At Step 1, select the Website option or App option or both.
Answer some questions about your website or app.
Answer some questions about your business.
- 3. What Counts as Personal Information?
- 4.1. How You Collect Personal Information
- 4.2. Who You Share Personal Information With
- 4.3. What You Do With Personal Information You Collect
- 4.4. How Long You Keep Their Personal Information
- 4.5. How Users Can Edit Their Personal Information
- 4.6. How You Keep Their Personal Information Safe
- 4.7. How Users Can Contact You
- 5.1. Website Footer
- 5.2. Email Footer
- 5.3. Client Appointment Booking Interface
- 5.4. Subscription or Registration Forms
- 5.5. Checkout Page
- 5.6. Membership Login
- 6. Summary
As a therapist, you might collect data via more direct methods such as newsletter subscription forms or membership registration forms, or through transactional forms when you book an appointment or sell a product.
Other less obvious means of data collection include website tracking, analytics software and cookies.
Privacy Policies are also legally required whenever your website collects personal information.
Depending on where in the world you work, your practice may fall under privacy laws from other countries. If you work in one country but virtually see clients based in another country, the privacy laws of their home country may apply to your website.
Global privacy laws that might apply to your website include:
- The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and its CPRA amendments
- The California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA)
- The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
What Counts as Personal Information?
Personal information refers to any information that can be used to identify an individual. This might include a single piece of information, such as a user's name, or it could be separate pieces of information that could be combined to identify the individual, such as their birthdate and address.
Personal information can include identifying information such as names, physical and email addresses, birthdays, Social Security numbers, banking information, IP addresses, and web-browsing activities.
As a therapist, you will be collecting personal information such as names, email addresses, and telephone numbers in order to book appointments and stay in communication with your clients. You may also collect financial information if you sell services or products on your website.
How You Collect Personal Information
You might collect their data automatically, through cookies or website tracking, or voluntarily, through subscription forms or surveys.
Dr. Nicole LePera clearly informs users as to whether her site collects information voluntarily or automatically, and describes how the collection process works:
Who You Share Personal Information With
Your potential clients will want to know whether you will be sharing their personal information with any third parties.
Common third parties you might share user information with might be any analytics software or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technology you use to track user habits or schedule client appointments.
Potential clients want to know who you plan on sharing their data with, but they also want to know what you personally plan to do with their information.
What You Do With Personal Information You Collect
Telling your clients how you use their personal information can help to build your credibility as a therapist who cares about keeping their data safe and using it to provide the best possible services.
You should be as transparent as possible about your reasons for collecting their data. Using direct, precise language can help you to effectively communicate these reasons.
Collecting users' personal information may be necessary for communication and scheduling purposes, or it might help you to improve your methods for supporting their healing process.
Whatever reasons you have for collecting their information, it's important to let users know why you are doing it.
Telling users why you collect their personal information can serve as the first step in helping them feel like they can trust you with their problems. You also want to let them know how long you plan on holding onto their information.
How Long You Keep Their Personal Information
You should let your users know how long you will retain their information. If you don't have a legitimate need to keep users' data, it's good business practice to safely dispose of it.
Lisa Olivera lets users know that she will keep their information for as long as necessary to comply with legal obligations, as well as for internal analysis and security and functionality purposes:
Regardless of how long you keep users' data and for what reasons, you should also include a clause letting people know how they can change their stored information if it changes. We'll look at that more in the next section.
How Users Can Edit Their Personal Information
It's imperative to give users clear instructions as to how they can access and edit their data as needed. One way therapists do this is to give people the option of emailing a request to change or delete their data.
Minaa B. Consulting lets users know that it will delete personal information upon request and will communicate to its service providers to do the same.
It also outlines the circumstances in which it's unable to satisfy requests to delete personal information, including security and functionality purposes as well as compliance with legal obligations:
How You Keep Their Personal Information Safe
Including a clause about how you store and manage users' information is a small thing that can go a long way in building a trusting relationship between you and your clients.
Dr. Britt Frank informs users that her website takes measures to protect their data, and that users must also take steps to keep their passwords confidential:
How Users Can Contact You
As a therapist, you want to make it as simple as possible for users to contact you. That might mean providing multiple contact links on various pages of your website, as well as in the header and/or footer.
Dr. April Snow includes her mailing address, email address, and telephone number to ensure that users can get in touch with her in a variety of ways:
Client Appointment Booking Interface
Subscription or Registration Forms
- How you collect personal information
- Who you share personal information with
- How you use personal information
- How long you keep personal information
- How users can find or delete their personal information
- How you keep personal information safe
- How users can contact you