The new data protection policies and legal requirements arrive 25th May this year.  Are we ready?

I have now read up on it and include links for SMEs of which I am one, individual people whose data is managed of which I am also one, and a podcast for those who hate reading!

It might be complicated but it is really just duty of care for those we work with and support or employ.

For my part, confidentiality has been part of my working life forever!   As a PA and business negotiations, managing and developing databases and of course, private client information and notes.

I will however, tighten things up as required and highlight confirmations required in newsletters and on the websites- especially the new one, Clear Mind-Management Online, which involves membership details from individuals.

Confidentiality is important to you as my client.  Anything we speak about is contracted to stay between us unless we agree to share with other party because there is a two-way sharing at times and I too value my privacy.

In practice

So I share a contract at the first session to put new clients at ease, with a focus and purpose before opening it up to them to share.  Often the first session is a lot of talking on both parts as I share helpful tips to manage your concerns quickly – as mostly, it is at crisis point when people book in!

Understanding the holistic picture and boundaries, the options available, makes people feel more at ease in any situation.  I know I like ‘all the facts’ to feel comfortable – I dislike gaps or uncertainties, especially if I have to make choices and decisions!  Most people are ‘control freaks’ – that is, people like to be in control of their environment and themselves.   Most animals do, even plants (some plants only grow in ideal conditions, or lay dormant until the time is right!)

I talk about instincts, energy, the mind-set and emotional responses; I share ‘stories’ to explain things in an easy way so you are put at ease and we can get to know each other a little – i.e. instinctive reassurances!

What you say in counselling or coaching remains confidential unless you CHOOSE to share with others – sometimes people ask what you discussed and you feel rude not sharing!   Not the case – it is your private sharing you came for, your stuff not theirs even if they are somehow ‘involved’.

We might share our lives and thoughts with others but on our terms and meeting our needs, so yours are private and I fully respect that.

As a practitioner we care for clients we work with by also attending regular supervision to make sure we remain fit to practice, are not distracted by ‘our stuff’ and put that onto clients – it’s recognising human nature for how it is and managing it in given situations.  Manipulating our environment and opportunities if you like!   But that word has a negative connotation, implying that someone wins at someone else’s expense, but that isn’t really the case.  Win-Win is the best way because it’s mutually beneficial and recognising that and how we behave naturally as humans can really help.

Personal Power

Hence my passion for the benefits of self-awareness!   At every turn you will hear or see this.  It is essential if you want to have personal power – again, a word implying manipulation and loss on one side but again, not necessarily!

Personal power is the control we crave over our lives, our Self and our circumstances.  When we feel we haven’t got that anymore, that is when we panic, feel anxious and despair at times.

Taking back your power to choose, have options, be ready for opportunities is what coaching is all about, but counselling too!  Working with both is a powerful opportunity to look deeper inside and bring it out and use it effectively to create your life, manage obstacles and take steps towards your goals!

So whatever you share with me, and most counsellors, coaches, therapists, will stay safe.


Further Reading:

GDPR from Simply Business for SMEs

GDPR podcast from Nat West

GDPR for the individual