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Engaging Families in Clinical Services: A Discussion on Engagement in Family Advocacy Settings

Engaging Families in Clinical Services: A Discussion on Engagement in Family Advocacy Settings


Successful completion of clinical services is closely associated with caregiver participation in treatment (McPherson et al, 2012). However, less than 50% of families who are scheduled to participate in therapy services attend their first appointment (Harrison et al, 2004).

This webinar will aim to focus on common factors that impact engagement for families in clinical services. Further, the research of McKay et al. related to caregiver engagement will be discussed and applied to the family advocacy setting.

Learning Objectives:

Participants will…

  1. Identify the factors, protective and otherwise, that impact engagement in clinical services.
  2. Discuss professional and caregiver perceptions to clinical services, the role systems play in these services and their relationship to engagement.
  3. Identify at least two strategies to enhance professional and caregiver engagement in clinical services using research-based methods developed by Mary McKay, Ph.D.


Amanda Mitten, MA, is a Licensed Professional Counselor at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Center on Child Abuse and Neglect. Ms. Mitten received her Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from the University of Central Oklahoma in 2014.

Her clinical experiences include evidence-based interventions for children with disruptive behavior disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder and other trauma-related disorders, children with problematic sexual behavior, and assessment of children prenatally exposed to drugs and alcohol. Ms. Mitten also serves as the program coordinator for CCAN’s Child Trauma Services Program (CTSP).

Dionna Weixel, MS, is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (CCAN). Ms. Weixel received her Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Central Oklahoma in 2017.

Her clinical interests and work focus on providing evidence-based interventions for children with problematic sexual behaviors, disruptive behavior disorders, and trauma-related disorders. Ms. Weixel is trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), an evidence-based treatment for children and adolescents who are experiencing trauma symptoms and their caregivers, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), an evidence-based treatment for young children exhibiting disruptive behaviors, and Problematic Sexual Behavior-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (PSB-CBT) for school-age and preschool children.

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