New PCIT Certification Assures High-Quality Parenting Coaching for Encompass Families

By Liann Smith, Washington State Parent Support Specialist & Encompass PCIT CoachLiann

Here is a mouthful — “Washington State PCIT Parent Support Specialist.” What does that mean? It is a certification that is 3 years in the making. In 2011, I had been practicing as a Parent coach for two years, using a very good curriculum, but I still had parents struggling with their child’s misbehaviors. As I researched more tools, I found Parent Child Interaction Training (PCIT). It is a set of parenting tools that increases emotional connection and control with a child and teaches parents how to set calm, predictable limits. Best of all, the parent is taught specific skills and then coached while they interact with their child in a playroom via an ear bud (the coach views the parent-child through a one -way viewing window).

To earn this certification, I engaged in the 40 hours of direct teaching from the University of Washington at Harborview medical Center. The next step was a one-year internship with monthly fellowship phone calls with our trainer. Next was submitting three DVD recordings demonstrating the coaching skills specific to PCIT and having a live observation with my trainer. Lastly, was an application process with PCIT International, meeting all the requirements to take the certification examination. On August 29th, 2014 I passed the PCIT International exam.

Why is this important for local families? It ensures a high quality of parent coaching. Although this process was rigorous, it was surely worth it. I learned to be precise with the tools of Parent Child Interaction Training. And the certification affirms PCIT as an evidenced-based practice, meaning there are specific assessments in place that guide the coach for predictable outcomes. The outcomes increase emotional connection between parent and child and decrease negative behaviors of the child. Simply put, families enjoy one another.

When families come to see me for the first time, I always explain to the child that I am their parent’s teacher. They always smile at this statement. I tell the child, “Your parents told me they don’t want to be good parents, they want to be GREAT parents.” With the tools of Parent Child Interaction Training, I truly do help parents be GREAT parents.

Here is a video outlining what the Encompass PCIT lab looks like, how the coach interacts with families and some of the tools you will learn if you engage with Parent Child Interaction Training. VIDEO — 

Call 425.888.2777 for more information on how your family can participate in PCIT.

Click here for more information about PCIT International.


Decrease Parental Stress and Target Challenging Behavior

By Kerry Beymer

PFP_WashingtonColorEach April, people across the country join forces to raise awareness of the terrible tragedy of child abuse and neglect for National Child Abuse Prevention Month. At Encompass, we know that parenting can be difficult – especially when kids have challenging behaviors. Parenting is the most challenging yet most important job we do and in those challenging times parental stress runs high. Parental stress levels can be a predictor of child abuse.

There is no single known cause of child maltreatment. Nor is there any single description that captures all families in which children are victims of abuse and neglect. Child abuse occurs across all socio-economic, religious, cultural, racial, and ethnic groups. No one is immune. It must be emphasized, however, that while certain factors often are present among families where maltreatment occurs, this does not mean that the presence of these factors will always result in child abuse and neglect.

In 2011, Child Protective Services (CPS) accepted referrals for 46,636 individual children, equaling a rate of 30 per 1,000 children under age 18. Bear in mind that only a portion of child maltreatment is reported to CPS, and not all referrals are investigated.

To reduce child abuse and neglect in our community, Encompass offers a host of programing that can help decrease the parental stress and help parents sort through their children’s challenging behaviors, including:

Each of us can make a difference preventing child abuse and neglect. There are a few ways for you to get involved:

  • Educate yourself and others about child abuse and its prevention by visiting or
  • Build a support network by increasing your involvement in your community. Getting involved with Encompass programs, community center groups, or library programs is a good start.
  • Volunteer for organizations serving children and families.
  • Contribute to organizations working to prevent child abuse. At Encompass, your contribution will go a long way at helping to develop healthy children and create strong families – two critical components of child abuse prevention. To donate, click here.

With your support, we can to increase child abuse prevention efforts in our community.

To report child (or adult) abuse, call 866-ENDHARM in Washington State.

6 Ways to Ensure Your Summer Camper is a Happy Camper

1summer campby Julie Forslin, Early Learning Manager, Encompass

Summer has become a time to engage in learning opportunities—choosing the right summer camp from all the great options in the area can feel “in tents”! There are camps for children of all ages, abilities, personalities, schedules and interests—and I am going to share my 9 years of experience managing Encompass’ summer camps to guide you through the camp selection process.

For 15 years, Encompass has been the enrichment summer camp of choice for Snoqualmie Valley families. We offer more than 40 unique themes including: “Terrific Trains,” “Cooking up Science,” “LEGO Mayhem,” “Mud, Muck and Goo,” “Gymnastics” and “I Love a Parade.” Don’t miss out on your child’s favorite camp—register now—there are only 12 spots in each camp!

Let’s get started!

  1. Discover what is available in the area. Macaroni Kid has already created its 5th Annual Summer Camp Guide broken out into categories including art instruction, dance, music, theatre, gymnastics, learning & fun, nature experiences and sports instruction. There is a calendar view so you can match up your child’s interests and schedule to what is available.
  2. Create a short list. Gather recommendations from friends, neighbors and your child’s peers to understand the values, operating procedures and scheduling of each camp. Most camps are not a daycare solution.
  3. Identify the camp’s program emphasis. Enrichment-focused camps combine the fun of camp with academic and social skill building. These types of camps are designed to mitigate summer learning loss, review academic skills and accelerate learning. Other camps offer freedom to pick and choose activities. At Encompass, we want to make camp a fun and memorable learning experience for your child, while remembering that it is summer and they need time to play and have fun with their friends.
  4. Know the staff-to-child ratio. Your child should be well supervised and get lots of attention at camp. For day camps, these are the average staff-to-child ratios: 1:8 for campers 6 to 8 years old, 1:10 for those 9-14 and 1:12 for campers in the 15-18 age range. Special needs camps would have a much lower staff-to-child ratio. One of the reasons Encompass has been voted Most Loved Summer Camp is our very low staff-to-child ratio of 6:1 in 4-10 year olds olds and 4:1 in two year olds.
  5. Inquire about the camp staff. Who works with your child is critical to your child’s camp experience. In addition to facilitating camp activities, counselors serve as role models and should be dependable, trustworthy and show enthusiasm for their role. Encompass’ own preschool teachers lead all camps except golf, gymnastics and drama—whose teachers are contracted professionals from these fields in the community. All lead teachers are first aid/CPR certified. We hire college and high school students to act as camp assistants and role models for the campers. One of our current preschool teachers started as a summer camper herself, was hired as a camp assistant as a teen and went on to teach preschool and summer camps.
  6. Can the camp accommodate special needs? If your child has special needs, either physical or behavioral, be sure to ask if the camp is equipped to handle these special requirements for your child. Encompass offers camps to children with all abilities and can make accommodations if necessary for all children to participate.

I hope this has helped you begin your adventure in choosing the right summer camp for your family! We are very excited about starting our 15th year of offering amazing fun-filled camps at Encompass and we have some great new options this year as well as some old favorites.

Summer at Encompass
A variety of theme-based, enrichment-focused summer camps are offered at Encompass for children from 2- to 10-years old. Our drop-off camps are a week long (or 3 days for 2-year olds) for a half day—or you can blend a morning and afternoon camp for a full-day experience!

Special Needs & Camp Assistant Programs
Champ Camp is an Encompass program designed to meet the needs of children who can benefit from structured teaching to help strengthen their social language and behavioral skills*. For older campers, we offer our 11-13 year old teacher assistant program—this is a great opportunity to gain leadership experience by working with younger students and there is the possibility that these students can become paid assistants in the future.

40+ Unique Camp Themes!
New camps this year include “Penguins to Polar Bears”, “Monsters Inc.” and “Mini Olympics”   . We added a second “LEGO” camp as well as a “Superheroes” and “Mythbuster” camp. And the always-popular “I Love a Parade”, “Spy Kids” and “Amazing Artists” camps are back! Each camp includes teacher-planned, age-appropriate, theme-based craft and activities. Encompass prepares healthy snacks daily for all campers and activities take place in both our beautiful outdoor and indoor learning environments.

Download the full schedule, camp descriptions and fees.

I am looking forward to seeing returning campers as well as meeting new campers and their families to welcome them to the fun that is Encompass summer camps.

Julie Forslin is the Director of Early Learning at Encompass. This is her 9th year as manager of Encompass summer camps, 3rd year as Early Learning Manager and she taught camp for 4 years. She also has 14 years’ experience as a preschool teacher. Contact Julie at 425.888.2777 with your questions about Encompass summer camp. Register at

*application required



Great Parents Notice the Positives

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By Liann Smith
(This blog, originally posted October 11, 2012, on the Impact Parenting website blog,  is reposted with permission.)

I was in Costco this weekend returning something. The lines were long but I had to get it done.

I was behind a dad and his two children. His son was about 7 and his daughter about 4 years old. As normal, one child was touching the other child. The dad responded with good boundaries and directions. BUT, here is what I also saw. He gave many commands but no praises. He never noticed when a command was followed. When dad said, “If you touch your sister again, all your treats will go away,” his son stopped bugging his sister and moved to play with the cart. Dad never noticed the positive behavior.

So my question to you is “Do you have anything good to say?”

It takes intention to notice the positive behavior. It hardly takes any effort on our part to notice the negative behavior, our children command us with negative. And we wonder why kids are always acting up.

Take 30 minutes today and be aware of how many times you correct or direct your child verses how much you notice the good behavior. Good parents do direct and correct, but great parents notice when their child behaves well.

When we notice the good stuff, we will get better behavior from our children. Best of all, we will have a closer relationship with them. Here is a quote that I have in my office:

“True obedience is a matter of love, which it makes voluntary not compelled by fear or force.” Dorothy Day, Peace Activist

Liann Smith is a certified Parent-Child Interaction Training / Therapy (PCIT)
coach at Encompass, an independent facilitator of the Becoming a Love and Logic Parentcurricula and the founder of Impact Parenting. She completed a certificate in parenting coaching at the Parent Coaching Institute in collaboration with Seattle Pacific University. She has an undergraduate degree in child development and biblical studies. She also is the mother of three grown children. For more than 17 years, she has worked with hundreds of families with children as a church ministry director and

Having a successful relationship with your partner isn’t rocket science – or is it?

                                                                                  By Kerry Beymer

TValentines-Day-Photo-Wallpapershis is February and one of my favorite holidays is coming up. It’s when we celebrate LOVE!

So why is the parenting support and education manager writing about love and relationships this month? It is because I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes from Dr. John Gottman: “The greatest gift you can give your child is a strong relationship between the two of you.”

Gottman is one of the world’s leading research scientists on marriage, relationships and family. His claim to fame is that he can predict with 90 percent accuracy if a couple will divorce. Through his years of research and studying the ways that spouses interact with each other, he isolated four behaviors that can predict a troubled relationship. It truly is science! He calls them the “The Four Deadly Horseman of Marital Apocalypse”:

1. Criticism
There is an important distinction between criticism and complaining. Criticism focuses on the person. Complaining focuses on the behavior. This may seem like a subtle nuance, but research shows it is a distinction that makes a significant difference in the long term. Criticism is using the word “you,” such as “You are so lazy” and “You never pay attention to my needs.” The antidote is to remember to voice a complaint, but don’t blame.

2. Contempt
Contempt expresses the complete absence of admiration and is delivered with insults, name-calling, hostile humor, mockery and body language. Contempt is the all-famous eye roll and heavy sigh. The antidote is building a culture of appreciation.

3. Defensiveness
A person’s natural reaction to being criticized or treated contemptuously is defensiveness. It’s also a way of sidestepping responsibility. If we are ignoring complaints and failing to contribute creative solutions, those complaints are likely to become criticisms that we naturally want to defend against. This is when we say to ourselves, “It’s not me. He’s the one with the problem!” The antidote is to take responsibility.

4. Stonewalling
This is withdrawing from the relationship as a way to avoid conflict. Partners may think they are trying to be “neutral,” but stonewalling conveys disapproval, icy distance, separation and disconnection. The antidote is to rewrite your inner script. Replace thoughts of righteous indignation or innocent victimization with soothing and validating thoughts of appreciation and responsibility.

Keep in mind that if these behaviors are part of your relationship, your relationship is not automatically doomed. The key is to be aware of these four signals and change your behavior.

In this month that we celebrate love, let’s go beyond flowers or a gift for your sweet heart. Give the gift of a strong relationship. Your children will thank you.
For more information on the Gottman Institute and its couples research, check out

Kerry Beymer (pronounced BEE-murr) graduated from Washington State
University and has been a parenting educator for more than 15 years. She is
Parenting Support and Education manager at Encompass. Kerry has two children,
one in college and one in middle school. She recently was certified as a
“Parenting Counts Educator” by the Talaris Institute of Seattle. Kerry uses
humor and storytelling in her classes in a non- judgmental setting. “Parenting,”
she says, “is the most challenging and most important job there is.”