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Published on May 01, 2011

Community Hospital Awarded Training Grant for New Parent-Child Interaction Therapy

Thanks to a grant from Pennsylvania’s Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Community Hospital recently introduced a Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) program to help parents who have young children with behavioral problems.

Specifically, the PCIT program helps families with children between the ages of 2 and 7 with disruptive behavior problems such as frequent temper tantrums, disobedience/disrespect, and difficulty following directions and disruptive behavior at home and school.

The program consists of weekly outpatient family therapy sessions led by clinicians who have been trained in this type of therapy.

 “A critical goal of PCIT is to increase the positive, nurturing interactions between parents and children,” says Joseph Simpkins, . “A clinician is able observe and provide direct coaching through an ear piece worn by the parent.”

Through this process, parents can learn to better cope with their child’s behavior and manage their stressors. In the end, PCIT should create a relationship between a parent and child that is characterized by positive interactions, increased reflective listening and a decrease in criticizing the child.

Simpkins says that parents should not be embarrassed to be in the program. “We make no judgments on the parents or their children. We all have difficulties in our lives that we need support with. We are here to offer that support and help them as much as possible,” he says. 

For more information about the Parent-Child Interaction Therapy program, contact Simpkns at (610) 497-7588 or e-mail

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