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Introducing the lead counsellor at Ava Counselling & Psychotherapy,
Nina Saunders BA (Hons) in Counselling & Psychotherapy



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Why I went into counselling & set up AvA.
I began my counselling journey as a client many years ago. I found the experience so rewarding that it inspired me to become a therapist myself. Having first qualified with a BA (Hons) in Person Centred Counselling and Psychotherapy I have had extensive further training and experience in a number of areas including; bereavement, alcohol and drug misuse, survivors of childhood abuse and sexual violence, creative approaches and the ‘Reach’ approach. I hold a professional qualification in the therapeutic use of mindfulness. I am an accredited member of the BACP and am on the Accredited Register. Having worked for a number of years in the voluntary sector I set up AvA Counselling and Psychotherapy to provide therapy to a wider client base with the ethos I have outlined below.



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Ethos & Cost
We at AvA aim to empower individuals to live lives that are happy and fulfilling. We obviously incur costs in providing our services, however, we do what we can to minimise these so as to accommodate as many of those as possible who wish to make the commitment to the process.

We therefore operate a flexible rate system that is based on covering costs and conscience, clients determining their own rate of between 35 and 70 a session. Our experience has shown people respect this approach and therefore do not seek to exploit it. To avoid any discomfort this can be discussed before an initial meeting.

In line with our ethos we ask that as much notice is given when there is the need to cancel a session so as not to unnecessarily deny an opportunity to someone else.



Professionalism
Our therapists are qualified to degree level, are members of the largest Professional Body of Counsellors and Therapists the BACP - British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy

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Our therapists are also on the BACP Accredited Register. To view click on the weblink www.bacpregister.org.uk



Ethics
As BACP members we are bound by the BACP Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy to view click on the weblink www.bacp.co.uk/ethical_framework

For more information about The Reach Approach, of which AvA is an associate, click on the weblink www.thereachapproach.co.uk



Privacy Policy
At AvA we are committed to providing the best service possible to all our clients. This includes adhering to the legal requirements in relation to confidentiality and data protection.

All our therapists are members or accredited members of BACP, NCP, CMA, UKCP or other bodies governing the psychological and holistic therapies - and so we are all bound to very clear and specific codes of conduct. Clients can therefore be assured that their issues and concerns will be discussed and explored in the strictest of confidence.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

In May 2018 the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect. It replaces the Data Protection Act 1998. It is designed to better protect the personal information directly or indirectly given to companies and organisations.

In compliance with GDPR we will collect, store, use and retain your personal data appropriately.
This means we will:
* Only collect data that helps us to offer you the best service possible – we will therefore not collect or retain excessive amounts of data.
* Take appropriate steps to protect your personal data once it’s collected. Therefore we will store your data securely, in locked rooms and on password protected computers, taking all reasonable measures to protect it from loss, misuse and unauthorised access.

We will use personal data for the following purposes:
* To deliver the services which have been requested by you and agreed by us.
* To make contact with clients as necessary.
* To maintain our own records.
* Client data will never be passed to a third party without express consent of the client.

In accordance with the requirements of our governing bodies (BACP, NCP, CMA, UKCP) we will retain client data for a minimum of 7 years. For clients under the age of 18, data will be retained until their 25 birthday.

N.B. All therapists are required by their governing bodies to undertake regular supervision in order to ensure the highest standards of service are maintained and under these circumstances all personal data is fully anonymised such that a client cannot be identified.

The lawful basis for processing your personal data.
We are required to relate our data collection and processing activity to a ‘lawful basis’ in order to comply with GDPR guidelines.
1. Contract: The lawful basis for collecting and processing your data is that we have a contract. From the outset you have sought our services and we have agreed to provide them and this constitutes a verbal (it may also be written) contract. Therefore having agreed what we will offer, when and how regularly we will meet and what the fee is for this service, this contract is the lawful basis on which we can store and process your personal data.

2. Legitimate interest: The second legal basis for collecting and processing your personal data is that having this information is necessary for us to be able to deliver the therapy we’ve agreed to offer you, and you would be unable to receive our service without giving us this information - so therefore it is in both the client’s and Reach’s ‘legitimate interests’.

Your rights
* You have the right to request a copy of the personal data we have collected.
* You have the right to request that any incorrect or incomplete data be corrected or completed if it is found to be inaccurate.
* You have the right to request that the data is erased where it is no longer necessary to be stored.

Complaints
In the event that you have any issue or concern about your personal data we would first of all invite you to discuss this with your therapist. or a member of the Reach Senior Management Team at: enquiries@thereachapproach.co.uk.

If this does not bring a satisfactory conclusion to your concerns, you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office: (ICO) at: ico.org.uk/concerns/handling/.

So, please rest assured your data is in safe hands and will always be managed with the utmost sensitivity and care.