11.15.2022

When parent- child relationships are strained by challenging behaviors such as defiance, aggression and tantrums, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy can help.

PCIT is an evidence-based practice for treating anxiety and trauma in children ages 2 to 7.  For young children, anxiety often appears as defiance, aggression and other behaviors caregivers find challenging.

This therapy is focused on learning effective ways to interact with young children. After a brief check-in, caregivers and children play together, while a therapist observes and coaches the caregiver through a headset.  Sessions can be done via telehealth using cell phones and blue-tooth headsets (provided if needed).  The therapy is also offered in person in Anchorage, with the family in one room and the therapist observing through a one-way mirror.

Therapy sessions have two main components. First, during the child-directed portion, caregivers learn to manage kids’ behavior through positive attention. Then, during the parent-directed portion, the therapist and caregiver work with the child on compliance.

Most families see improvements within a few sessions.

Meet our PCIT Therapists

Lindsay Coffey, MS, LPC

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Lindsay Coffey

Lindsay Coffey, MS, LPC is a Clinician at Alaska Behavioral Health. Lindsay provides mental health services to children and families affected by trauma and trains people throughout the state of Alaska on trauma and its impacts.  Lindsay is certified in PCIT by PCIT International.

Geri Hernandez, M.Ed.

Geri Hernandez, M.Ed, is a Clinician with the Little Tykes Therapeutic Services at Alaska Behavioral Health. Geri provides mental health services to children and their families that have been affected by trauma.

Kristin Mortenson, MS, LPC

Kristin Mortenson

Kristin Mortenson, MS, LPC is the Director of Early Child and Outpatient Services at Alaska Behavioral Health.  As part of the Alaska Child trauma Center since inception, Kristin provides mental health services to children and families impacted by trauma and is a nationally certified ARC (Attachment, Self-Regulation and Competency) trainer.

Polly Parker, MS

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Polly

Polly Parker, MS, is a clinician at Alaska Behavioral Health working with children, teens, and families. Polly graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage with a Master of Science in Clinical Psychology and has a Graduate Certificate in Child Psychology. In her free time, Polly enjoys traveling and quality time with her family and dog.

Brie Pinero, MSW

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Brie Pinero

Briana Pinero, MSW, is a clinician at Alaska Behavioral Health working with Little Tykes program. Brie graduated from North Carolina State University with a Master of Social Work.  Brie provides mental health services to children and their families that have been impacted by trauma.

Learn more about Parent-Child Interaction Therapy.