Privacy Policy

Guidelines

I am a Registered Clinical Social Worker, with the BC College of Social Workers (#03492) and abide by their Ethics and Standards of Practice (http://www.bccsw.ca). Any complaints can be directed to this College. I am also a member of the BC Association of Social Workers (www.bcasw.org).

My clients have the right to full confidentiality, including the fact that he/she is or has been a client, unless the client provides written permission for this information to be shared, and to whom it may be shared. There are exceptions, where I am required by law to share information in several very specific situations:

  1. Where there is reason to suspect abuse or neglect of a child, a dependent adult or developmentally disabled person, or
  2. Where there is potential or imminent risk of harm to a client or another person, or
  3. Should a client’s records be subpoenaed by a court of law.

Privacy and Record Keeping

I meet with a professional supervisor, several times annually for supervision, for ongoing professional development, and I ensure that no identifying client information is shared during those sessions. I accept cash, cheques or E-Transfers, via my double encrypted email. Other than my encrypted email, I do not store client information electronically, and my files are stored in a locked filing cabinet with three levels of locking. I collect minimal information at the time of enrollment for the purposes of communicating with you and ensuring I have contact information for someone who could assist you in an emergency, if needed. My encrypted email, which I check on a daily basis, is there for all communication, except very brief administrative details by phone, or text, as necessary. I do not engage with clients on Facebook, or LinkedIn.

Video Counselling

I offer clients the option of phone or video counselling, if that best meets your needs or situation. I have enrolled with a telehealth service provider. This service is offered as an option, not a requirement, and is used only with clients who are informed about, and comfortable with, this technology. There are a number of benefits of using this service, such as more immediate access, convenient scheduling, reduced or eliminated transportation barriers, and the privacy of your own home. The potential risks are technology failures, security breaches or potential challenges with privacy that may arise in your home. With video counselling, both the client and therapist jointly assume responsibility for minimizing risk. Updating passwords and computer programs, and having good antivirus software is also important for me and for clients. I ensure that we have a Plan B, if our sessions should be interrupted, such as a phone number, or other way of contact. With remote counselling, having a reliable contact, who could have easy access to you in the case of a medical emergency or danger, is very important. I encourage the use of headphones.

I have engaged in a number of training opportunities for video and online counselling, and am continuously upgrading my skills and information, especially about security and privacy risks. I use a telehealth service provider called Access Virtual. My video program uses medical grade encryption. They are fully compliant with the professional requirements for Health Care Providers in BC. All information is stored only in BC. Security and privacy services are provided to Access Virtual by MedeoHealth. Their security and privacy details are available at www.medeohealth.com. I encourage you to visit these security details before considering this service. Access Virtual is primarily a medical service for physicians.

I do not record your sessions, unless I get your permission and I ask that clients also do not record our sessions or share them, without my permission. Your security and privacy are my utmost concern, in this respect. I rely on my encrypted email for communication and endeavour to check and reply to emails on a daily basis. Phone or text use is to be minimized and used only for administrative details, such as cancellations or bookings, when email cannot be used in a timely way.