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Privacy Policy

Privacy and Related Policies at Steven Butler,

The Big Friendly Therapist (The BFT)

Why do I collect personal information?

I collect personal information to contact you, provide invoices and receipts, assess your needs, develop a treatment plan, provide services, evaluate my services, respond in the case of an emergency, or provide your records/consultation to other parties (with your written consent).

Where do I keep your information?

I keep physical files under supervision when in use, or locked filing cabinets in a locked room when not in use. I keep electronic files in a password and firewall-protected computer and move them to an encrypted hard drive yearly. This software is only accessible to me and is backed up regularly. I use OWL Practice, a secure web-based practice management system that is encrypted, complies with guidelines for personal health information (PHI), and is

routinely backed up to ensure the security of sensitive client information.

How do I destroy documents or files with your PHI?

I destroy paper files and documents containing PHI by shredding them. I destroy electronic information by deleting it and when the hardware is discarded, ensuring that it has been destroyed.

What information do I keep?

I am required to keep a record of all of my clients. Your records will include contact information, emergency contact information, consent forms, contracts, assessments, previous records, treatment plans, session notes and summaries, billing information, and all correspondence we send or receive from you related to your treatment.

How long do we keep your information?

I am required to keep your record for at least 10 years beyond my last contact with you, or 10 years past your 18th birthday if you were a child or adolescent at the termination of treatment.

What is your access to your file?

You have the right to see your file. If you are a client or have recently been a client, I will

schedule a time to go through the file with you. If you believe that there is a mistake in

information, you may ask that it be corrected. I will not change information related to our

professional opinions or observations. I may ask you to provide documentation correcting any erroneous information. If I do not agree with your request to change something within the file, you may write a note explaining your proposed changes that I will include in your file.

 

I can pass along your file to another healthcare professional with a signed Release of Information (ROI) in the event of termination, referral, or transfer.

What is my privacy policy?

I ensure that all who work or are contracted with Steven Butler, The Big Friendly Therapist (The BFT) adhere to mandatory privacy legislation. I will not share any PHI outside of Steven Butler, The Big Friendly Therapist (The BFT) without your knowledge and consent, except in the following circumstances as required by law:

  • When there is a clear and imminent risk of serious harm to someone (i.e., yourself, or someone else).

  • When I suspect that a child under the age of 18 years or a dependent older adult is at risk of abuse or neglect.

  • When a client tells us that they have been sexually abused by a regulated health professional.

  • When I suspect that a person in a long-term care facility is being abused.

  • When a court of law subpoenas the record.

  • When the licensing or governing body inspects records as a part of their regulatory activities in the public interest.

  • If clients submit their receipts to insurance companies or third-party payers for reimbursement, it is possible that Steven Butler, The Big Friendly Therapist (The BFT) would be required to provide all or part of the information in one’s record. I would discuss this with clients first.

  • Unforeseen disruption in services: In the event of an unforeseen disruption in services(e.g., serious illness of the therapist or impairment), client information will be transferred to Kate Flood, MSW, MA (of The Therapy Collective Atlantic) who has been delegated to communicate with The BFT clients in such a situation and will have access to your files to be transferred to a new therapist or healthcare professional.

Please note that if a third party is paying for your treatment, they will have access to information regarding your attendance of individual and/or group sessions. This information will be noted on the invoice through Steven Butler, The Big Friendly Therapists (The BFT) billing system.

What is my use of electronic communication?

I communicate with my clients, their families, and other service providers through a wide range of electronic means of communication, including phone, fax, email, text, and mail. We realize that there can be risks to privacy concerning any out-of-session contact that clinicians might have with you or with other service providers. Steven Butler will do his best to be careful about your privacy when using these forms of communication but are not able to guarantee privacy. If you have a preference for certain forms of communication over others due to privacy concerns, please indicate this to the clinicians involved in your care. Steven Butler, The Big Friendly Therapist (The BFT) will keep a record of all clinical or substantive contact (e.g. emails, texts, phone calls, faxes) in your health record.

What is my inclusion of students at Steven Butler,

The Big Friendly Therapist (The BFT)?

I believe that it is important to participate in the training of future clinicians. Consequently, Steven Butler, The Big Friendly Therapist (The BFT) provides opportunities for students to contribute to the work of the practice and to learn through observation, direct learning, supervision, participation in various admin and clinical tasks, and in some cases, clinical services. I screen and interview all of the students and provide them with appropriate training and supervision. These students must adhere to my standards of privacy and confidentiality. Some of these students are in the early stages of their training and so will have limited responsibilities at Steven Butler, The Big Friendly Therapist (The BFT) and others have already acquired extensive training and experience in psychology/counselling/social work and will be able to play a significant role in group facilitation or the provision of individual therapy.

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Safe Space

Every single one of us is entitled to work, heal, or relax in a safe space. A space free of discrimination or fear; a space, free of bullying and harassment of any kind. I vow to make my practice a safe space for everyone - regardless of race, socio-economic status, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.

Land Acknowledgement

The City of Saint John/Menaquesk is situated in the traditional territory of the Wolastoqiyik/Maliseet. I respectfully share that I live and practice as a guest on the unsurrendered and unceded Traditional lands of Wolastoqiyik/Maliseet peoples. I am committed to Piluwitahasuwawsuwakon (a Wolastoqey phrase that advocates for actions toward Truth and Reconciliation) as I engage and work with Indigenous peoples.

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