Howard Center Parent-Child Program offers training for mental health providers

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Howard Center Parent-Child Program offers training for mental health providers

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 2:48am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Howard Center will host a statewide Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) training starting July 24 for Vermont mental health providers. PCIT is an evidence-based method to support families with young children. Thirteen clinicians from five mental health agencies in Vermont will begin the year-long training in July 2017. Dr Rhea Chase and Dr Joshua Masse, clinical psychologists and PCIT Master Trainers, will conduct the trainings. Dr Chase is the Director of Early Childhood Programs at Judge Baker Children’s Center in Boston, and Dr. Masse is an assistant professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth and the Director of Young Child Services at the Boston Child Study Center.

Gail Rafferty, Howard Center Parent-Child Interaction Coordinator, says that in PCIT parents attend play sessions with their child and are coached by a therapist in “real time.” The process helps parents develop the skills to focus on positive behaviors while they practice using consistent discipline strategies aimed at improving relationships with their child.

Parents who participate in the program gain skills that have a lasting impact on their relationship with their child. One couple with a young son who was diagnosed with ADHD says, “We now have the confidence and skills to help our son. PCIT helped us as a family.”

The training is funded by the Vermont Department of Mental Health, the Placement Stability Project of the Title IV-E Child Welfare Training Partnership, private contributions, and the Vermont Department of Children and Families, in memory of Peighton Geraw.

For more information, contact Martie Majoros at 488-6911 or

Howard Center offers life-saving professional crisis and counseling services to children and adults; supportive services to individuals with autism and developmental disabilities who need help with education, employment, and life maintenance skills; counseling and medical services for those struggling with substance use disorders, and intensive interventions and supports for adults with serious and persistent mental health challenges. Last year we helped more than 16,000 people. Howard Center is a funded agency of the United Way of Northwest Vermont.