Early Childhood Behavioral Health Services

Mary’s Center’s Early Childhood Behavioral Health Services is proud to provide access to behavioral health services for families with children 0 -6 years old in Washington, DC. Early Childhood Wellness has long been a program area of interest in the District; however, behavioral health care for children this young can easily be overlooked.  To support children from infancy up to 6 years old, our Early Childhood Program offers interventions influenced by:

  •          Theraplay
  •          Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)
  •          Child-centered play therapy
  •          Playful CBT
  •          Art therapy and
  •          Sand tray therapy

It is our mission to offer a set of early childhood focused clinical services that seek to speak a child’s language, and begins to understand and evaluate pre-verbal and early verbal communications.  An essential component of providing support to young children is actively involving the parent or caregiver in each contact with the child. At Mary’s Center, we teach, inform, and coach caregivers to be attuned to their child’s needs, interpret their language, and strengthen their child’s inner resilience to encourage healthy socio-emotional development.

For the past 7 years, Mary’s Center staff has also focused on providing bilingual behavioral health through the Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) service to the community. This modality targets the caregiver-child pair and seeks to enhance the relationship and also reduce unsafe behaviors in all environments. To date, we have provided PCIT to families in both English and Spanish with varying family compositions in the clinic, school setting, and over Tele-Behavioral health capabilities. We seek to address presenting behavioral health symptoms including but not limited to:

  •          Disruptive behaviors
  •          Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
  •          Depressive features
  •          Reunification with caregiver
  •          Adjustment to a significant life change
  •          Inattentive and hyperactive behaviors and
  •          Anxiety presenting in all settings including separation and Selective Mutism. 

As of 2017, as a part of the System of Care (SOC), Mary’s Center is now offering Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP). As an evidence-based practice, CPP is designed to support children 0-5 years old and their families navigate traumatic experiences and realign a family culture of safety and security.

CPP may help when:

• Children have been through scary or painful events such as loss of a loved person, separation, serious medical procedures, abuse, or violence at home or in the community

• Children show difficult behaviors

• Children have a change in placement or caregivers

• Family members have physical health or mental health difficulties

• Caregivers would like help with parenting and improving parent-child relationships

Please read this flyer for more information about locations where CPP will be offered and contact information. 

Lastly, our program is able to assess and provide referrals for additional services such as Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Psychiatry, and other adjunct services to best serve the family, including services for the adults in the children’s lives. A young child’s world is rich in experiences and the Mary’s Center Early Childhood Program staff is committed to successfully modeling parental and child focused activities that work to bridge the communication gaps between child and caregiver.

For additional information on programs at Mary’s Center for children and their families, please click here.

To request or refer for PCIT, please complete a PCIT Referral Form below and email to Incomplete forms will be returned to the referral source as we are unable to process.


Referral Forms

Early Childhood Behavioral Health Referral Form in English

Early Childhood Behavioral Health Referral Form in Spanish

Additional Information About Our Programs

PCIT Brochure

Child-Parent Pyschotherapy (CPP) Flyer

Early Childhood Program Resources Brochure

Medical Services


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