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Commonly Asked Questions December 7, 2016

How do I Practice Online?

Telebehavioral health is the practice of behavioral health using a telecommunications system to provide clinical services, professional training, administrative and other services at geographically separate sites. Service can be delivered in “real time” using the telephone, interactive video conferencing, or through “store and forward” which relies on the transmission of images and data for review at later time. Telebehavioral health can also involve email, text messaging and a wide range of other software applications to facilitate access and data transfer. Devices can ran he from desktop computers on carts in hospital settings to smart devices such as tablets and smartphones. Telebehavioral health can also include storage services on the “cloud” and everything in between.

An older term for this service is “telemental health.” This new term has been replaced with “telebehavioral health” by the US federal office of Health and Human Services (HHS) to refer to the telehealth services delivered to substance use and mental health clients and patients. The new term is an attempt to de-pathologize and de-stigmatize health care for people struggling with these disorders. The former TeleMental Health Institute has now followed the lead of HHS and is slowly transitioning to the term “telebehavioral health” in both its training and its title. Please bear with us as we make this important change.

The first step in any new area of behavioral health practice, mandated by all ethical codes, is for you to be able to demonstrate “competency.” You establish competency by training with a credentialed institution. At the Telebehavioral Health Institute (TBHI), we not only are approved by the leading United States mental health professional associations for continuing education, but are internationally recognized as the industry’s leading private training organization in telemental and telebehavioral health training and consultation. We make your start-up processes easy, by being available online whenever you are ready, and accessible with any digital or desktop device. Our evidence-based, competency-based training provides the foundation you need to avoid common pitfalls and get started with confidence. Our telebehavioral health professional training, consultation, staffing, credentialing, employment and other support services are available weekdays, during business hours.

Simply stated, yes. For details about how to do so legally and ethically, we recommend the 1-hour webinar, Licensing and Practicing Over State and Provincial Lines: Is It Ok to Cross the Line?

Absolutely. TBHI offers a variety of courses and webinars that will help you understand both basic and advanced concepts in how to choose video, telephone, email, text-messaging and cloud storage companies that meet behavioral health legal and ethical requirements. We’ll give you check lists to help keep you organized, offer you questions to ask vendors and advise you on the legal issues as well as legal agreements you need to obtain to be in compliance with most state, provincial and federal laws.

Millions of telehealth sessions are being delivered every year in the United States, and worldwide numbers are much greater. Many single-payor countries (i.e., Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain) have been practicing telehealth for decades. At TBHI, you will be able to access over 4,000 journal articles and books that form a substantial evidence-base for telepractice in behavioral health. We have distilled this information into a series of webinars and online as well as in-person training experiences for you to be able to absorb and apply very quickly. Our most advanced, 2-day in person training meets the requirements of certification from the Coalition for Technology in Behavioral Science (CTiBS).

Our basic training addresses the common questions and decisions required in behavioral telepractice. Our most advanced series of courses also comes with group consultation to obtain answers to questions that will help you tailor the basic training to your specific circumstance. If further clarification is needed professionals are available for individual or group consultation to help you with your specific needs and if you prefer 1-1 consultation rather than or in addition to your professional training.

How does Telebehavioral Health Institute training work?


The Telebehavioral Health Institute (TBHI) is a Wyoming-based, privately held and privately funded Institute designed to offer telemental health and telebehavioral health training, consulting and staffing services to the professional health community. Until January 1, 2017, it was known as the “TeleMental Health Institute” and was re-named to the Telebehavioral Health Institute (TBHI) to accommodate the US Health and Human Services changes in nomenclature. With TBHI’s 100% online professional training program, professionals with access to the Internet from anywhere in the world can have immediate and 24/7 access to the following training materials:
  • Class Recordings — inexpensive, timely and topic-focused 1-hour discussions to keep you up-to-date and fully informed of legal, ethical and regulatory updates, industry developments and other cutting-edge topics. They are accessible by computer or smart device , both in a LIVE format and afterwards, in recorded form through our On-Demand Library.
  • Certification Programs — training to instruct you in the latest evidence-based fundamentals, models, strategies and technologies for inspiration and support. Two programs are available: 15-hours and 36-hours, depending on your need for more specialized instruction. After completing this coursework, graduates will be eligible to apply for the Credentialed Telebehavioral Health Professional (CTHP) designation through the Coalition for Technology in the Behavioral Sciences (CTiBS).
    • CTiBS Credentialed Professionals — After January 1, 2017, TBHI / THI will be working with the Coalition for Technology in Behavioral Science (CTiBS). Based on a comprehensive set of interprofessionally derived competencies issued by CTiBS, TBHI / THI will be offering training that is 100% compliant with the CTiBS requirements. Graduates of TBHI / THI will then have the benefit of training that is 100% compliant with an interprofessionally derived set of competencies that are the most highly researched and published anywhere in the world. Once again, TBHI / THI will establish itself as a world leader in telemental health and now, telebehavioral health.
  • Graduate School — Graduate-level programs are also available for students who seek a career focused on the use of technology in the behavioral sciences. These courses are only available through graduate schools who have contracted with TBHI to deliver these courses to their students.

TBHI / THI is dedicated to providing a simple roadmap and step-by-step guidance for planning, launching and growing telemental and telebehavioral health clinical services.

Telemental Health Consulting / Telebehavioral Health Consulting

In addition to providing telemental health and telebehavioral health training to professionals, TI consults with agencies wishing to start their own telebehavioral health programs; credential providers and provide other support services as the professional community increases health care access to more patients via digital health. TBI’s team of experienced consultants can help with strategic planning, reimbursement, technology choices, legal and ethical risk management and staff development/placement. TI also consults with start-up technology companies seeking to develop new verticals in the behavioral health space.

Non-Profit Sister Organization: Telehealth Institute (TI)

The Telehealth Institute is a California-based non-profit, 501(3)(c) Institute designed to research and develop evidence-based training materials and resources and offers free webinars to the behavioral professional community. As a community service, TI also provides a weekly newsletter and monthly webinars to a worldwide professional community, and donates a portion of its proceeds to grow pro-bono programs.

TBHI, THI and TI Family of Services

Together, TBHI, THI and TI are dedicated to providing guidance, resources and other support for planning, launching and thriving with telemental health, telebehavioral health, telepsychiatry, telepsychology, distance counseling, online therapy, behavioral telehealth and mhealth.

TBHI/THI Mailing Address

TBHI/THI
5173 Waring Road, #124
San Diego, CA 92120

All of your training at TBHI is self-paced, available 100% online and accessible 24/7. You will gain access immediately upon purchase and can complete all training anytime within 6 months from date of purchase. If you need more time to complete your courses, extended access is available for a modest fee in additional increments of 6 months. To extended your access, go to telehealth.org/6-month-extension.

Our training is offered both 100% online and in-person. TBHI’s online coursework gives you access 24/7. You will receive a rich, multi media platform to enhance your enjoyment and learning retention. If you’d like in-person training, please submit a speaking request here. To see Dr. Maheu’s speaking schedule, scroll to the bottom of this page.

At TBHI, you have three options to get specific answers to your questions. The first is through our TBHI Hub, which is an online community forum available to everyone, including webinar trainees who only come to us for a single event. Upon registration, all trainees get immediate access to the TBHI Hub. Questions are directed to other TBHI trainees and not to our faculty, although some of our faculty respond when needed. The HUB allows you to read and interact with other participants at any time. It is a rich networking environment, where many clinicians have forged relationships that can blossom into a wide range of professional opportunities, from collaborative projects and presentations, to shared companies, authorships and other major undertakings. When sending a message to the TBHI Hub, your posts will reside on our password-protected server, unsearchable by the search engines and unreadable by your clients and patients. You therefore can relax and ask whatever you need to know of international colleagues from 55 countries. (It may be of interest to you to know that professionals from over 55 countries have already taken training from us, and most of our foreign trainees do not wish to have CEs. We therefore make all our programs available either with or without CEs.) If your question is too specific for a community discussion, one of our two other options might be preferable.

A second opportunity for getting questions answered is to join TBHI at the “Level II” Certification professional training level, where you will be able to ask and get live answers to your questions in monthly meetings. Led by our Founder and Executive Director Dr. Marlene Maheu, these meetings are by telephonic bridge and usually involve a group of TBHI trainees. You will be reminded of these meetings early in the month. Your email questions are invited if trainees cannot attend the live meeting, and sessions are recorded for those trainees who are not able to attend. These recordings are housed in a private section of the TBHI Hub for Platinum trainees to access at their convenience, 24/7.

The last option for getting your questions answered involves direct consultation with one of our Staff. Telebehavioral health consultation through our team of world-class consultants can be arranged by sending your request to our Contact Center. Topics of potential focus covered by our extended network of consultants include: specialty needs assessment, community outreach, work-flow analysis, ergonomic optimization of office settings, equipment recommendations, reimbursement systems, software set-up and legal consultation.

While it is not mandatory that you earn CE hours to take our training, many professionals are required to have CE hours for their licensure. The Telebehavioral Health Institute can provide CEs in many cases. We have been formally approved by many groups, but if you are not sure whether your licensing board will accept our training, please send them an email through your Licensing Board’s website (all boards are accessible online), and show them this page.

Is TBHI training right for me?

A basic understanding of your computer and how to navigate the internet is all you need to get started. Our courses are set up to be user-friendly, and our support staff will help you if you find you need assistance with our online training facility.

We have two versions of our Certificate Program: Level I or Level II. These are comprised of individual courses, and within each course, you will find the required reading, post-test, and course evaluation. Once each of these components are completed for all of your program courses, you may contact us for a completion audit to receive your badge, website listing, and other benefits (if applicable).

The Level I Certificate training is best for you if you work within an agency setting that is already organized to legally and ethically practice telebehavioral health. Your technology has been chosen, vetted, and installed by professionals and perhaps even your agency’s Information Technology (IT) staff. Your legal office has approved a full informed consent process and document for working with clients and patients. Your clinical staff has developed a well-defined emergency plan based on local community resources and an integrated response system is in place if an emergency arises at the client/patient site. Your supervisors know what might go wrong and contingency plans are in place. Your malpractice carrier is on board and you have the appropriate malpractice policy in place. Your billing staff already knows the appropriate telebehavioral health billing codes, place of service designations and telehealth modifiers. You just need some basic legal, ethical and clinical information about how to think about what has been organized for you. You will benefit by the fundamentals to help you think through the issues to see the bigger clinical picture and how it all ties together into delivering responsible, professional care.

The Level II Certificate training is best for you if you need to do all the above on your own, without an IT department, legal office, billing staff or clinical staff or supervisors to help you think through the issues. The Level II program will help you choose your technology, decide whether or not to use videoconferencing, email, text-messaging and other technologies; set up your virtual office and clinical protocols to follow current telepractice guidelines and learn how to get paid for your services.

Absolutely. To make changes to your training package, please contact us. Behind the scenes, changing your training program requires staff time and supervision. An administrative fee of $45 will be charged for implementation of changes after an initial purchase. (excluding webinars)

Earn your certificate as a TBHI Certified Telebehavioral Health Practitioner*. This designation** is increasingly used to recognize our graduates for having completed the most comprehensive and research-based post-graduate training program available anywhere today.

*Service Mark Pending

**This designation is limited to 3 years for trainees registering on or after February 8, 2017. After 3 years, you may renew your designation with 6 hours of TBHI approved training.

After completing the courses required for either of the two Certificate Programs: Level I or Level II, send us a request to manually verify your certificate completion. If you have used the installment payment program, your entire course payment fee must be paid in full. Please give us 10 business days notice to complete your account verification.

TBHI has earned the respect of many world-class industry leaders who have chosen to be on our facility by developing coursework, participating in webinars or joining us for online conference interviews about speciality topics. Please feel free to review our faculty page. (If you have specialized telehealth experience and would like to join our faculty by offering a speciality course or webinar, please send us a note here, along with your course outline and Curriculum Vitae.)

Webinars cover updated hot-topic items, helping you obtain the basic information about areas such as secure web-based communication and innovations in behavioral health. The webinars are held live online, but also recorded for your convenience. You will have up to 6 months after purchase to review webinar materials, which include a recording, slides and often, a handout Webinars also allow you to join our TBHI Hub, where you can ask questions and interact with out other trainees.

Once you have completed the coursework including the required reading, course evaluation, and post-test, you can print your course certificate by choosing the ‘Course Certificate’ option in the navigation menu. Please note, the certificate will print your name as listed in your training account. It is recommended that you check your name in your profile prior to printing your certificate.

Yes, you may wish to know that TBHI does not discriminate against any group with respect to service, program or activity on the basis of gender, race, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, religion or age. We also do not advocate for any single modality of treatment that is discriminatory or likely to cause harm to clients or patients based upon current accepted standards of practice. Our goal is to train you to treat any client or patient in an ethical and clinically sound manner consistent with the code of ethics of all our accrediting and approval agencies or your professional associations.

How do I get help with the TBHI website?

Whenever a question arises, just send an email to our Contact Center. It will be held until our staff comes in for the next shift. If you need help with a particular course, please be sure to mention the name of the course and supply us with your phone number in case your email address is non-responsive (this happens more often than you might imagine). Our staff is available to answer your questions, change your login, or help you with any other issues. We are also available Monday – Friday, from 11:30am to 6:00pm, Pacific time, by email, live chat or telephone appointment. To be given a telephone call from our staff, just send us a note through our Contact Center and suggest a few good times for us to reach you. We’ll be happy to answer your questions or even give you a “walk-through” of our facility if ever you get stuck.

We’ve got you covered. All of our webinars are recorded and available for your convenience for up to 6 months from your date of purchase. You may review the recording through the TBHI Training Center. Please note, it may take up to 3 days after an event for us to update the course with the webinar recording.

Internet Explorer sometimes has problems opening automated certificates, so our first suggestion would be to try Chrome or Firefox as your Internet Browser software. Otherwise, we can email your certificates directly to you as an attachment. Just contact us and be sure to let us know if you’re working under a deadline.

Please contact us by sending a written note here at your convenience. We answer messages during business hours between 8:30am – 6:00pm, Pacific time. If you prefer a telephonic response, just let us know where and when to reach you and we’ll call you. You’ll be answered by our friendly support staff who are grateful for your feedback and a chance to make it right. We truly are here to help.

If anything is amiss, please write to us immediately. We have a dedicated staff to help you resolve any questions or issues. For example, if you need someone to walk you through our online programming, we are happy to call you by telephone to explain where you may need to click while you are at your computer. Once through a few of our pages, you will most likely be like our other Trainees and come to understand the logic and convenience of an online, distance learning platform. By the way, we’ve had successful Trainees in their 90’s use our system.

Absolutely. We give you a 100%, no-questions asked, money-back guarantee if for any reason you are not satisfied with your purchase within 30 days. We stand behind our training 100% and aim to deliver more than we promise. Just send an email our Contact Center if you would like a refund, and please reference the receipt number from your purchase. If on the other hand, you simply want to get help with a course you purchased, be sure to mention the name of the course and supply us with your phone number, in case your email address is non-responsive.

How do I register?

Choose from one of our certificate programs here or our on-demand webinars here. If you want to customize your own program, please contact us.

Yes, we accept all major forms of credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. For alternate payment options, please contact us.

For your convenience, we also offer a monthly payment plan option on select programs. After your initial purchase, your credit card will be set up to be charged for that payment amount on that same date for the remaining payments.

SPECIAL NOTE: Please inform us of credit card changes. As a courtesy, TBHI will make one attempt to contact you for a valid credit card number the first time your monthly payment fails to process because of a credit card change. Subsequent attempts will incur a $35 reinstatement fee. All access to TBHI will be suspended immediately upon credit card failures.

To thank you for taking the time to read all about our program, please accept our offer of 5% off any single training program purchase at TBHI. Use this coupon code: FAQ5 in our shopping cart. (One discount per person, please.)

Still Have a Question?

Send us a written message below. Please provide a complete description of the issue and perhaps even a web address for us to review for technical questions. With more information, we can usually help you more quickly. If you prefer a response from us by telephone, please give us a few times to call and we’ll attempt to accommodate your schedule. We are here to help.

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