I keep the contact details clients have given me in paper format in a locked box for seven years as is the current industry standard recommendation.
I do not share this information unless the client has given their consent to me requesting further support from another health professional, such as a GP. If a client is at risk of causing serious harm to himself / herself or another, and I believe he /she would benefit from further support, I will speak to his / her GP or other health practitioner about my concerns to try to access available support for him / her. I will always seek to discuss this with the client first and obtain consent.
In rare cases I may be ethically unable to keep the pledge of confidentiality, for example if the client is involved in criminal activity such as distributing illegal drugs, fraud, money-laundering, sexual activity involving children or involved in terrorist plots. Where a client discloses or describes to me such involvement I am bound to break confidentiality to share this information with the relevant authority.
The contact number the client has given is stored on my mobile phone for the duration of the therapeutic work under his/her initials or a shortened name. Once sessions have ended I delete the client’s number from my phone.
Where the client has contacted me by email, his or her email address is stored on my computer for the length of our therapeutic work.