Parent Training: The Heart and Soul of Changing Disruptive Behavior in Young Children by Dr. Steven Kurtz




Decades of research reveal the role of parents (and other caregivers including teachers) as key in maintaining interaction patterns and therefore as the key to developing new coping patterns. Parent training is a critical component of almost every evidence-supported psychosocial treatment for children. This is particularly the case with disruptive behavior disorders (e.g., Eyberg’s Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), Kazdin’s Parent Management Training, and Webster-Stratton’s Incredible Years). In addition, it is applied to internalizing disorders also (Kendall’s Coping Cat and Lebowitz’s SPACE protocol for OCD). Furthermore, for children with ADHD, research continues to show the interventions need to focus on skills-training at the “point of performance”, including home, school, and community. This highlights the need to train parents in generalizing skills such as compliance, distractibility, cooperation, attention focus, social skills and organizational skills.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States Department of Health and Human Services conducted a Meta-Analysis in 2009. Based on many studies, they concluded that parent training for disruptive behaviors is a must and that the key components of effective parent training are: 1. teaching parents effective communication skills such active listening, reflecting, and reducing inadvertent negative talk, 2. teaching parents positive attending skills such as reinforcement of positives and active ignoring of negatives, and 3. requiring parents to actually practice the skills in session, with their children, so therapists can coach them live and give in-the-moment feedback. The above skills can also apply to teachers as well as other caregivers.
This 1-day course with Dr. Steven Kurtz gave attendees practice in the most potent form of parent training which can be used in any office or clinic setting. Participants learned how to effectively turn parents into their own child’s therapist by identifying the required Do skills and Don’t behaviors, and practicing setting up their offices (or classrooms) to help parents (teachers) practice live, in front of the clinician with their children to enable the clinician to shape their use of the skills. We also taught participants how to structure home and community homework exposures to maximize the chances of successful maintenance and generalization. We practiced all these skills as well as the friendship coaching model.
This training is appropriate for psychologists, social workers, MHCs, and other mental health & associated professionals, educators, parents, and advocates.
Nachas Consulting’s Continuing Education Co-sponsor, CE Learning Systems, LLC is approved by American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. CE Learning Systems maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

CE Learning Systems (Provider #1020) is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of State Social Work Boards (ASWB), through the Approved Continuing Education ACE program. CE Learning Systems LLC maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 02/23/2013 – 02/23/2016. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval. Social workers participating in this course will receive 6 continuing education clock hours.
Steven Kurtz, PhD, ABPP, a Board Certified Psychologist, is the President of Kurtz Psychology Consulting PC and supervises as Adjunct Faculty for the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University. He is also certified as a Master Trainer by PCIT International. Dr. Kurtz is an internationally recognized and leading clinician in the treatment of children’s behavioral problems and disorders. He is a renowned mentor and teacher of innovative and empirically-supported treatments for children with disruptive disorders such as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder and has been a cutting-edge pioneer in the development and dissemination of evidence-based treatments for internalizing disorders including the social anxiety disorder Selective Mutism (SM).
As a PCIT Master Trainer, Dr. Kurtz actively trains clinicians worldwide in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy ~ a gold standard treatment for young children with disruptive behaviors. Dr. Kurtz has also pioneered and published on PCIT adapted for young children with anxiety disorders, including SM, separation anxiety, generalized anxiety and other conditions. Dr. Kurtz’s team has also pioneered efforts to bring the teacher equivalent of PCIT to schools in a model called Teacher-Child Interaction Therapy (TCIT). TCIT is a school-based, live coaching model to help teachers with preventive discipline strategies. The aim is to let teachers teach and ensure that disruptive behavior does visited schools to train educators in new discipline strategies and behavior management techniques,
McNeil, C., & Hembree-Kigin, T. L. (2010). Parent-child interaction therapy. Springer Science & Business Media.
Eyberg, S. M. (2005). Tailoring and adapting parent-child interaction therapy to new populations. Education and Treatment of Children, 197-201.
Allen, B., Timmer, S. G., & Urquiza, A. J. (2014). Parent–Child Interaction Therapy as an attachment-based intervention: Theoretical rationale and pilot data with adopted children. Children and Youth Services Review, 47, 334-341.
Funderburk, B., Chaffin, M., Bard, E., Shanley, J., Bard, D., & Berliner, L. (2014). Comparing client outcomes for two evidence-based treatment consultation strategies. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, (ahead-of-print), 1-12.
Carpenter, A. L., Puliafico, A. C., Kurtz, S. M., Pincus, D. B., & Comer, J. S. (2014). Extending parent–child interaction therapy for early childhood internalizing problems: New advances for an overlooked population. Clinical child and family psychology review, 17(4), 340-356.

March 27, 2016


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