Thank you for visiting eCounseling Connection! I value your time and your commitment to the children in your care. I am a licensed professional counselor - mental health service provider certified in Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT). PCIT is a highly effective treatment for children with emotional and behavior problems ages 2.5 years to age 7.0 years. I also offer Parent Child Interaction Therapy - Coaching Approach Behavior Leading by Modeling (PCIT - CALM), a specialized evidence-based adaptation of PCIT for children ages 3 years - 8 years with a range of anxiety disorders. For children ages 7 and 8 with disruptive behavior disorders, I provide a PCIT adaptation for older children integrated with elements of Dr. Russell Barkely’s evidence-based program for treating defiant children.
eCounseling Connection is committed to increasing access to specialized clinical mental healthcare for children through:
- HIPAA secure telehealth video appointments in the convenience of patients' homes
- Evening and Saturday appointments, so busy families can realistically make it to weekly sessions
- Contracting with several major insurance providers to increase affordability of care
- Offering a sliding scale to clients paying out of pocket
These Professional Organizations Support PCIT as an Evidence-based
- The American Academy of Pediatrics listed PCIT as a recommended intervention for preschoolers with emotional, relationship, and behavior problems
- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration listed PCIT on their National Registry of Evidence Based Programs and Practices
- The Center for Disease Control recommends behavior therapy for young children (under the age of 6) with ADHD prior to a trial of ADHD medication and includes PCIT in the list of recommended behavior therapies.
- The National Childhood Traumatic Stress Network has endorsed PCIT as an evidence-based practice for child survivors of trauma ages 2-7.0
- The California Evidence-Based Clearing House for Childhood Welfare gives PCIT a scientific rating of 1 stating it is "well supported by research evidence"
What populations benefit from PCIT for Behavior Problems?
Children from diverse cultural groups, ages 2.5 yrs to 7.0 with behavior problems. Behavior concerns may include Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), behaviors related to a history of maltreatment, or challenging behaviors emerging in response to transitions like birth of a sibling, a move, trauma, or a parents’ divorce. The PCIT-CALM protocol is an effective treatment for children ages 3 through 8 years 11 months with anxiety disorders.
Long Term Benefits of Early Treatment
Research has repeatedly shown clinically significant improvements in randomized controlled trials in the behavior of children ages 2- 7.0 in response to PCIT. Improvements at home typically generalize to the classroom. Research shows PCIT-CALM for anxiety is effective for ages 3 through 8 years. A review of the research can be downloaded from PCIT International. Young children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) typically respond to treatment quickly with PCIT. In contrast, by mid to late adolescence, ODD patterns have become so strong that ODD is often resistant to treatment. Adolescents with ODD are at increased risk for Conduct Disorder. Childhood onset of anxiety can impair academic performance, peer relations, and family functioning. Children with anxiety disorders are at increased risk of depression, sleep disturbance, and developing problematic substance use. If untreated, childhood anxiety disorders can persist into adulthood and are associated with other psychiatric conditions and reduced health-related quality of life. The long term preventative benefits of a child having access to PCIT at a young age, deepen my commitment to making PCIT treatment in the early years more accessible.
How does Internet delivered PCIT work?
- Parents complete the intake appointment via HIPAA secure video conferencing.
- The clinician conducts an assessment of the child in various situations via webcam.
- The caregiver is taught specific therapy skills to increase the behaviors they want.
- The clinician coaches caregivers in the skills, in real time, via a headset or bluetooth earpiece while watching the parent-child dyad via webcam.
- Midway through treatment, parents are taught researched skills to enforce safe, calm, effective limits and how to avoid getting caught in the escalation cycle.
- These skills are coached live time in weekly appointments until both the child and parent are ready to continue to use these skills at home - and in public - on their own.
Many families graduate in 12 to 15 weeks, although treatment is not time limited and can take 24 weeks or longer in some cases. For children with behavior problems, graduation criteria is reached when caregivers have achieved mastery of the skills and standardized assessments indicate their child’s behavior is in the normal range. Research has found higher rates of "excellent responders" when PCIT is administered via telehealth within the child's home environment compared to in a physical office.
Download printable PDF to share with Parents
PCIT-CALM for Separation Anxiety and other Anxiety Disorders
The PCIT-CALM treatment protocol is an effective treatment for children 3 through 8-years-old with anxiety disorders including separation anxiety. During PCIT-CALM, the clinician uses live video coaching to train parents to use positive attending skills to strengthen their child’s sense of security and to reinforce the child’s brave behaviors during gradual exposures over the course of treatment. PCIT-CALM is a time limited 12 session treatment protocol.
I offer a sliding scale based on income and family size to patients paying out of pocket who are willing to complete a sliding scale application. My sliding scale ranges from $60 to $150 per session. I am an in-network provider with Cigna (in TN, AK, and NV) and with Aetna (currently only in TN). For families with other types of insurance, I can provide superbills for families paying the standard fee to submit towards out-of-network benefits.
A Free Resource for Families During the COVID 19 Pandemic: The Cooperation Chart
One of PCIT International's lead trainers, Dr. Cheryl McNeil, Professor of Psychology in the Clinical Child program at West Virginia University put together a strategy to help families across the nation and the world manage children’s difficult behaviors, as well as, increase positive behaviors and positive interactions during the unique stressors of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Dr. McNeil has requested colleagues and other professionals share this free tool widely.
Please click on the button below to download an easy-to-share flier for parents with information about the Cooperation Chart, as well as, links to the parent instructional video and a printable cooperation chart.
Download Printable Cooperation Chart Informational Flier for Parents