Our three early childhood clinicians in Anchorage recently completed a two year learning collaborative to increase their skills in Child Parent Psychotherapy. Congratulations to
Geri Hernandez, Mara Hill and Patty Quinn! (pictured with Early Childhood Mental Health trainer and consultant Deb Harris on the left and AKBH manager Kristin Mortenson on the right.)5 colleagues posing for photo

What is Child Parent Psychotherapy?

Our early childhood team has been working hard to expand their knowledge and skills in trauma-focused intervention, learning the components of CPP through training, reflective consultation/supervision and direct practice.  Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) is an intervention model for children aged 0-5 who have experienced at least one traumatic event and/or are experiencing mental health, attachment, and/or behavioral problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder. The program is designed to support family strengths and relationships and respect family and cultural values, while helping families recover from traumatic experiences. Studies have shown families involved in CPP see improvements in children and adults in the family, in mood, trauma symptoms, and their relationships with each other.

A rigorous process

Director of Early Childhood and Outpatient Services Kristin Mortenson says, “The CPP learning collaborative and national rostering process is the most extensive I have been a part of. Each provider completes extensive fidelity worksheets for each phase of treatment, elaborate case presentation worksheets and regular supervisor fidelity forms.”

A clinician reflects on her learning

Clinician Geri Hernandez reflected on the learning process.
One of the MANY things I learned to appreciate more is the importance of considering the caregiver’s trauma/stressor history. In addition to screening for the child’s history, we gather extensive information regarding the caregiver’s history. This has been very helpful in terms of holding the caregiver’s perspective through connecting with their child and strengthening their attachment, what CPP terms “double scooping!”
Coming from a strengths-based perspective, I also find great value in caregiver’s completing an “Angels in the Nursery” questionnaire. It supports caregivers in evoking memories of love, support, protection, feeling understood, cared for, etc. and essentially leads them to explore what they would like their child to think, say, and remember about them. I’ve found this to be very powerful in a sense of always looping back around to what the caregiver’s goals are regarding strengthening and securing their attachments with their child.

Congrats, Mara, Patty and Geri!

To schedule with our early childhood clinicians, please call 907-762-8667 to schedule an intake.

Download the full CPP brochure here.