Telemental/telebehavioral health (TMH/TBH) is a mature, valid, reliable, and clinically effective way to practice healthcare (Hilty et al. 2013; American Telemedicine Association Practice Guidelines 2009, 2013). TMH is practiced by a wide range of MH fields—most commonly videoconferencing by stand-alone or Internet-based platforms. A review of TMH/TBH best practices was recently published (Luxton et al. 2016). Each profession has its own nomenclature for telehealth (e.g., telepsychiatry, telepsychology, distance counseling).
Behavioral health professional organizations have begun to conceptualize and define competencies for practice, and in some cases, these include telehealth competencies. Professions doing telepractice need to strive not only for a knowledge base but also a competency or skill base for practice. A consensus process is needed to facilitate the education, training, practice of individual and interdisciplinary TMH/TBH services. Although a number of professional organizations have adopted TMH standards and guidelines, little has been done to identify the TMH competencies assumed necessary to practice in conformance with these standards or guidelines, either within specific professions or interprofessionally.
Drude, K., Maheu, M. (2018). Telemental/telebehavioral health competencies, evaluation and outcomes. Journal for Technology in Behavioral Science, 3(2), 77-79