Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I develop a successful yet professional telepractice?

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 a 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 run 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 older 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 the combination of 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 any one of these disorders. Therefore, the former TeleMental Health Institute has now followed the lead of HHS and is transitioning to the term “telebehavioral health” in both its training and its company name, which is now: Telebehavioral Health Institute.

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 or continuing medical 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. We offer both online and in-person training for professionals internationally. Also, our telebehavioral health professional 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, How to Legally Practice Over State Lines with Telebehavioral Health and Telemental Health

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 checklists 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 in the United States, Canada and in many less regulated countries worldwide.

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 certificate from the Coalition for Technology in Behavioral Science (CTiBS).

Our training addresses the common questions and decisions required in behavioral telepractice. Our most advanced series of courses also come 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.

How is training offered at the Telebehavioral Health Institute?

The Telebehavioral Health Institute (TBHI) is dedicated to offering telemental health and telebehavioral health education, training, consulting and staffing services to the professional health community. TBHI has developed step-by-step guidance for planning, launching and growing telemental and telebehavioral health clinical services. Until January 1, 2017, the company was known as the “TeleMental Health Institute.” It thereafter 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:

  • Webinar (Live Events & 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 afterward, in recorded form through our On-Demand Library. All webinars include a CE that is recognized by most state and provincial licensing boards.
  • Certificate Training Programs — training to instruct you in the latest evidence-based fundamentals, models, strategies and technologies used in telebehavioral health. 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 — TBHI training has met the criteria for the Coalition for Technology in Behavioral Science (CTiBS) credential. Based on a comprehensive set of interprofessionally derived competencies advanced by CTiBS, TBHI  offers training that is 100% compliant with the identified CTiBS competencies requirements. Graduates of TBHI 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 has established 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.
  • 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. TBHI’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 offer 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. 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

Why does TBHI offer so many hours of training?
Jumping online is easy. Offering professional services online legally and ethically requires competence in a large number of areas, including clinical issues, multicultural issues, documentation, technology choices, telepresence, legal and regulatory mandates, ethical requirements, mobile health and apps, social media, and practice development. Given that the average graduate level course involves 90 to 120 hours of learning, spending 15 to 36 hours of learning how to set up and manage a legal and ethical office is needed to be competent enough to defend oneself if challenged by a licensing board or a civil court. More importantly, maximizing the clinician’s telehealth proficiency minimizes repercussions of clinical mistakes upon those clients/patients who rely on the clinician’s telehealth professionalism and competence.

TBHI’s professional training is offered both 100% online and in-person. TBHI’s online coursework gives you access 24/7. You will receive a rich, multimedia platform to enhance your enjoyment and learning retention.

  • Most of the training is written, following optimal instructional design principles of text-based information with links to primary and secondary source documents, interspersed with images, audio, and video segments to punctuate an important point.
  • All video segments follow American Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements for being available with captions or a transcript.
  • To help improve learning comprehension and retention, “Essential Points” in the form of bullet points are provided at the top of many pages, to help you initially grasp the important issues, and give you clues as to which specific topics are considered important enough to re-address in the post-tests.
  • The training is also annotated with footnotes to give you the inside story on a number of important issues.
  • Courses are self-paced, meaning that you can stop and start it at your convenience.
  • A PDF format is available if you’d like to carry it with you to read as you move about your world.
  • TBHI training is self-directed, in that it contains a number of high-quality links to primary source documents throughout the Internet that we’ve assembled for your convenience and to maximize your learning.
  • The training content has been highly edited by more than 100 reviewers who are professionals in the field, so you can trust that it is accurate, well written and easy-to-comprehend.
  • TBHI’s professional training has received many accolades from colleagues, who appreciate our optimized instructional design format as well as the richness of content and superior customer support. To see these comments, look at this testimonial page.
  • You can also print your own Certificate from our website.

Completing the TBHI training will require approximately the same number of training time as CME or CE hours offered with each course. A 6-hour course then, will take about 6 hours to complete, depending on how quickly you read. A one-hour course typically involves approximately 10,000 words, minus the words involved with presenting audio and video segments. The course evaluation and post-test will require that you come back into the website to respond to a series of questions. Post-test need to be passed with a grade of 80% or better to get the course completion certificate. (You will have learned a lot, and passing should be no problem. Of more than 7,000 trainees that have come through our doors, only three needed help with post-tests.

You can complete all training anytime within 6 months from the date of purchase of any webinars, single courses or the Level I packaged Certificate program. If you purchase the TBHI Level II Certificate program, you will be granted 12 months of access as part of that package. If you need more time to complete your courses, extended access is available for a modest fee in additional increments of 6 months. To extend your access, go to telehealth.org/6-month-extension.

If you’d prefer in-person training, please write to us to request a calendar for TBHI’s live events. If you’d like to invite a TBHI speaker, please submit a speaking request here

At TBHI, you have three options to get specific answers to your questions. The first is through our TBHI Private Training Discussion Forum, 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 are invited to join the TBHI Private Training Discussions area on LinkedIn. A free LinkedIn account is therefore required by LinkedIn to access this Discussion Forum. Questions are directed to other TBHI trainees and not to our faculty, although some of our faculty respond when needed. The TBHI Discussion Forum 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, authorship, and other major undertakings. When sending a message to the TBHI Private Training Discussion Forum, your posts will reside on LinkedIn, but in a closed group account. You, therefore, can relax and ask whatever you need to know of international colleagues. (It may be of interest to you to know that professionals from 73 countries have already taken training from us, and most of our foreign trainees do not wish to have CMEs or CEs. We, therefore, make all our programs available either with or without CMEs or CEs.)

If your question is too specific for a community discussion, one of our two other options below might be preferable.

A second opportunity for getting questions answered is to join TBHI at the “Level II” Certificate professional training level, where you will be able to ask and get live answers to your questions in monthly telephone-based meetings. Led by our Founder and Executive Director Dr. Marlene Maheu, these meetings are by a 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 Private Training Discussions for Level II 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 or CME hours to take our training, many professionals are required to have CE or CME hours for their licensure. The Telebehavioral Health Institute can provide CEs or CMEs in many cases. We have been formally approved by several 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.

TBHI has a worldwide reputation for excellence in telehealth training amongst healthcare professions. TBHI is proud to have served registered trainees from these countries to date:

  1. Andorra
  2. Afghanistan
  3. Albania
  4. Argentina
  5. Austria
  6. Australia
  7. Bangladesh
  8. Belgium
  9. Bulgaria
  10. Brazil
  11. Botswana
  12. Canada
  13. Switzerland
  14. Chile
  15. Cameroon
  16. Colombia
  17. Costa Rica
  18. Cyprus
  19. Germany
  20. Denmark
  21. Ecuador
  22. Egypt
  23. Spain
  24. France
  25. Great Britain
  26. Georgia
  27. Ghana
  28. Gibraltar
  29. Greece
  30. Guam
  31. Hong Kong
  32. Hungary
  33. Ireland
  34. Israel
  35. India
  36. British Indian Ocean Territory
  37. Italy
  38. Jamaica
  39. Jordan
  40. Japan
  41. Cayman Islands
  42. Macedonia
  43. Macao
  44. Mexico
  45. Malaysia
  46. Namibia
  47. Norfolk Island
  48. Nicaragua
  49. Netherlands
  50. Norway
  51. Nepal
  52. New Zealand
  53. Oman
  54. Philippines
  55. Pakistan
  56. Poland
  57. Puerto Rico
  58. Portugal
  59. Romania
  60. Saudi Arabia
  61. Sweden
  62. Singapore
  63. Togo
  64. Thailand
  65. Turkey
  66. Uganda
  67. United States Minor Outlying Islands
  68. United States
  69. Uruguay
  70. Uzbekistan
  71. US Virgin Islands
  72. South Africa

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 11:30 am to 6:00 pm, 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 8:30 am – 6:00 pm, 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 is 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%, money-back guarantee if for any reason you are not satisfied with your purchase within 30 days, as long as you have not yet downloaded CME or CE certificates to send to your licensing board, and/or not obtained TBHI Certificate. We stand behind our training 100% and aim to deliver more than we promise. Just send an email to 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 telephone 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.)

Add any training item to your cart. Near the end of the checkout process, select PayPal as your payment option. PayPal will allow you to use your preferred currency in most cases. If you need assistance with currency equivalence or discounted rates for international training, please contact us.

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 and Level II. Each Certificate Program is comprised of individual courses. Within each course, you will be required to complete the required reading, post-test, course evaluation, and print the course completion certificate. After completion of all your courses included in your Certificate Program, we will need to conduct a “Completion Audit ” to give you a final certificate, badges, and a formal listing on our website for your clients/patients to verify your certificate with TBHI. Our team requires 3-5 business days to complete this entire process. To request your Certificate Completion Audit, please go to telehealth.org/audit.

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 from the fundamentals as 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. 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 3-5 business days to complete your account verification.

TBHI has earned the respect of many world-class industry leaders who have chosen to be on our faculty by developing coursework, participating in webinars or joining us for online conference interviews about specialty 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 specialty 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 Private Training Discussions, where you can ask questions and interact without 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 currently 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.


 

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