The term “personal health information” has the same meaning as set out in Ontario’s Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (“PHIPA”), and includes information relating to your physical or mental health, as well as your health history, medical records, prescriptions, and your health number.
Personal information is different from business information (e.g., an individual’s business address and business phone number), which is not protected by privacy legislation.
The Good Chapter collects, uses and discloses personal information only to provide psychotherapy services to our clients. For example, we collect information about clients’ health history, including their family history, physical condition and function and social situation in order to help us assess what their mental health needs are, to advise clients of their options and then to provide the psychological and/or social work services that they choose to receive. Another primary purpose for collecting personal information is to obtain a baseline and ongoing record of psychological functioning so that in providing psychological and/or social work services we can monitor treatment progress and identify changes that occur over time.
In some situations, the primary purpose of collecting personal information would be to conduct an assessment to provide a professional opinion about an individual’s psychological functioning. With the client’s consent, the opinion would be reported to the appropriate person or agency, for example, an insurance company, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, Children’s Aid Society, and rehabilitation companies.
For members of the general public, our primary purposes for collecting personal information (e.g., contact phone numbers) are to make them aware of the range of services available in our clinic and to direct them to the appropriate clinician.
Like most organizations, we also collect, use and disclose information for purposes related to or secondary to our primary purposes. The most common examples include:
Limits to the protection of personal information include: legally mandated disclosure to the Children’s Aid Society; the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario; and court orders to release information, search warrants for a file for a criminal or legal case, and subpoenas.
No personal information will be communicated directly or indirectly to any third party without the client’s expressed written consent, except when there is a legal obligation to release personal information:
If disclosure of personal information is required or allowed by law or by order of a court, a therapist will not release more information than is required or allowed.
We need to retain personal information to ensure that we can answer any questions you might have about the services provided and for our own accountability. We retain personal information only for as long as is necessary for the purpose for which it was collected in accordance with the laws, ethics and standards applicable to members of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. When your personal information is no longer required or required to be maintained, it will be destroyed or de-personalized in accordance with applicable laws.
With only a few exceptions, you have the right to see the personal information we hold about you. Often all you have to do is ask. We can help you identify what records we might have about you. We will also try to help you understand any information that you do not understand (e.g., abbreviations, technical language, etc.). We may need to confirm your identity, if we do not know you, before providing you with this access. We reserve the right to charge a fee for such requests. We may ask you to put your request in writing. If we cannot give you access, we will tell you within 30 days if at all possible and tell you the reason, as best we can, as to why we cannot give you access.
If you believe that there is a mistake in the information, you have the right to ask for it to be corrected. This applies to factual information and not to any professional opinions that we may have formed. We may ask you to provide documentation that our files are wrong. Where we agree that we made a mistake, we will make the correction and notify anyone to whom we sent this information. If we do not agree that we have made a mistake, we will still agree to include in our file a brief statement from you on the point and we will forward that statement to anyone else who received the earlier information.
Last updated: January 7, 2023