Terminology – Telebehavioral Health

The term “Telebehavioral Health” broadly describes the professional treatment of mental and substance abuse health conditions at a distance through technology. It is one of forty-two terms found in the literature for this concept, twenty-six of which are used by license boards (Ostrowski and Collins, 2016). Telebehavioral Health as a term may be used interchangeably with Telemental Health, though some would argue for a separation of terms based upon the separation between medical and non-medical services or addiction and non-addiction services. For the purposes of this website, the term will be used broadly in order to collate the resources. No differentiation is made in laws/regulations, ethics, or best practices for requirements based on the differences in terminology.

It is important to note that Telebehavioral Health is a mode of providing mental and substance abuse services and is not a separate service in an of itself. This mode requires specific training, preparation and protocols to provide safe, effective, ethical and legal services.