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Training Program

Our Training Vision

The need for effective mental health treatment for young children and their families is growing. The UC Davis PCIT Training Center has the following visions for training in mental health treatment:

  • To improve the quality of mental health services to children and families.
  • Increase the number of trained and qualified mental health providers in rural and urban areas with the expertise to comprehensively respond to the special needs of children and families through the delivery of PCIT services.
  • Bridge the gap between effective research and effective practice.
  • Expand the depth and breadth of scientific knowledge in mental health, child maltreatment, and PCIT.

PCIT Training

Implementing an evidence-based practice takes time and effort for both agencies and clinicians. The UC Davis PCIT Training Center has developed a standardized curriculum and training programs for mental health treatment centers, community-based agencies, county mental health departments, and home visiting programs. Course content is designed to increase knowledge and skills in the following areas:

  • Developing, running, and a sustaining a PCIT program.
  • Identifying and assessing appropriate families for PCIT.
  • Fundamental training on foundations of PCIT via the PCIT for Traumatized Children Web Course developed by the UC Davis PCIT Training Center.
  • Skill Building training to meet skill mastery in order to effectively deliver services.
  • Live case consultation and supervision.
  • Training and materials to meet the diverse population needs including materials in Spanish and other languages.

PCIT Training Model:

The UC Davis PCIT Training Center uses a Trainer of Trainer (ToT) training model that is structured to train agencies rather than individual providers. This model has proven effective in maintaining treatment fidelity and sustaining PCIT programs over time. Using this ToT model, we train the first generation of therapists at an agency (usually 3-4), who after mastering their competencies, will begin training the second generation within the agency (an additional 4-6 therapists). The ToT model has been very successful. We have research findings indicating the progressive success of PCIT across multiple generations (Urquiza, Timmer, & Girard, 2011). We found the following:

  1. The therapists we train (the ToT providers, or the “first generation”) get positive outcomes with their clients.
  2. The people immediately trained by the ToTs, or the “second generation”, get positive outcomes with their clients.
  3. Subsequent people trained by the ToTs (which we refer to as the “third generation”) also get positive outcomes with their clients.

The UC Davis PCIT Training Center model for PCIT Training consists of a 10 hour web course that thoroughly explains the basic elements of PCIT and the treatment protocol; followed by approximately 9 months of experiential training, during which therapists provide PCIT to real clients.

Telehealth Training

Similar to PCIT – where the therapist whispers in the parent’s ear while the parent is talking to the child – our trainers coach therapists while they are coaching the parent. We manage this “in vivo” training efficiently and effectively all over the world with the use of “Telehealth” equipment. Telehealth allows us to see and hear what happens in the treatment room, while concurrently talking to the therapist – all in real time!

Learn more about UC Davis Children’s Hospital Telemedicine programs here:  Pedatrics Telemedicine

There are three phases of the UCD PCIT Training Center model: Program Development, Fundamental and Skills-Building, and Consultation/Supervision. Here are some brief descriptions of each training componnet.

Phase I: Program Development

  • Includes agency needs assessment, technical assistance and consultation related to referral and assessment procedures, staff preparation, equipment needs, room preparation, and capacity-building.
  • Can include UCD PCIT Training Center staff initial site visit to trainee agency.

Phase II: Fundamental & Skills Building/Evalution of Skill Acquisition

  • Trainee agency will receive instructions to log onto 10 hour “PCIT for Traumatized Children” Web Course. The Web Course includes an overview of PCIT, appropriate referrals, outcome and treatment objectives, and implementation into the community. It also covers an overview of PCIT, teaches the Dyadic Parent-Child Interaction Coding System (DPICS), teaches basic coaching techniques, trains on assessment and use of standardized measures, introduces PCIT protocol, provides practice in the relationship enhancement component of PCIT, and explains the application of these techniques to maltreated and at-risk populations.
  • The agency’s UCD PCIT Trainer will conduct an evaluation of the skills trainees have learned from the “PCIT for Traumatized Children” Web Courseand via Telehealth.

Phase III: Consultation and Supervision

  • Includes site visits and Telehealth visits for the entirety of PCIT training. Telehealth visits will be conducted regularly, guiding therapists through a course of treatment with live clients, and coaching them to mastery of PCIT skills.
  • UCD trainer will provide continued advanced experiential training in PCIT service delivery with live PCIT clients via Telehealth.
  • UCD trainer will be available for clinical consultation on difficult cases.
  • UCD trainer provides guidance and support to ToTs in training the second-generation of PCIT therapists at the agency.

“There may be a variety of PCIT training programs available, but the UC Davis PCIT Training Center provides the highest level of training, support, and guidance so agencies have a quality PCIT program that meets best practices standards.”

Training Options

A Variety Of Training Options Available

The PCIT Training Center is dedicated to disseminating evidence-based treatment programs to community centers so families in need have access to the best mental health services available. We understand that some agencies may not be ready to start complete PCIT programs, but are interested in other levels of training. We provide training in both rural and urban communities and can deliver training on several different levels including:

  • Basic, advanced, and specialized courses.
  • Seminars and classes on-site or in your community.
  • Presentations at professional meetings.
  • Video conferencing or “Telehealth” courses through satellite transmission.
  • Case consultations.
  • Policy forums and research symposiums to educate stakeholders, policymakers and professionals on the importance of evidence-based practices.