Please read all of the information in this disclosure.

James Fitzgerald Therapy, PLLC

James Fitzgerald, MS, NCC, LCMHC

359 Dorset Street, Suite 200-2

South Burlington, VT 05403


This online form should be considered electronic communication. A more secure version of this document will be included in the Consent for Services via the Client Therapy Portal system Therapy Notes LLC. I need your written permission to send and receive encrypted and unencrypted emails to you from my business email accounts. I need your permission to send and receive SMS texts over cellular phone networks, and to send messages through a chat feature on the therapist’s client engagement app and client portals. I need your permission to offer you access to my private members only client engagement area of my website. You are providing your implied consent to electronic communication via the public website and blog by visiting and interacting with the public pages and forum. If you interact within the public areas of the website, confidentiality and privacy are not guaranteed.

Occasionally, it is convenient to communicate with clients via email and text. It is convenient for me to send links, articles, documents, and therapy worksheets electronically as well as email reminders and text reminders for upcoming appointments. It is also convenient to allow for electronic payments of account balances over Jituzu, Square, Pay Pal and Venmo. I regularly send out payment requests over the Venmo app, and invoices through Jituzu and Square client account management websites. I also will encourage new clients to register on this website and the client portal through Jituzu and MyClientsPlus. You may receive an invitation to the portal and/or invoice reminders from Caroline O’Connor, Inner Resources, and/or James Fitzgerald Therapy, PLLC.

To communicate with you and transmit data to you over electronic platforms, email programs, and text, you must provide your consent, recognizing that electronic communication is not a secure form of communication. There is some risk that any protected health information that may be contained in an email/text message may be disclosed to, or intercepted by, unauthorized third parties. I will use the minimum necessary amount of protected health information to respond to your query.

Communication technologies must never replace the crucial interpersonal contacts that are the very basis of the client-psychotherapist relationship.

Client-psychotherapist electronic mail can be defined as computer-based communication between therapists and clients within a professional relationship, in which the therapist has taken on an explicit measure of responsibility for the client’s care. These guidelines do not address communication between professionals and potential clients in which no ongoing professional relationship exists.


  • I will return emails/text messages as soon as possible within 24 hours of receipt during business hours. If I am on vacation, emails/text messages may or may not be returned until I return.
  • All email/text communication will be retained in electronic copies for the term applicable to paper records. I will back-up all communication weekly.
  • Therapeutic communication (sensitive subject matters) should be kept at a minimum. Please call to set up an appointment for therapeutic matters.
  • E-mail/text correspondence will not be used to establish a patient-psychologist relationship. E-mail/text messages should supplement other, more personal encounters. Without the benefit of face-to-face interaction, email/text messages can be misinterpreted in tone and meaning.
  • Email/text communication to schedule, cancel, or change an appointment is acceptable. I cannot guarantee I will reply before the scheduled appointment time if you cancel an appointment.
  • Please put in subject line the nature of the communication (e.g., appointment, advice, billing question), and please make sure your name and/or identifying information about the client is in the body of the message.
  • Please be concise in your email/text message. If the matter cannot be written in a concise fashion, please call to schedule an appointment.
  • You will be reminded if you do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • Encrypted messages are the most protected form of communication. I use an encrypted email service. Venmo transactions should have privacy settings and not shared publicly. Square is secure and private for payment services but is not encrypted. My computers are password protected.
  • Your email/text message will not be forwarded to a third party without your expressed permission, unless you have already signed a release for me to communicate with a professional.
  • I am the only one with access to my email address and/or mobile number. I will double-check all “To” fields prior to sending messages.

A. General electronic communication risks include but are not limited to the following:

  • Email/text messages can be immediately broadcasted worldwide and received by many intended and unintended recipients.
  • Recipients can forward email/text messages to other recipients without the original sender’s permission or knowledge.
  • Users can easily send an email/text message to the incorrect address.
  • Emails/text messages are easier to falsify than handwritten or signed documents.
  • Backup copies of email/text messages may exist even after the sender or the recipient has deleted his or her copy.
  • Public setting Venmo transactions are discouraged; you may inadvertently breach your own protected health information privacy.

B. Specific electronic communication risks include but are not limited to the following:

  • Email/text messages containing information pertaining to a patient’s diagnosis and/or treatment must be included in the patient’s medical records. Thus, all individuals who have access to the medical record will have access to the email/text messages.
  • If you are sending email from your employer’s computer, your employer does have access to it.
  • While it is against the law to discriminate and Vermont subscribes to a “no cause” termination policy, an employer who has access to your email can use the information to discriminate against the employee. Additionally, the employee could suffer social stigma from a workplace disclosure.
  • Although practitioners will endeavor to read and respond to email/text correspondence promptly, they cannot guarantee that any particular email/text message will be read and responded to within any particular time frame.
  • C. Conditions for use of electronic communication: All email/text messages sent or received that concern your diagnosis or treatment or that are part of your medical record will be treated as part of your PHI. Reasonable means will be used to protect the security and confidentiality of the email/ text messages. Because the security and confidentiality of email/text messages cannot be guaranteed and involve the risks outlined above, your consent to email/text correspondence includes your understanding of the following conditions:
  • Your email/text message will not be forwarded outside my office without your consent or as required by law.
  • Though all efforts will be made to respond promptly, this may not be the case. Because the response cannot be guaranteed, please do not use email/text messaging in a medical emergency.
  • You are responsible for following up with me by phone if you have not received a response.
  • Medical information is sensitive and unauthorized disclosure can be damaging. You should not use email/text messaging for communications concerning diagnosis or treatment of AIDS/HIV infection, other sexually transmitted diseases, mental health, and developmental disability or substance abuse issues.
  • Since employers do not observe an employee’s right to privacy in their email system, you should not use your employer’s email system to transmit or receive confidential email.


  • If you consent to the use of email/text messaging, you are responsible for informing me of any type of information that you do not want sent to you by email/text message other than the information detailed in Section B.
  • You are responsible for protecting your passwords and access to your email account/mobile phone and any email/text message you send, or you receive from James Fitzgerald, MS to ensure your confidentiality. Your therapist cannot be held liable if there is a breach of confidentiality caused by a breach in your account’s security.
  • Any email/text message that you send that discusses your diagnosis or treatment constitutes informed consent to the information being transmitted. If you wish to discontinue email/text correspondence, you must submit written consent informing me that you are withdrawing consent to email/text correspondence.