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Community Outreach: Relationship & Service

Yesterday I attended the Los Angeles County PCIT Learning Community Network meeting.  Dr. Lauren Maltby was facilitating a discussion with therapists currently in PCIT training (“Emerging” programs) on the topic of how to get more PCIT referrals.  I loved how Dr. Maltby conceptualized PCIT therapists’ efforts to connect with community organizations as a way to get the word out about PCIT, so I am paraphrasing her here:

Dr. Maltby told us that Community Outreach is all about relationships and service.  She reminded us that we are making connections with people, not “roles.”  For instance, if we were thinking about the fact that we just called the director of the Early Start program, we needed to think again!  We called a person by the name of “Diane” and made a connection with her (note:  she just made up that name out of the blue – I have no idea if she even knows Diane!).  The quality of our relationship with this organization depends on the relationship we have with the people in that organization.  Her second point was that if we think of ways to be of service to these organizations, our relationship with them would become more solid and real.  In my mind, not only will our relationship with these organizations become more enduring, but also the people at these organizations will be more likely to think positively of PCIT and the work we do (I can’t remember whether Dr. Maltby said this too).  She named a few ways in which we could be of service:

  1. Give a teacher in-service training at the local pre-school or school, teaching some easy behavior management strategies;
  2. Give a parent workshop at your local library, teaching them the PRIDE skills;
  3. Give a workshop at a nearby (or referring) FFA (i.e., foster family agency) or offer your services as a resource person.

No doubt you all know how you can be helpful to different organizations, making it easier for them to work with children who might be a little disruptive!  So reach out, PCITers!

-Susan Timmer

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