Privacy policy

Last updated: March 2024

Your privacy is important to us. Our policy is that we do not sell your personal data except in the possible sale or merger of our business. Some topics covered below are only here because they are required by law.

This privacy policy explains what personal data we collect, why we collect it, and how it's processed and protected. This statement pertains to all therapeutic counseling services offered by Shannon Flanakin, PLLC as well as supporting processes and tools, such as this website ( and third-party products covered in the terms and conditions.


"Personal data" is any information that relates to an identified or identifiable individual. Namely, you. This includes Personally Identifiable Information (PII), like names and email address; Protected Health Information (PHI) covered by HIPAA, like medical records and payment history; as well as electronic data, like cookies and usage data that helps monitor our website and third-party tools for bugs and usability issues.

Personal data we collect

Shannon Flanakin, PLLC collects data through our direct interactions with you as part of counseling sessions and indirectly through our website and third-party products we use to manage your care. The data we collect depends on the context of your interactions with us from the type of counseling services you use to which tools and technologies you decide to use to receive that care. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • First and last name.
  • Contact information, like email address and phone number.
  • Personal history, which is critical in providing you with the best counseling experience possible.
  • Billing details, in order to pay for the services you opt to use.
  • Cookies and usage data, which are collected automatically as you use our website and tools to help us identify and resolve bugs and usability issues to better meet your needs.

You have a choice when it comes to the counseling services you use and the data you share. When we ask you to provide personal data, you can decline. While some of our tools may require some personal data, we aim to minimize this as much as possible. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your personal data. You are always welcome to opt out of using a particular tool, but note it may impact the quality or level of service we are able to provide. These tools, their purpose, and some alternatives are covered in the terms and conditions.

We will generally only ask you for information needed to provide you with the best possible service. Given the nature of therapeutic counseling, we will discuss personal health information and your lived experiences, which are critical to providing you with the highest quality of care and support. While we will never push you to provide more information than you are comfortable with, the information you provide directly correlates to the quality of service we can promise. We ask that you consider how any information may impact your counseling before you share it. If you are unsure, please ask. We do not want you to disclose any information that does not pertain to the care and support you are seeking and that we can provide.

How we use personal data

Shannon Flanakin, PLLC uses the data we collect to provide you with the best possible counseling services. In particular, we use data to:

  • Provide the most comprehensive counseling possible, tuned specifically to you as an individual.
  • Send invoices and process payments in connection with counseling services.
  • Contact you by email, phone, or text message about past or upcoming appointments, payments, etc.
  • Improve our processes and tools to better support you.

Reasons we share data

In general, we do not share your personal data with any external entity other than facilitating the delivery of the counseling services you selected or when required by law or to respond to a legal process. This includes, but is not limited to sharing data:

  • With licensed health care providers to support your treatment activities and/or training or supervising mental health practitioners to help them improve their skills.
  • In coordination with research, including studying and comparing the mental health of patients who received one form of therapy versus another for the same condition.
  • With health care providers, family, or friends at your request or that you indicate are involved in your care or payment for your health care, unless you object in whole or in part. The opportunity to consent may be obtained retroactively in emergency situations.
  • With third-party products to facilitate delivery of your counseling services (e.g., scheduling appointments, processing payments).
  • With legal entities when required by law or to respond to legal process, to protect lives, and to protect the rights and property of employees and clients.

Shannon Flanakin, PLLC will not use or disclose your protected health information for marketing purposes or sell it in the regular course of the business.

Retention of your personal data

Shannon Flanakin, PLLC will retain your personal data for as long as is necessary for the purposes set out in this privacy policy. We will retain and use your personal data to the extent necessary to comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes, and enforce our legal agreements and policies.

We also retain usage data for internal analysis purposes, such as establishing usage trends and optimizing tools and processes.

Security of your personal data

The security of your personal data is important to us, but keep in mind that no method of transmission over the internet, or method of electronic storage is 100% secure. While we meet all HIPAA regulations and strive to adopt industry best practices to protect your personal data, we cannot make absolute guarantees.

In general, information is compartmentalized and never stored or shared together. For example:

  • Your personal history and billing details are not stored together.
  • When sharing personal history with licensed health care providers, we usually anonymize the data so you cannot be identified.
  • Data shared with third-party products only includes what is absolutely necessary to perform the scoped function of that product (e.g., scheduling, notifying you about appointments, billing insurance).
  • Your personal history will not be shared with third-party products other than for secure storage.
  • Your usage data is not stored with or connected to your name or other data other than to respond to your requests.

Your rights

You have the right to ask us not to use or disclose certain personal data for treatment, payment, or health care operations purposes. Shannon Flanakin, PLLC is not required to agree to your request, and may say "no" if we believe it would affect your health care.

You have the right to request restrictions on disclosures of your data to health plans for payment or health care operations purposes if the data pertains solely to a health care item or a health care service that you have paid for out-of-pocket in full.

You have the right to ask us to contact you in a specific way (for example, home or office phone), or to send mail to a different address, and we will agree to all reasonable requests.

You have the right to get an electronic or paper copy of your medical record and other information that we have about you other than "psychotherapy notes". Shannon Flanakin, PLLC will provide you with a copy of your record, or a summary of it, if you agree to receive a summary, within 30 days of receiving your written request, and may charge a reasonable, cost-based fee for doing so.

You have the right to request a list of instances in which Shannon Flanakin, PLLC has disclosed your data for purposes other than treatment, payment, or health care operations, or for which you provided us with an Authorization. Shannon Flanakin, PLLC will respond to your request for an accounting of disclosures within 60 days of receiving your request. The list provided will include disclosures made in the last six years unless you request a shorter time. This list will be provided at no charge, but if you make more than one request in the same year, Shannon Flanakin, PLLC will charge you a reasonable cost-based fee for each additional request.

If you believe there is a mistake in your data, or that a piece of important information is missing, you have the right to request that Shannon Flanakin, PLLC correct the existing information or add the missing information. Shannon Flanakin, PLLC may say "no" to your request, but we will tell you why in writing within 60 days of receiving your request.

You have the right to print and retain a copy of this privacy policy for your own records. The latest copy can be obtained from the website.

Questions and concerns

If you have a privacy question or concern, please contact us by phone (see below) or email.