information

  • Whether I intend to transfer it to another country

  • Whether I do automated decision-making or profiling, and

  • Your data protection rights.

I am happy to chat through any questions you might have about my data protection policy and you can contact me via email on

‘Data controller’ is the term used to describe the person/organisation that collects and stores and has responsibility for people’s personal data. In this instance, the data controller is me (Lisa Nicholls) and my contact details are as above.

I am registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office.

My lawful basis for holding and using your personal information

The GDPR states that I must have a lawful basis for processing your personal data. There are different lawful bases depending on the stage at which I am processing your data. I have explained these below:

If you have had counselling with me and it has now ended, I will use ‘legitimate interest’ as my lawful basis for holding and using your personal information.

If you are currently having counselling or if you are in contact with me to consider counselling, I will process your personal data where it is necessary for the performance of our contract.

The GDPR also makes sure that I look after any sensitive personal information that you may disclose to me appropriately. This type of information is called ‘special category personal information’. The lawful basis for me processing any special categories of personal information is that it is for provision of health treatment (in this case counselling) and necessary for a contract with a health professional (in this case, a contract between me and you).

How I use your information

Initial contact

When you contact me with an enquiry about my counselling services, I will collect information to help me satisfy your enquiry. Alternatively, your GP or other health professional may send me your details when making a referral, or a trusted individual may give me your details when making an inquiry on your behalf.

If you decide not to proceed, I will ensure that all your personal data is deleted within 6 months. If you would like me to delete this information sooner, just let me know.

While you are accessing counselling

Rest assured that everything you discuss with me is confidential, although I may anonymously discuss my work with my counselling supervisor. Counsellors are required to have regular supervision with a qualified counselling supervisor, in order to ensure their work is safe, ethical and effective. My supervisor is bound by their professional body’s ethical framework and confidentiality requirements.

Confidentiality will only be broken if I feel that the situation requires me to act immediately to safeguard the safety of yourself or others, or relates to certain UK laws (e.g. terrorism). I will always try to speak to you about this first, unless there are safeguarding issues that prevent this.

I will keep a record of your personal details to help the counselling services run smoothly. These details are kept securely on Google Workspace and are not shared with any third party.

I will keep written notes of each session, and these are kept securely on Google Workspace also.

For security reasons, I do not retain text messages and email correspondence long after they are received. If there is relevant information within, I will input this onto my Google Workspace system.

After counselling has ended

Once counselling has ended, your records will be kept for 5 years from the end of our contact with each other and are then securely destroyed. 5 years is the timeframe that my insurance company requests. If you want me to delete your information sooner than this, please tell me.

Your rights

I try to be as open as I can be in terms of giving people access to their personal information. You have a right to ask me to delete your personal information, to limit how I use your personal information, or to stop processing your personal information. You also have a right to ask for a copy of any information that I hold about you and to object to the use of your personal data in some circumstances. You can read more about your rights at

If I do hold information about you, I will:

  • give you a description of it and where it came from

  • tell you why I am holding it, tell you how long I will store your data and how I made this decision

  • tell you who it could be disclosed to

  • let you have a copy of the information in an intelligible form.

You can also ask me at any time to correct any mistakes there may be in the personal information I hold about you.

To make a request for any personal information I may hold about you, please put the request in writing addressing it to

If you have any complaint about how I handle your personal data, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me as above. I would welcome any suggestions for improving my data protection procedures.

If you want to make a formal complaint about the way I have processed your personal information, you can contact the ICO which is the statutory body that oversees data protection law in the UK. For more information go to

Data security

I take the security of the data I hold about you very seriously and as such I take every effort to make sure it is kept secure, with regular password/PIN changes.

Visitors to my website

Like most websites, we use cookies to help the site work more efficiently. I use Google Analytics so that I can continually improve my service to you, for example by finding out the number of visitors to the various parts of my website. This information is only processed in a way that does not identify anyone. I use ‘legitimate interests’ as my lawful basis for holding and using your personal information in this way when you visit my website.