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Sep 2017

AWARE early childhood clinicians trained by the best

During the past two decades, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) has emerged as a leading-edge method to help parents improve their children’s disruptive and oppositional behavior.

It’s one of the evidence-based modalities AWARE’s early childhood clinicians use in their practice. AWARE provides training and helps clinicians become certified for this modality.

For the past two summers, AWARE has hired PCIT expert Dr. Cheryl McNeil, PhD, to give a one-week, hands-on, intensive training. A professor at West Virginia University, McNeil is world-renowned, specializing in parent-child interaction and treating children with childhood disruptive behavior problems.

Trista Vonada, an AWARE lead clinician and certified PCIT trainer, helps direct AWARE’s PCIT professional development efforts.

AWARE’s Early Childhood team received training by PCIT expert Dr. Cheryl McNeil, PhD, (center) June 2017.

“We’re fortunate to have such unique experience come to a small town in Montana,” Vonada said. “Having a master trainer who teaches people across the world is something that doesn’t happen every day.”

AWARE’s early childhood clinicians continue professional development through monthly clinical supervision calls with McNeil and Vonada.

“To witness the parallel process and dual treatment PCIT brings to the parent-child relationship allows clinicians to feel effective and find a home in their practice,” Vonada said.

An AWARE family PCIT success story

“Changing chaos to calm became our new household mantra. After raising three children of our own and fostering seven others with varying developmental needs, my husband and I thought we were ready for this fourth and final challenge. We knew we loved this little girl who entered our lives. It wasn’t until we attended PCIT that we felt 100 percent confident in our decision to move forward with adoption.

“We found ourselves fully engrossed in the PCIT process and truly appreciated the bundle of energy who unexpectedly changed our lives. PCIT gave us a sense of admiration for our daughter’s strengths and allowed us to feel confidence in the predictability and consistency we are providing her. The growth we experienced as a family through PCIT positively impacted our relationship investment and allowed our family to reach a new, unimaginable sense of calm.

“I am grateful for AWARE brining PCIT into our lives, and I am especially grateful for our clinician, Trista Vonada, for walking with us on this journey.”   PCIT Parent Graduate