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Evidence-Based Therapies

Mental health care providers (psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists) use different treatment approaches to help children and adolescents who are experiencing mental health problems. Some treatment approaches have a strong backing in scientific evidence and other treatments have less evidence supporting them. Therapists who use treatments based on science engage in what is called “evidence-based practice” (EBP). If the treatments they use have scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of the treatments, they are called evidence-based treatments (EBTs). EBTs are listed as ‘best practice’ and ‘preferred’ approaches for mental health symptom treatment by both the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association.


Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is an evidence-based treatment for young children (ages 2-7) with behavioral problems. PCIT is conducted through "coaching" sessions during which you and your child are in a playroom while Alisha is in an observation room watching you interact with your child through a one-way mirror and/or live video feed. You wear a "bug-in-the-ear" device through which Alisha provides in-the-moment coaching on skills you are learning to manage your child's behavior.


PCIT is done across two treatment phases. The first phase of treatment focuses on establishing warmth in your relationship with your child through learning and applying skills proven to help children feel calm, secure in their relationships with their parents, and good about themselves. The second phase of treatment will equip you to manage the most challenging of your child's behaviors while remaining confident, calm, and consistent in your approach to discipline. In this phase, you will learn proven strategies to help your child accept your limits, comply with your directions, respect house rules, and demonstrate appropriate behavior in public. 

For more information about PCIT -


Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is an evidence-based treatment for children and adolescents impacted by trauma and their parents or caregivers. Research shows that TF-CBT successfully resolves a broad array of emotions and behavioral difficulties associated with single, multiple, and complex trauma experiences. 


TF-CBT is a structured, short-term treatment model that effectively improves a range of trauma-related outcomes in 8-25 sessions with the child/adolescent and caregiver.  TF-CBT is a highly effective treatment for PTSD symptoms and diagnosis. It also addresses many other trauma-related impacts including affective (depression, anxiety), cognitive and behavioral problems, as well as improving the participating parent's or caregiver's personal distress and the child's traumatic experience, effective parenting skills, and supportive interactions with the child. 

More information at TF-CBT - 

More information about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) -


Cognitive-behavioral therapy is based on the idea that how we think and act both affect how we feel. By changing thinking that is distorted, and behavior that is dysfunctional, we can change our emotions. With younger children, focusing first on the behavioral part of CBT can be most effective. The goal is, essentially, to unlearn an avoidant behavior. One of the most important techniques in CBT for children with anxiety is called exposure and response prevention. The basic idea is that kids are exposed to the things that trigger their anxiety in structured, incremental steps, and in a safe setting. As they become accustomed to each of the triggers, in turn, the anxiety fades, and they are ready to take on increasingly powerful ones. Alisha has been trained in CBT with Children and Adolescents at the Beck Institute. 


For more information about CBT - Effective Therapies CBT

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