Outpatient Behavioral Health

Outpatient Behavioral Health Services, including Parent-Child Interaction Therapy program (PCIT) for parents of children ages 2.5-7 years, are available to children, adolescents, and their families in Erie County.

Our Outpatient Behavioral Health Department provides traditional individual and family therapy, Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Services (Wraparound) in a variety of sites, including four school districts and our Licensed Outpatient sites. Psychiatric medication management is offered at our main Outpatient site is located at the Professional Building at 1611 Peach Street in Erie.

Our therapists, nurses, and child and adolescent psychiatrists, along with our program administrative staff, can provide the necessary support and intervention to help your child or family cope with a loss, trauma or crisis, as well as less intensive problems of daily living. Interventions may include: evaluation, individual and family therapy, including short term, evidence-based Parent-Child Interaction Therapy; psychiatric assessment, medication management and support; and, advocacy, referral and linkage to community based organizations and services. Each outpatient site is fully licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services.

Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Services

Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Services are designed to provide supports and services for children and their families who are experiencing difficulties in their daily lives in their natural environments (home, school, community). Formal mental health services including Mobile Therapy and Behavior Specialist Consultation are also available to these families when indicated. Each child and family is involved in the development of a unique treatment plan based on their strengths, needs, and aspirations. The goal of the service is to help children and families experience success while maintaining children in their natural environments, thus eliminating the need for unnecessary or more restrictive placements. The BHRS philosophy strives to promote independence and resources so that our clients and their families are better able to make key decisions regarding their own well-being.

Sarah A. Reed Children’s Center provides comprehensive Behavioral Health Services for children ages 4 to 21.

Medical Necessity Evaluations

The Outpatient Therapy Program’s Psychologists conduct Best Practice Medical Necessity Evaluations to determine the appropriate level of care that is medically necessary for a child to receive. The information gathered would be used by the evaluator to determine the appropriate level of care that is medically necessary for the child and result in a referral for that service.

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, or PCIT, is a highly specialized and effective intervention for parents and their children ages 2.5 to 7. PCIT is primarily used to enhance parent-child relationships through positive interactions and to help parents develop more successful parenting skills.

Typical problems that respond well to PCIT include the following:

  • continual power struggles
  • constant refusal to listen when given commands
  • more than expected parental conflict with their young child
  • a child who doesn’t listen, mind or follow directions
  • a child who has frequent and/or intense tantrums when asked to comply with commands
  • a child that is defiant and oppositional more often than not
  • a child that is physically aggressive

PCIT is a short-term, intensive coaching approach involving a therapist, a parent and the child. Though the child is referred for treatment, PCIT requires a substantial commitment on the part of the parent as well. An in-depth assessment is followed by weekly coaching sessions to help the parent nurture positive interactions with their child, to master critical skills delivering effective commands, and learn to better manage time-outs. At the completion of a successful course of PCIT, parents and children can expect to have a more positive, stable and healthy relationship.

For more information regarding these programs, please contact Sarah Reed Children’s Center’s Outpatient Behavioral Health Program at (814) 480-8985.