Psychology

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Parenting Clinic

Parent-Child Interaction Program

The parent child interaction clinic offers two programs to the community: Foster Parent Education and PEERS (Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills)

PCIP, in conjunction with Mission College, offers continuing education units to both non biological parents and biological relatives who provide foster care for children/adolescents in Los Angeles County. The parent child interaction program promotes an understanding of children who have been separated not only from their parents, but also from their home base: friends, the familiarity of routine, home, school, neighborhood and sometimes from their cultural connectedness. Our program is designed to educate and support foster parents in positive and effective parenting skills in order to minimize the psychological consequences of loss and to assist children in their care in developing positive coping skills and effective behavior for life long success. The PCIP clinic is staffed by graduate students in the clinical MA program at CSUN and are supervised by a licensed clinical psychologist. Parents participate in an eight week, twenty-four hour psycho educational group in which principles of attachment, creating a positive emotional environment in the home and behavior change are presented to parents in modules. Parents are strongly urged to practice these principles at home through the completion of homework assignments. PCIP staff who are trained to become family intervention specialists may also work with families in their homes during this time. Family meetings are to assist parents in understanding the material presented in the modules, to foster homework completion and to provide feedback in implementing various parenting practices in their home. The goals of the PCIP program are:

  • To help parents understand the biological and psychological principles of attachment theory and and the psychological consequences of separation and loss.

  • To present strategies which will create a positive emotional environment in the family.

  • To perform a functional assessment of the problematic behaviors of the child and, based on that data, to design an intervention program using the principles of applied behavior analysis.

  • To offer parents in PCIP groups a safe place to support one another and exchange resources.

  • To train MA clinical students in family dynamics, effective parenting skills and applied behavior analysis techniques. Students will also learn teaching skills and group leadership techniques.

PEERS (Program for the education and enrichment of relational skills) is for teens interested in learning ways to make and keep friends and for parents who want to assist their teens in this goal. It is a comprehensive evidence based social skills intervention program which meets once a week for 12 weeks and is focused on helping teenagers develop an active and fulfilling social life. The program consists of structured activities, homework assignments and a simultaneous parent-education program to assist teens in putting newly learned skills into practice. Parents and teens meet separately, but simultaneously for 90 minutes each week. During each session, teens are taught very specific social skills and are given the opportunity to practice and apply those skills. Coaches (graduate students) give constructive feedback to the teens to improve social skill levels. Parents discuss how these skills can be implemented in their teen’s social situation. Parents are taught how to take on the role of supportive coach for their teen by learning how to give feedback. Parents assist their teen in successfully completing the homework assignments and support them in implementing their skills in a variety of new social settings.

Teens will learn how to handle issues such as:

  • Choosing and keeping appropriate friends

  • Trading information and finding common interests

  • Slipping in and out of conversations

  • Using humor appropriately

  • Planning get-togethers and being a good host

  • Being a good sport

  • Coping with teasing, bullying, gossip and rejection

  • Handling arguments and disagreements

  • Changing a bad reputation

Department of Psychology
18111 Nordhoff Street Northridge, CA 91330
Office: (818) 677-3429 Fax: (818) 677-2829