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Advancing Telebehavioral Health: Insights from COVID-19

Advancing Telebehavioral Health: Insights from COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped many aspects of our lives, including how behavioral health services are delivered. The article "Column on Telebehavioral Health Education, Training, and Competency Development: Current and Future Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic" provides valuable insights into the rapid shift towards telebehavioral health (TBH) and its implications for the future. This blog will summarize key findings and suggest ways practitioners can enhance their skills and competencies in TBH.

Key Findings from the Research

The article highlights several critical changes and adaptations made in response to the pandemic:

Improving Practitioner Skills in TBH

Given these changes, practitioners can take several steps to improve their TBH skills:

1. Assess Competency Levels

Practitioners should evaluate their current TBH competencies. Maheu et al. (2019) provide an interdisciplinary TBH framework that can be used for self-assessment. This includes understanding ethical and legal considerations, as well as technical skills.

2. Seek Further Education and Training

Many professional organizations, such as the American Telemedicine Association and the American Psychological Association, offer webinars and resources on TBH. Engaging in these educational opportunities can help practitioners stay updated on best practices.

3. Embrace Hybrid Models

The future of behavioral health services will likely involve a mix of in-person and virtual services. Practitioners should be prepared to offer both types of services, adapting to the needs and preferences of their clients.

4. Collaborate and Learn from Peers

Networking with other professionals who have experience in TBH can provide valuable insights and support. Peer supervision and consultation can help practitioners navigate challenges and improve their practice.

Encouraging Further Research

While the rapid shift to TBH has been largely successful, ongoing research is essential to understand its long-term impact and refine best practices. Practitioners are encouraged to participate in or support research initiatives that explore the effectiveness, challenges, and opportunities of TBH.

Conclusion

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of telebehavioral health, highlighting both challenges and opportunities. By assessing their competencies, seeking further education, embracing hybrid models, and collaborating with peers, practitioners can enhance their TBH skills and better serve their clients.To read the original research paper, please follow this link: Column on Telebehavioral Health Education, Training, and Competency Development: Current and Future Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Citation: Drude, K. P. (2021). Column on Telebehavioral Health Education, Training, and Competency Development: Current and Future Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Journal of Technology in Behavioral Science, 6(4), 561-566. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41347-021-00219-1

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