Telebehavioral Health Competencies

A Framework of Interprofessional Telebehavioral Health Competencies: Implementation and Challenges Moving Forward


November 16, 2018 | Reading Time: 2 Minutes

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The Telebehavioral Health Institute (TBHI) is happy to offer you an author copy of the original telebehavioral health competencies article published in 2018 by Academic Psychiatry. The journal article applies the CTiBS TBH competencies to psychiatry with an overview of the core domains. It includes specific examples of their application by psychiatrists and other prescribing professionals.


Interprofessional telebehavioral health competencies have been developed to standardize training and improve the quality of TBH care. The seven identified interprofessional TBH competency domains and three levels of expertise (novice, proficient, and authority) are briefly described. More in-depth descriptions and examples of several of the competency domains are presented to illustrate what the competencies look like in practice. Some of the challenges faced in using such a competency framework are discussed.


Marlene M. Maheu, Kenneth P. Drude, Katherine M. Hertlein, Donald M. Hilty

Co-Authoring a Telebehavioral Health Competencies Article for Your Field?

The CTiBS writing team is developing corollary articles for other professions interested in telebehavioral health competencies. If you are a telehealth academic, researcher, or practitioner with a history of successful publications in any telehealth-related area and would like to co-author an article on telebehavioral health competencies for your field, please email TBHI. Include your CV and samples of your previous publication abstract(s).

Telebehavioral Health Competencies Lead Author Bio

Dr. Maheu has been a pioneer in telebehavioral health since 1994. She has overseen the development and delivery of highly specialized continuing education in telebehavioral health to more than 60,000 professionals in 109 countries. She is an international speaker, keynote, and trainer. She and her team provide telehealth consultation to hospitals, clinics, agencies, groups, and individual practitioners; regulatory boards; professional associations; and internet startups seeking to develop services for the behavioral community.

Dr. Maheu is the author of several books and articles focused specifically on telebehavioral health legal, ethical, clinical, and risk management issues for clinicians and their employers. She is currently authoring a fifth book for graduate students and medical students. It is based on the competencies described in the article abstracted above.

Introduction to Telehealth Theory & Practice

Enjoy a fast-moving overview of telebehavioral and telemental health. Understand the key points related to telehealth clinical, legal, ethical, technology, reimbursement, social media and other pivotal issues.

Advanced Telehealth Regulations & Ethical Issues: Best Practices & Informed Consent

Essentials of practice guidelines published by the leading professional associations, explained with a focus on what-to-do rather than theory that leaves you empty-handed.

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Stephen Beller, PhD
Stephen Beller, PhD
5 years ago

Determination of telebehavioral health (TBH) competency and regulatory compliance is a timely and important issue! It addresses a core issue that referral sources face when deciding on the appropriate TBH practitioner to receive a referral.
Case in point is work we are doing to develop a competency and compliance software apps that support the integration of TBH and primary care, which includes recommending TBH practitioners that are suitable to treat patients based on patient needs and practitioner capabilities.
The criteria our software apps will use to identify appropriate TBH practitioners for a patient include:
• Competencies discussed in the article related to the delivery of mobile/remote BH care (e.g., video teleconferencing, regulatory compliance, required documentation, data security and privacy methods)
• Proficiency in interprofessional (interdisciplinary) collaboration.
• Areas of clinical sub-specialties, such as specialized training in the treatment of certain diagnostic conditions (e.g., substance and alcohol disorder/abuse, eating and sleeping disorders, major depression, severe anxiety, etc.)
• Ability to recognize if physical and psychological symptoms may be related to medication side-effects and biomedical illnesses
• Knowledge and skills needed to help patients deal with adverse social determinants of health and to engage patients of different cultural backgrounds.
We contend that it is also important for these kinds of apps to:
• Assist TBH practitioners in the delivery of high-value care (effective and efficient) care and the payment of rendered services
• Provide justifiable evidence of improvements in patients’ wellness and psychological well-being.
That’s why our software tools will also use AI (artificial intelligence) to transform patient-generated data and regulatory compliance rules that:
• Identify and prioritize patients’ problematic/distressful situations
• Show how their mind-sets (cognitions/thoughts/beliefs) and emotional states are related
• Describe the usefulness of patients’ coping strategies and problem-solving behavioral skills
• Depict the psychosocial issues and social determinants of health that impact their wellness and well-being
• Obtain nutritional, behavioral, and other data related to their health and functional status
• Facilitate the development and implementation of treatment plans
• Provide educational materials and structured guidance designed to strengthening their coping capabilities, as well as build and implement problem-solving strategies, and learn from the results
• Track referrals and treatment results
• Suggest relevant homework assignments, activity, and games based different therapeutic models
• Determines which symptoms may be caused or exacerbated by medication side-effects or by a medical condition.
In addition, the apps will help simplify and streamline regulatory compliance documentation and provide payment-related data to facilitate payment for services rendered.
I welcome your feedback.

Marlene Maheu, Ph. D.
Marlene Maheu, Ph. D.
4 years ago

Dr. Beller, Thank you for putting such considerable thought into the development of your competencies-related product. For specific feedback, you may want to contact us for consultation.

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