Infant & Early Childhood Program

Touchstone’s Infant and Early Childhood Program (IECP) provides a comprehensive array of services to children birth to 6 years old. The team begins with a comprehensive developmental, history and trauma assessment to identify the appropriate interventions. Our IECP program also works closely with the Department of Child Safety (DCS) to achieve permanency for children. The team works with foster families to prevent foster home disruption, and with biological families when reunification is the goal. Many of our clinicians are Spanish speaking. Language assistance is provided if necessary.

Therapeutic Interventions

Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) is an intervention model for children aged 0-5 who have experienced at least one traumatic event (e.g. maltreatment, the sudden or traumatic death of someone close, a serious accident, sexual abuse, exposure to domestic violence) and/or are experiencing mental health, attachment, and/or behavioral problems, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The treatment is based in attachment theory but also integrates psychodynamic, developmental, trauma, social learning, and cognitive behavioral theories. Therapeutic sessions include the child and parent or primary caregiver. The primary goal of CPP is to support and strengthen the relationship between a child and his or her caregiver as a vehicle for restoring the child’s cognitive, behavioral, and social functioning. Treatment also focuses on contextual factors that may affect the caregiver-child relationship (e.g. cultural norms and socioeconomic and immigration-related stressors).

Reference: http://childtrauma.ucsf.edu/resources-0

Parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT) is an evidence-based treatment for young children with emotional and behavioral disorders that places emphasis on improving the quality of the parent-child relationship and changing parent-child interaction patterns. Children and their caregivers are seen together in PCIT. Most of the session time is spent coaching caregivers in the application of specific therapy skills. Therapists typically coach from an observation room with a one-way mirror into the playroom, using a “bug-in-the-ear” system for communicating to the parents as they play with their child. Concluding each session, therapist and caregiver together decide which skill to focus on most during daily 5-minute home practice sessions the following week.

Reference: http://www.pcit.org/what-is-pcit1.html

Attachment Trauma

The attachment trauma group provides support and psycho-education to caregivers experiencing the challenges of parenting children that exhibit behaviors associated with trauma and attachment deficits. The group covers trauma/attachment 101, understanding the effects of trauma, learning how to create a safe place, teaches caregivers how to deal with feelings and behaviors due top trauma, and self-care for the caregivers. There is a parent and child component for this group. Parents and children are split up for this group.

Circle of Security

The Circle of Security is a relationship based early intervention program designed to enhance attachment security between parents and children. Decades of university-based research have confirmed that secure children exhibit increased empathy, greater self-esteem, better relationships with parents and peers, enhanced school readiness, and an increased capacity to handle emotions more effectively when compared with children who are not secure. This group explores how attachment develops, what needs children have in supporting them in an attachment relationship, and how our own pasts sometimes effect our ability to respond to these needs. Parents and children are split up for this group.

Theraplay

Theraplay is a unique hands-on group where families work together with the goal of enhancing their relationships through the use of play activities. Activities are designed to increase the emotional and well-being of the child-caregiver relationship and are centered around the caregiver and child working together to promote positive engagements. Facilitators help to build the caregivers ability to delight and enjoy their child while increasing their connection. Specific relational areas include trust, regulatory issues, cooperation, communication, and the desire to have healthy relationships with others outside of the family. This group is recommended for families currently participating in therapy, or families that have attended Attachment/Trauma or Circle of Security.

Mindful Parenting

Mindful parenting is a clinically proven eight-week program that teaches mindfulness to parents and their children which can assist in helping parents develop a stronger bond with their children AND take better care of themselves. When under stress parenting skills are found to diminish. When under stress or other intense emotions parents may have a difficult time self-regulating before responding to their child which in turn can heighten the stress of the child. Mindful Parenting offers another way of approaching parenting in high-stress times and for parents with psychopathology themselves. Parents become aware of their parenting stress as they experience it in their bodies, thoughts, and feelings. At the same time in the children’s group they learn mindfulness in an age appropriate way, and then together at home, the children and the parents can practice what they learned together which can increase their bond and facilitate in self-regulation as a family. Source: Bögels, S. M., & Restifo, K. (2014). Mindful parenting: A guide for mental health practitioners. New York, NY: W.W Norton & Company.””

Love and Logic

Interactive parent class that focuses on the following goals:

  • Decrease whining and arguing
  • Putting an end to misbehavior in public
  • Smooth out morning and bedtime routines
  • Take the battle out of meal times
  • Teach respect, responsibility, and self-discipline
  • Decrease sibling conflict
  • And decrease parental stress

Sand Tray Therapy

An expressive form of therapy in which a sand tray and a collection of miniatures are used to help the client construct a world to represent thoughts, situations, and emotions.  This modality is useful for those who are introverted and have a hard time expressing themselves, and those who do better with a non-directive approach to therapy.  The therapist serves as a support for the client and family to process their experiences through the world they create in the sand.

Meet Our Team

Clinical Care Manager (CCM)

Our CCMs are specially trained in early childhood mental health to provide support and guidance for caregivers regarding the mental health, developmental and social/emotional needs of young children. CCMs connect families to community resources, provide developmental assessment and guidance, support educational needs, and work to connect families to appropriate services.  The specialized training of our CCMs allows them to serve as High Needs Case Managers for the early childhood population.

Therapists

IECP Therapists are Master’s Level Clinicians specially trained in Early Childhood Mental Health. Therapists offer a variety of evidence-based therapeutic interventions, including Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP), Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), Theraplay, EMDR, Sand Tray Therapy and Storyplay. Therapists conduct assessments for both child and adult trauma, attachment quality, adult stress and depression, and child symptomology. Therapists conduct family therapy and co-parenting interventions both in office and in the home.

Interventionist

Interventionists are masters level professionals who work primarily with caregivers in home by providing psychoeducation and support.  Interventions work on helping families understand the needs behind behaviors, and empowers the family to make changes to help reduce symptoms.  Sessions occur weekly for 60-90 minutes.

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