The School of Social Work at West Virginia University is hosting a Parent-Child Interaction Therapy workshop from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Oct. 17, in the WVU Erickson Alumni Center.

The workshop will be led by Cheryl B. McNeil, psychology professor in the University’s clinical child program.

The workshop is an introduction to Parent-Child Interaction Therapy and applies aspects of the Integrated Mental and Behavioral Health Training Program, a program designed to train graduate-level social work students who are involved in advanced levels of clinical practice.

Participants will learn about evidence-based behavioral treatment for children with disruptive behavior disorders using videotape review, handouts, experiential exercises, therapist coding and coaching skills training.

“Parent-Child Interaction Therapy is an evidence-based model. So anyone working with families and children would be well-served to get exposure to that model of practice,” said Carrie Rishel, director of the WVU Integrated Mental and Behavioral Health Training Program.

Trainees in the program and their field instructors can attend the workshop for free. All other workshop participants must pay a $75 registration fee.

The program is funded by a three-year, roughly $476,000 Mental and Behavioral Health Education and Training Grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration.

Seventy-five percent of the grant funds are awarded as $10,000 stipends to graduate students who are training in the program. The other 25 percent is used for scheduling programming, such as workshops.

“(The grant) allows us to attract high-quality students who may not otherwise be able to afford graduate school,” Rishel said.

McNeil has trained nationwide and internationally on Parent-Child Interaction Therapy. Her clinical and research interests include program development and evaluation, specifically with regard to abusive parenting and managing disruptive behaviors of young children in school and home settings.
She has written several books, including “Parent-Child Interaction Therapy” and “Short-Term Play Therapy for Disruptive Children.”

McNeil also has created a continuing education package for social workers and a classroom management program for educators.

The workshop, organizers said, will provide an excellent overview of the program. Students interested in achieving certification in parent-child interaction therapy should pursue additional training.

For more information, contact Carrie Rishel, at 304-293-6377 or



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