Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) Training Held In June At Unity-Point-Berryhill Center Is Now Being Used By Professionals In The Fort Dodge, Iowa Region.

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Linking Families and Communities recently invested $37,000 to provide Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) training to the professionals at UnityPoint - Berryhill Center. The program is now being implemented and providing therapy to children and families in the region experiencing emotional or behavioral disturbance issues.

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“We are so happy to be able to work with UnityPoint – Berryhill Center to bring PCIT to the young children and families in our area,” says Elizabeth Stanek, Executive Director of Linking Families and Communities.

It is estimated that between 9.5% and 14.2% of the children age birth to 5 experience an emotional or behavioral disturbance. The Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) training recently held for professionals with UnityPoint - Berryhill Center, Children & Families of Iowa and Families First provided the tools needed to assist families in the Webster, Calhoun and Pocahontas counties served by Linking Families and Communities.

Funding for this training conducted by the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine was provided by Linking Families and Communities and is just one of the services this organization sponsors to assist families in building strong healthy bonds between parents and their children. Young children whose parents show greater warmth, responsiveness, and sensitivity to the child’s behaviors are more likely to develop a secure sense of their relationships and more effective emotional and behavioral regulation.

Since attending the training in June, UnityPoint – Berryhill Center has had twelve children receive PCIT services. The PCIT service provided by the trained staff is an empirically-supported treatment for conduct-disordered young children that places emphasis on improving the quality of the parent-child relationship and changing parent-child interaction patterns. Parents are taught specific skills to establish a nurturing and secure relationship with their child while increasing their child’s prosocial behavior and decreasing negative behavior. This treatment focuses on two basic interactions: Child Directed Interaction (CDI) is similar to play therapy in that parents engage their child in a play situation with the goal of strengthening the parent-child relationship; Parent Directed Interaction (PDI) resembles clinical behavior therapy in that parents learn to use specific behavior management techniques as they play with their child.

“We are so happy to be able to work with UnityPoint – Berryhill Center to bring PCIT to the young children and families in our area,” says Elizabeth Stanek, Executive Director of Linking Families and Communities.

The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine is conducting weekly consultations with the newly trained therapists to assist with reviewing the services provided to children and their parents along with improving the program. Additional evaluations of the program will be collected to further assist the therapists in improving their treatment skills.

Linking Families and Communities is located at 822 Central Avenue, Suite 340, Fort Dodge, IA 50501. Additional information is available by calling 515-955-5437 or visiting the website at http://www.linking-families.com.

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Cheryl O'Hern
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