Relate counselling is a private and confidential form of help. We hold information about each of our clients and the counselling they receive in confidence. This means that we will not normally give your name or any information about you to anyone outside the organisation. However, there are exceptional cases where Relate might ethically or legally have to give information to relevant authorities, for example if we had reason to believe that someone, especially a child, is at serious risk of harm, or to prevent a miscarriage of justice.
If you come with a partner or your family, the counsellor may suggest seeing each of you individually. It is important for you to know that what is said in those individual sessions will be confidential and not shared with your partner or family.
Violence and abuse is an issue for many people who come to Chesterfield Relate for help with their relationship. We know from our experience that in this situation, working with couples or family members together may not be safe. If this is so, the counsellor will help each person to get individual specialist support from Relate or another agency.
Codes of ethics and practice
All Chesterfield Relate counsellors and supervisors are required to comply with the code of ethics and practice that is appropriate to the work they undertake.
- Relationship counselling is covered by the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy’s Ethical Framework for Good Practice.
- Sex Therapy is covered by the College of Sexual & Relationship Therapy’s Code of Ethics & Principles of Good Practice.
- Family counselling is covered by the Association for Family Therapy’s Code of Ethics & Practice.
In addition, Chesterfield Relate personnel must comply with Relate’s practice policies and guidance which both complement the external codes and set specific organisational standards for ethical working. Please ask your counsellor if you would like to know more about this.
Payment & Cancellation Policy
We require an initial deposit of £30 when you first contact the centre and we book your assessment appointment. Each counselling session costs Relate £50 to provide and we will ask you to pay as much as you can towards this. The £30 deposit will be deducted from the cost of your assessment appointment.
Clients can cancel appointments by a telephone call to the Centre, including a message left on the answer machine; by email or in person at the Centre during opening hours. Any pre-payments made will be transferred to the next session providing 48 hours notice is given of the cancellation. Any fees paid for appointments cancelled by the Centre will be carried forward to the next appointment.
The manager’s discretion can be used in exceptional circumstances with regards to late cancellations.
The information about confidentiality in no way contravenes your rights under the Data Protection Act 1998 to access personal data that Relate holds on you. Relate keeps confidential records and statistics about its clients. All records are kept securely and are only seen by authorised Relate personnel. These records are subject to the Data Protection Act 1998. Some of the information we may collect is classified as sensitive personal data and we can only use such data where we have your explicit consent. This data may include: racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious beliefs, trade union membership, physical or mental health, sexual life, criminal proceedings and offences. Your personal and sensitive personal data will only be used in order to provide the service to you and for managing and quality assuring the service. Records are kept for a period of 7 years and are then destroyed securely.
Relate recognises that on rare occasions our clients may wish to exercise their rights under the Data Protection Act 1998 and make a subject access request in respect of their personal information held by Relate. Often during counselling, information is provided by more than one individual. In these cases Relate will only release information if consent has been given by all of the individuals involved. If at any time you wish to exercise you right under the Act you should put your request in writing to the Centre Manager, enclose a cheque for £10 and provide evidence of your identity such as a copy of your passport or driving licence and proof of your address.
When the Centre Manager receives your written request, the £10 fee and evidence of your identity they will respond to your request within 40 calendar days. Relates response to a valid subject access request will normally be in the form of a schedule listing and describing the personal data we hold on them. By signing this information sheet you acknowledge that you understand and agree with Relates subject access policy for counselling notes.