Program Highlight: Parent-Child Interactive Therapy
Prototypes aims to meet the varying needs of the families we serve and we are excited to announce the newest treatment program we will be offering at our Pomona Outpatient Behavioral Health Center- Parent Child Interactive Therapy or PCIT.
The addition of this specialized, evidence based treatment to our children’s programming was made possible through funding from the Department of Mental Health and First 5 LA and helps parents with children ages 2-5 who have disruptive and challenging behaviors. The unique aspect of the treatment is that parent and child play in a room with a two-way mirror so that the therapist can provide guidance to the parent through an earpiece. Parents learn how to guide and support their children to reinforce positive behavior.
Prototypes is also making sure that the program is effective for the population we are serving. “We are integrating cultural responsiveness to ensure parents are empowered to really support their children,” noted Edina Martinez, PsyD, Clinical Director.
The program is open to a child’s parent(s) or the primary caregiver who can dedicate time each week to master skills and techniques to support their child. PCIT is strength-based in that parents learn how to praise their children and guide their children to more positive behaviors. The treatment has an extremely high success rate with a 70%-75% improvement rate in a child’s behavior.
During their assessment, the clinician determines if the child’s behavior would benefit from the treatment as well as understanding their home environment and family relationships. This allows clinicians to help families address other issues by providing referrals to other resources or services at Prototypes. For instance, parents experiencing marital discord can receive counseling while also participating in the PCIT program with their children.
Rachel Ranney, LMFT, is the lead clinician for the team providing PCIT and works with Angela Lu, Mary McAllen and Maria Mir, LMFT. Prototypes’ PCIT staff has the training and support of Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health and UC Davis.
“Parents are never taught how to be effective parents, we just do the best we can,” shared Ms. Ranney. “This program gives parents the tools to really strengthen the bonds with their children.”