Parents in Charge (PIC) program


Thank you for your interest, but Dr. Danis and the PIC program are no longer located at TFI.  If you want to reach Dr. Danis please email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

If you are interested in finding another clinician at TFI please contact the intake department by calling 847-733-4300 ext 658 or click here


Partnering with parents to promote self-regulation in early childhood

Partnering with parents to promote emotion regulation skills in early childhood.

The Parents in Charge (PIC)Parents in Charge (PIC) program is aimed at children 18 months to 6 years of age and offers a novel, developmentally-based approach to parent training embedded within a family therapy model.

PIC is a unique program because of its emphasis on developmentally-sensitive assessment of young children as the basis for an individualized treatment plan that is attuned to each child's behavioral needs and developmental level within the context of his/her own family. The use of specialized methods specifically designed for early childhood is essential for determining whether young children's behavior is merely a reflection of the normative misbehavior of this age period or an early indicator of concern.

The Parents in Charge program is located in downtown Chicago (8 S. Michigan Avenue) and is directed by Barbara Danis, PhD, and Carri Hill, PhD, who have extensive experience working with families of young children with emotional and behavioral challenges such as aggression, tantrums and noncompliance."

The components of the program include:

An Assessment of Child Behavioral and Developmental Functioning

  • The Disruptive Diagnostic Observation Schedule (DB-DOS), a specialized observational assessment we have developed which allows the clinician to observe children's ability to cope with frustration and disappointment with caregivers and with a clinician.
  • Developmental testing to assess the child's language and cognitive abilities, which are important building blocks of behavioral regulation and self-control.
  • Interviews with parents about the child's developmental and behavioral history.
  • Assessment of the child's behavior and development at school/daycare, if applicable.

Feedback with Family

  • In-depth discussion with parents meant to share information learned during the assessment and to work in partnership with parents to develop an intervention plan that is suited for their family's needs.

Family-Based Treatment

  • Strategies that help parents feel more effective in managing their child's behavior and allow them to teach their child age-appropriate coping.

The process is two-fold.

After an initial screening questionnaire, service begins with a 2-1/2-hour assessment session. Parents and child are brought in together to gather information. Parents then meet the following week with the team to discuss the child's strengths and challenges and to develop a treatment plan.

Treatment then includes 8 weeks of family-focused sessions to promote child emotional regulation and effective parenting strategies. The entire family is invited in for effective interventions - all siblings, parents, grandparents, caregivers - anyone with a caregiving role with the child is invited. After 8 sessions, progress is reevaluated and treatment may continue should the family feel that would be beneficial.

PIC has been specifically designed to be responsive to the needs of diverse families, including stepfamilies, adopted families, same-sex families and children raised by grandparents.

  • For more information or to set up an initial evaluation, please call 847-733-4300, ext. 658.