Parent Child Interaction Therapy
The COE offers training in PCIT to agencies that provide services
to children in or at high risk of state custody. PCIT is a
behavioral family intervention for children 3-7 years of age with
disruptive behavior disorders. It has been identified as a
best practice for physically abusive parents. Developed by
Sheila Eyberg at the University of Florida, PCIT integrates
concepts from social learning theory, traditional play therapy, and
attachment theory to enhance the parent-child relationship,
increase children's pro-social behaviors, and increase parents'
behavior management skills. The program is implemented in two
phases: The fist phase is the Child Directed Interaction (CDI)
phase during which parents develop child-centered interaction
skills. The second phase is the Parent-Directed Interaction
(PDI) phase during which effective discipline skills are the focus.
The ETSU COE has partnered with Frontier Children's Outpatient
Services in a training project to directly train community mental
health providers in PCIT. The children identified to receive
the services during the training are children identified through
DCS. John Paul Abner, Ph.D. is the ETSU COE PCIT Training
Director. Dr. Abner has 20 years experience providing PCIT
and was directly trained under Dr. Eyberg. He is a member of
PCIT International Advisory Board and is the Chair of the PCIT
International Committee on Training.
Location of the PCIT therapist: Watauga Behavioral Health Services
in Johnson City; Holston Children & Youth Services in
Kingsport; Nolachuckey-Holston Area Mental Health Center in
Greeneville; Bristol Regional Counseling Center in Bristol; and
Charlotte Taylor Center in Elizabethton.