This policy exists to inform clients of their rights around the collection, use and disclosure of your personal information in accordance with (PIPA). This policy applies to anyone who is a current or past client of Providence Therapy. The following information is intended for adults 19 years and up.
According to PIPA, Personal Information refers to “information that can identify an individual” and “information about an identifiable individual.”
At Providence Therapy we will collect and use personal information only as it is relevant to the rendering of therapeutic services as requested by you. This personal information may be used for the purposes of providing counselling services to you, responding to phone or email inquiries, to provide resources to augment your therapy experience, to organize consultations, or to contact you in order to manage waiting lists and cancellations.
Should you decide you would like to see a Therapist at Providence Therapy, Your name will be placed on a waiting list, and you will be contacted by a therapist when a spot becomes available. Your name, email address and phone number are collected at this time and recorded electronically in a secure (Canadian-based) online practice management system; Jane-app. Clients may remove themselves from the a Providence Therapy waiting list at any time by connecting with up directly or by managing your online account through Jane-app.
After your first appointment is booked, Providence therapy will request you fill out our online intake and consent paperwork through our online practice management. This will ask you for personal details to determine your identity when seeking counselling. All future client records are owned by Providence Therapy unless a transfer is authorized by the client in writing.
Clients who wish to optionally receive newsletters from Providence Therapy can opt into this using their online client profile. Clients can opt out at any time.
www.providencetherapybc.com exists for the purpose of educating potential and current clients regarding the services provided at Providence Therapy. Www.providencetherapybc.com does not actively collect personal and identifiable information about you. Google analytics collects statistics on popular webpages, search terms, browsers, operating systems and devices used. This information is given as aggregate data, and is not personally identifiable to Providence Therapy. Our practitioners Internet browsers may passively, and not at the request of our therapists, collect IP addresses and locations.
Please make note that email is not considered a secure and confidential way of communicating. For the protection of your privacy, please do not email any private information you would not be comfortable sharing in a more public domain.
Providence Therapies offices, while private, are located on the same floor as several other operating businesses. There is a shared waiting area outside the offices. When entering and leaving the offices, you may or may not see another individual in the waiting area, who may or may not be a client of Providence Therapy. If this is a concern for you, please inform your practitioner and they will make alternative arrangements with you for entering or exiting the office.
Providence Therapy is not authorized to disclose your personal information to any third party without your express written and signed consent. Providence Therapy cannot respond to requests from concerned family members or friends about clients’ attendance, disclosure in session or the treatment plan; please talk to your loved one directly. This also applies to family members or friends who are paying for the client’s sessions.
Providence Therapy treats all aspects of your personal information with the greatest care and takes active steps to protect your information. As per the requirements of our registering body the BCACC, Providence Therapy Therapists securely store client/clinical information using our online practice management system which has secure servers in Eastern Canada. This system has a private server bank located in a secured SOC2, Type2-certified data centre, and all data is backed up regularly on secondary servers in Western Canada. Providence Therapy Counsellors may and also have paper files holding rough session notes. These notes are kept in locked filing cabinets when not in use and archived for a period of 7 years after service has ended.
Clients have a right to view or receive a copy of their file, or portions of the file, if this information is still available. As per PIPA, any information either given by third parties, or about third parties that is contained in the file, is required to be blacked out, to preserve the third party’s privacy. If you have undertaken couples or conjoint counselling, and one or both parties wants copies of the file, the written and signed consent of both parties is required in order to release the information.
On rare occasions, if your therapist at Providence Therapy believes that the release of your file would result in harm to either you or another party, Providence Therapy reserves the right under PIPA to refuse the release a copy of the file.
Any paper files are subject to shredding after a 7-year period. Should any technology require disposal (for example, an old and inefficient computer) that contains personal information, such technology is only disposed of once the hard drive is destroyed.
The information above is subject to periodic revision and changes. The current version will always be posted at this page on www.providencetherapybc.com. If you have any questions about this policy, please contact Christen McCallum directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Following is Providence Therapies Social Media Policy:
The BCACC requires Registered Clinical Counsellors (RCC) who use Social Media to have a Social Media Policy. This document outlines office policies related to use of Social Media. Please read it to understand how we conduct ourselves on the Internet as mental health professionals and how you can expect us to respond to various interactions that may occur between us on the Internet.
If you have any questions about anything within this document, we encourage you to bring them up when you meet your therapist. As new technology develops and the Internet changes, there may be times when we need to update this policy. If we do so, we will notify you in writing of any policy changes and change information on my website accordingly.
Email and Computer Communication
It is important to note that computer and e-mail communication can be accessed by unauthorized people which can compromise the privacy and confidentiality of our communication. E-mails, in particular, are vulnerable due to the unlimited and direct access that email servers have. With this in mind, please try to refrain from discussing confidential information through email. If you must communicate confidential information through email, we will assume you understand the risks of this communication. Emails, faxes, and text messages are included in counselling records.
Please note that our E-mails are not encrypted, however, our computers are. If we submit information about you electronically, it will be done with the best safeguards we can provide to ensure confidentiality.
Please DO NOT use e-mail, text messaging, or faxes for emergencies.
The BCACC requires Registered Clinical Counsellors (RCC) who use Social Media to have a Social Media Policy.
Providence Therapy Inc., Christen McCallum RCC, and affiliated associates at Providence Therapy Inc. maintain accounts on Facebook and Instagram for the purpose of education. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information on or throughout our website and social media sites. However, information may inadvertently contain misinformation or typos as information in the field of psychology is always evolving.
Content shared on social media is not intended to educational. We are not medical doctors, registered dieticians or nutritionists, and any information provided through our social media platforms is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advise, diagnosis or treatment. Our online education is no substitute for professional therapy and we recommend you always consult your medical doctor before starting any new physical health regime.
Clients are welcome to follow and take in the information we provide, however agree to be doing so voluntarily.
We do not accept friend or contact requests from current or former clients on any social networking site (Facebook, instagram, etc). We believe that adding clients as friends or contacts on these sites can compromise your confidentiality and our respective privacy. It may also blur the boundaries of the therapeutic relationship. We also do not interact with clients on social networking sites such as Facebook or Instagram. If you need to contact a practitioner between sessions, the best way to do so is by phone, or by email. If you have questions about this, please bring them up with your therapist to talk more about it.
Clients are welcome to “follow” Providence Therapy using social media platforms, however, Individual practitioners or Providence Therapy will not follow current or former clients. If you chose to follow Providence Therapy on social media, we assume that you understand the risks to confidentiality that this interaction may pose.
Providence Therapy may follow other health professionals on social media or non client contacts, however, we do not follow current or former clients on blogs or other social media. We believe that casual viewing of clients’ online content outside of the therapy hour can create confusion in regard to whether it’s being done as a part of the treatment or to satisfy a personal curiosity. In addition, viewing your online activities without your consent and without our explicit arrangement towards a specific purpose could potentially have a negative influence on our working relationship. If there are things from your online life that you wish to share with your therapist, please bring them into sessions where you are your counsellor can view and explore them together, during the therapy hour.
Use of Search Engines
It is not a regular part of my practice to search for clients on Google or Facebook or other search engines. Extremely rare exceptions may be made during times of crisis. If we have a reason to suspect that you are in danger and you have not been in touch with your practitioner via the usual means (coming to appointments, or phone contact) there might be an instance in which using a search engine (to find you, find someone close to you, or to check on your recent status updates) may become a necessary as part of ensuring your welfare. These are unusual situations and if your therapist ever resorts to such means, they will fully document it and discuss it with you when you next meet.
Business Review Sites
You may find Providence Therapy on sites such as Yelp, Google, Yahoo Local, Bing, or other places which list businesses. Some of these sites include forums in which users rate their providers and add reviews. Many of these sites comb search engines for business listings and automatically add listings regardless of whether the business has added itself to the site. If you should find Providence Therapy on any of these sites, please know that the listing is NOT a request for a testimonial, rating, or endorsement from you as my client.
The British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors (BCACC) Standard for Promoting and Advertising Services states, “an RCC should never solicit testimonials, expressly or by implication, from clients or other persons who, because of their particular circumstances, may be vulnerable to undue influence” (BCACC Code of Ethical Conduct and Standards of Clinical Practice and Guidelines for Registered Clinical Counsellors, 2011).
You have a right to express yourself on any site you wish. But due to confidentiality, we cannot respond to any review on any of these sites whether it is positive or negative. We urge you to take your own privacy as seriously as we take our commitment of confidentiality to you. You should also be aware that if you are using these sites to communicate indirectly with your counsellor about your feelings about their work, there is a good possibility that they may never see it.
If you are working together with a therapist, we hope that you will bring your feelings and reactions directly into the therapy process. This can be an important part of therapy, even if you decide in the end your therapist is not a good fit. None of this is meant to keep you from sharing that you are in therapy wherever and with whomever you like.
Confidentiality means that your therapist cannot tell people that you are their client and our Ethics Code prohibits us from requesting testimonials. But you are more than welcome to tell anyone you wish about Providence Therapy, your therapist, or how you feel about the treatment provided to you, in any forum of your choosing.
If you do choose to write something on a business review site, we hope you will keep in mind that you may be sharing personally revealing information in a public forum. We urge you to create a pseudonym that is not linked to your regular email address or friend networks for your own privacy and protection.
If you used location-based services on your mobile phone, you may wish to be aware of the privacy issues related to using these services. If you have GPS tracking enabled on your device, it is possible that others may surmise that you are a therapy client due to your location.
Thank you for taking the time to review our Social Media Policy. If you have questions or concerns about any of these policies and procedures or regarding our potential interactions on the Internet, do bring them to our attention so that we can discuss them.