Telemental health is defined as the provision of behavioral or mental healthcare when the clinician and the client are in different locations at the time of services. Behavioral health services provided when the client and clinician are in the same location are often referred to as "face-to-face", "on-site", "in-person" or "in-office" sessions.
At one of our very first training courses, we discussed the fact that none of those terms clearly indicate whether a session has been delivered when the client and clinician are indeed located in the same room or if they are in different locations.
- "Face-to-Face" - when conducting a telemental health session by video meeting, the participants are able to see each other's face, so they are indeed Face-to-Face
- "On-Site" - both participants in a telemental health session are located at their respective site of service, so they are each On-Site
- "In-Person" - neither participant in a telemental health session is "out-of-person", as they are individually "In-Person"
- "In-Office" - the clinician is more than likely in their office while conducting a telemental health session, and the client may also be located in a space considered to be an office, so one or both are indeed "In-Office"
After our discussion at that early training session, we all agreed that the term "Same-Location Session" is much clearer to describe a session when both participants are in fact, in the same location at the same time.