This information applies to anyone who has accessed this website or is a current or past client of Willow Tree Counselling. The relevance of the information found herein will vary, depending on whether or not you are receiving Willow Tree Counselling’s services.
The following information and the information contained on willowtreecounselling.ca is intended for adults 19 years of age and up. Willow Tree Counselling does not provide counselling to children under the age of 19.
According to PIPA, this refers to “information that can identify an individual” and “information about an identifiable individual.” Willow Tree Counselling will collect and use such information only as needed and as is relevant to the provision of counselling or consultation services as requested by you. Examples of the information collected and why, is described below.
Your personal information may be used by Willow Tree Counselling to provide counselling services or information to you, to respond to phone calls, emails or provide resources to augment your therapy experience, to arrange and conduct 15-minute consultations, to manage the waiting and cancellation lists and to contact you when your name comes up to start counselling.
When the waiting list is open, Willow Tree Counselling has an encrypted contact form for those who would like to arrange a 15-minute consultation with Megan Sutherland to determine whether Willow Tree Counselling is suitable for them. This form asks for name and email address so that Willow Tree Counselling can contact potential clients to arrange a time to meet in person, by phone or by video. For those seeking a 15-minute video consultation, the secure Doxy.me telehealth platform is used. Doxy.me does not collect your personal information. Clients are emailed a link to the Willow Tree Counselling Doxy.me page, which they click at the time of their scheduled consultation. Megan returns all requests for consultations via email; if you want to make arrangements for a consultation by phone, please contact her directly at 604-521-3404.
If it has been mutually agreed during the consultation that Willow Tree Counselling is right for the potential client, Megan will offer a place on her waiting list, and potentially her cancellation list, if available and if desired. Clients’ names, email addresses and sparse, relevant information about counselling needs are collected and recorded electronically in the Jane App, a secure (Canadian-based) online practice management system so that the wait list can be efficiently managed and waitlisted clients contacted, when an opening arises. Clients may remove themselves from the Willow Tree Counselling waiting list at any time, by contacting Willow Tree Counselling directly. Clients who wish to re-refer themselves after removing themselves from the waiting list are welcome to do so, but return to the bottom of the waiting list.
At the time of the initial intake to start counselling, Willow Tree Counselling will collect:
The above is to ensure that:
Clients who wish to optionally receive the Willow Tree Counselling email newsletter, The Listening Ear, would enter their email address to allow the newsletter to be delivered to their inbox. Names are not collected and email addresses are never sold or shared. Sign up can be done on Willow Tree Counselling’s home page or on the electronic intake form that new clients receive. Willow Tree Counselling uses Mail Chimp to email The Listening Ear. Learn more about their data security policy here.
willowtreecounselling.ca exists for interested parties to find out more information about Willow Tree Counselling’s services, Megan Sutherland’s professional profile and contact information and those who are interested in reading Willow Tree Counselling’s articles related to counselling. The website also contains the Willow Tree Cancellation Policy, an interest form to request a free 15-minute consultation, community resources, links to book titles, payment/PayPal information and links to the Willow Tree Counselling social media accounts.
willowtreecounselling.ca does not actively collect personal and identifiable information about clients or potential clients. 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 Willow Tree Counselling. Megan’s Sutherland’s Internet browser may passively, and not at the request of Megan, collect IP addresses and locations.
Some clients may choose to visit the Fees page of willowtreecounselling.ca and pay for their sessions via PayPal, or alternatively through Jane Payments, which will ask you to input your credit card information.
Email is not considered a secure and confidential way of communicating. For the protection of your privacy, please do not email information you would not be comfortable discussing in a public space. Megan Sutherland is happy to confidentially discuss your concerns either in session, or, if they can be addressed in the course of a 15-minute free phone or in-person consultation.
Any email exchanges are also part of the personal record.
The Willow Tree Counselling office, while private, is located in a suite with other independent (primarily counselling) offices. The suite has a shared waiting room. When entering and leaving the office, clients may or may not see another individual in the waiting room, who may or may not be a client of Willow Tree Counselling. If this is a concern for you, please inform Megan Sutherland and she will make alternative arrangements with you for entering or exiting her office. Megan Sutherland would never knowingly schedule clients back to back whom she thought knew, or could know one another.
While nothing can ever be guaranteed soundproof, Willow Tree Counselling uses professionally-installed sound masking technology, located in the ceiling of the Willow Tree Counselling office and adjoining vestibule to distort and mask conversation that happens therein. There are also two doors that separate the counselling office and waiting room, to further reduce sound transmission. Additional insulation has also been installed in parts of the office’s ceiling and walls.
Megan Sutherland also has a home office for phone and video sessions. This is a single-use room with a door that is closed during sessions and when working with any form of confidential documentation. The room is situated in a private area of her home and Megan uses headphones for all phone and video sessions so that clients’ voices are never broadcast in the office space itself. Any confidential client information or documentation is locked when not in use.
Your identity, attendance and all personal information communicated by you in counselling is strictly confidential, with the following exceptions:
For further information about confidentiality, please see Megan’s article on the topic.
Willow Tree Counselling is not authorized to disclose your personal information to any third party without your express written and signed consent. Willow Tree Counselling 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.
There are restrictions, albeit rare, to confidentiality which involved disclosure to third parties; these are detailed in the above section, “Confidentiality.”
Willow Tree Counselling treats all aspects of your personal information with the greatest care and takes active steps to protect your information. As per the requirements of her professional college, Megan Sutherland securely stores client/clinical information using her online practice management system, Jane App, a North Vancouver-based company 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.
Megan also provides secure video counselling, also through Jane App, “Jane Online Appointments.” Each video session is encrypted using 256 bit encryption when sent between Megan’s devices and the system’s servers. Sessions are anonymous and are never recorded or stored.
More specifically, Jane Online Appointments uses a standard that provides peer to peer a/v communication in most cases. This means that all the traffic flows directly between each user’s web browser and completely bypasses their servers. The traffic is also encrypted in transit and none of the data is stored anywhere.
Megan Sutherland has paper files from when her files were off-line, which she keeps in locked filing cabinets when not in use and archived for a period of 7 years after service has ended.
Megan uses her computer to conduct video counselling sessions, send and respond to emails, use the calendar, issue receipts, receive credit card payments, search therapy-related topics, compose clinical notes, post on company social media, publish her newsletter, send Welcome information, produce, edit and publish content for willowtreecounselling.ca and perform other administrative tasks related to the running of her practice. Megan’s computer is firewalled, password protected, lock-screened after one minute and two-factor authenticated.
Megan uses her smart phone to accept credit card payments through Jane Payments, access voicemail, return phone calls, conduct phone counselling sessions/consultations, access email and the calendar, scan documents and occasionally respond to text messaging. Megan’s phone is password-protected via fingerprint ID and passcode, lock screened and two-factor authenticated.
Megan is rarely able to answer her phone directly, so most calls will go to voicemail. Any messages left are password-protected, saved and then deleted after they have been played. Clients or potential clients: please only leave a phone number where you are comfortable being contacted and having a message left for you.
Like email, text messaging is not considered a private means of communication. If it is clear that you are seeking and consenting to a texted response, Megan will respond, although does not advertise this as a preferred mode of contact.
Clients have a right to view or receive a copy of their file, or portions of the file, if this information is still available. Willow Tree Counselling has 30 days to respond to your request, unless Megan Sutherland is out of the office or has recently returned after an extended time away. 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. Requests that take longer than 15 minutes to organize, are billed in 30-minute intervals according to Willow Tree Counselling’s current fees for paperwork.
If you have undertaken couples 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 Megan Sutherland believes that the release of your file would result in harm to either you or another party, Megan Sutherland has the right under PIPA to refuse the release a copy of the file.
If, in the course of your review, you have discovered factual information that you have deemed to be inaccurate, Megan Sutherland will put a correction on the electronic file, or with paper files, with a single strikethrough of the objected information and the correction beside it, signed and dated. Megan cannot make corrections to her clinical assessment/impressions unless this assessment has changed in the light of the corrections.
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 willowtreecounselling.ca. If you have any questions about this policy, please contact Megan Sutherland directly through one of the means noted above.
©️ Copyright, Willow Tree Counselling, 2021. No portion of the above may be reproduced without express permission of Willow Tree Counselling.