Jon Nielsen Counselling complies with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (“Privacy Act”) and the applicable Privacy Principles in the Privacy Act when handling personal information, together with the Health Records (Privacy and Access) Act 1997 (ACT) (“Health Records Act”) and the applicable Health Privacy Principles in the Health Records Act when handling personal health information. Personal information includes any information or opinion, whether true or not, about a person who is identified or whose identity can reasonably be established.
Terms and Conditions (T&C)
Data Collection Practices
We collect personal information for the purposes of arranging appointments, delivering counselling services, and communicating with you. We may collect information through our website, client consent forms, through our booking system, from third party referrals, or in the course of counselling services with clients. The kind of personal information we collect will depend on who you are (e.g. a client or third party service provider) and the nature of your interaction with us, and may include your full name, address, email address, date of birth, billing information, general appointment information and other personal information. If you do not provide us with all the information requested, we may not be able to deliver the counselling services. The personal health information we collect enables us to arrange for the provision of counselling services and for the safe, appropriate and accurate provision of counselling services, to assess the needs of clients in the provision of counselling services and for us to generally assist in optimising the quality of our service.
Data Security and Quality
We will take reasonable steps to protect the personal information we collect and hold from misuse, loss and interference and from unauthorised access and modification, and to make sure it is accurate, complete and up to date when we collect, use, or disclose it. We may take steps to destroy personal information when it is no longer needed for any purpose for which it may be used or disclosed.
In general, the personal information you discuss in counselling sessions is confidential and will not be released without your authorisation. However there are limitations to confidentiality and your personal information may be disclosed to relevant third parties in some circumstances, such as if you reveal information that indicates a clear and immediate danger of injury to yourself or others, illegal activity, or the abuse of a child. We are also required to release records if subpoenaed by a court order.
Court and legal actions
To the extent permitted by law, Jon Nielsen Counselling will not participate, and/or provide client notes or documents, and/or attend, and/or provide character statements, and/or submit reports for any court or legal actions you may be part of, unless this is part of the contract agreement.
Consent is not given to the recording of any appointments, video and/or phone communication without written agreement by Jon Nielsen Counselling. Any illegal recordings will be deemed in breach of current Australian legislation. Sessions will not be recorded by Jon Nielsen Counselling unless your prior approval has been obtained.
Access, Corrections, Complaints
You can request, and we will provide you with access to, any personal information we hold about you (including any personal health information), subject to any applicable legal exceptions. Where records are found to be inaccurate, we will promptly correct any inaccuracies based on the further information you provide.
To maintain registration with the Australian Counselling Association, counsellors are required to participate in professional supervision. This process may involve presentation of client cases. If your case is discussed in this forum, all personal details will be de-identified to protect your identity and privacy.
It is your responsibility to arrive on time for your appointment and to participate in therapy. Should you not attend your booked appointment (either through cancellation or rescheduling) charges may apply. If more than 24 hours notice is given, no charge will apply. If less than 24 hours notice is given a charge of 50% of the relevant session cost will apply. If no notification is given, the full relevant session cost will apply.
Completion or discontinuation of services
You have the right to end your counselling at any time, for whatever reason and without any obligation, with the exception of payment of fees for services already provided. Jon Nielsen Counselling reserves the right to discontinue services at any time including, but not limited to, a violation by you of the T&C; a change or re-evaluation by us of your therapeutic needs; our ability to address those needs; or other circumstances that lead us to conclude in our sole and absolute discretion that your counselling needs would be better served at another service. Under such circumstances, we will suggest an appropriate way for you to move forward.
Contact outside session times
There may be times when you wish to communicate with your counsellor outside of your appointment times. You can contact Jon via email or phone however if he is in session or it is outside business hours, he may not be able to reply immediately. Phone calls of less than ten minutes duration will not attract any fees and will be considered part of the service, within reason. Phone calls of over fifteen minutes duration will be considered as an appointment and a fee for service will be charged at the applicable hourly rate. Clients are responsible for ensuring that they have information about the emergency support services available in their local area.
Changes to this policy