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Privacy Policy

Down Counselling Practice is a private counselling service provided by Mr Paul Ardies, Accredited Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (Registered Member. 022057)

This Policy describes the personal information that Down Counselling Practice collects from or about you, how it is used and to whom your information may be disclosed.


Counselling is a private activity. For a client or prospective client to know that their privacy will be maintained is important in establishing trust and to the process of counselling.  Down Counselling is committed to maintaining your confidentiality and security of your personal information.

Down Counselling Practice is registered with the Information Commissioner's Office.

The Data controller is Mr Paul Ardies (Tel: 07842135456)

What legal basis does Down Counselling Practice have for processing your personal data?

The legal basis for processing your personal data is consent.

When you attend your first session you will be asked to sign the Contract for Counselling. In addition, you will be asked to sign a statement that specifically asks that you give your consent to Down Counselling Practice to process your personal data for the purposes of counselling. Consent can be withdrawn at any time.

What information does Down Counselling Practice collect?

Prospective clients may contact Down Counselling Practice by telephone or email.  The following information is generally collected at this stage:

  • Name

  • Contact details

  • Brief details of the issue to be addressed in counselling

  • Time available for counselling sessions

  • Employment status

  • Health insurance provider details (if applicable)

  • Any other specific requirements

Should Down Counselling Practice and/or the prospective client decide at this stage not to proceed with counselling any information collected from the prospective client will not be retained.

Prospective clients who agree to proceed with counselling will attend their first session (also known as the assessment).  At this stage the following information is collected:

  • Full name

  • Date of birth

  • Address

  • Telephone numbers and permission to leave messages/text messages

  • Email address

  • Reason for coming to counselling

  • Person to be contacted in an emergency e.g. next of kin

  • G.P. (Doctor) details

  • Payment details

During the counselling process brief notes will be kept to summarise the issues discussed.  This is for the purpose of recording the counselling process and an aid to clinical supervision. (Working under clinical supervision means that a counsellor or psychotherapist uses the services of another counsellor or psychotherapist to review their work with clients along with their professional and personal development). Down Counselling Practice may share the content of counselling sessions during clinical supervision but this will not be personally identifiable to the client.

When does Down Counselling Practice share your personal data?

Down Counselling Practice will not share your personal data with any third parties unless:

  • you have consented to this.

  • It is part of Down Counselling Practice's duty to protect a child, a vulnerable adult, yourself or the public.

  • for the prevention and detection of crime.

  • Down Counselling Practice is required to do so by a court or relevant regulatory authority.

When does Down Counselling Practice store and process personal data?

Down Counselling Practice recognises that the information a client provides may be sensitive and the practice will protect your privacy.  It will keep information about you confidential.  This means that your information is stored securely and access to it is controlled.  I keep any paper based personal data in a locked location and use password protection for electronically held data.

How long does Down Counselling Practice keep your personal data for?

Down Counselling Practice will securely destroy records six years following the end of professional contact with this service.

Website cookies

Cookies are small pieces of data stored on a site visitor's browser, usually to keep track of their movements and actions on a site.  There are two types of cookies:

Session (Transient) cookies: These cookies are erased when you close your browser, and do not collect information from your computer.  They typically store information in the form of a session identification that does not personally identify the user.

Persistent cookies are stored on your hard drive until they expire or until you delete them.  These cookies are used to collect identifying information about the user, such as web surfing behaviour or user preferences for a specific site.

The following cookies are used on the Down Counselling Practice web site:

Name          Life span          Purpose

hs                Session            Security


sv session  Persistent        Identifies unique visitors and tracks a visitor's

                                              session on a site. 

XSRFToken Persistent        Security


Down Counselling Practice website is hosted on the platform. provides the practice an online platform to advertise the service.  Your data may be stored through's data storage, databases and general applications.  They store your data on secure servers behind a firewall.


Further information about cookies and how to manage cookies for your browser are available at and     

Links to other websites/third party content

Links to other websites do not constitute an endorsement.  Down Counselling Practice does not take any responsibility for the content or information contained within any linked website.

Further details of your rights can be found at

Down Counselling Practice is owned and managed by Mr Paul C. Ardies, The Market House, 16 The Square, Ballynahinch, BT24 8AE. Tel: 07842135456

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