Tricia Benish, PhD, Child Psychologist

Tricia Benish
Tricia Benish Dr. Benish

Specialty Areas: Dr. Benish specializes in evaluation and counseling of children ranging in age from zero to 12. She has specialized training in Autism Spectrum Disorder, developmental disorders, and anxiety stemming from traumatic events. In addition to her sperciality areas, she also works with children and teens with problems, such as anxiety, depression, learning disorders ,and disruptive behaviors.

Bio: Dr. Benish is a licensed psychologist with over 10 years of experience and a love for helping children and families overcome life’s difficulties. She has specialized experience in pediatrics with regards to treating mental health, behavioral, and learning difficulties for childhood, adolescent, and young adult populations. She has a strong background in consulting with caregivers to improve behavioral and learning difficulties with positive behavioral supports. Dr. Benish conducts developmental evaluations and testing for autism, learning disabilities, and social and adaptive skills delays. She provides evaluation and therapy for anxiety, depression, ADHD, and behavioral disorders. She utilizes a variety of evidenced-based treatments including behavioral therapy modalities, cognitive behavioral therapy techniques, and solution-focused therapy tools to support families, helping to improve relationships and instill hope for a brighter future. Dr. Benish also enjoys lecturing at local and state events on topics such as autism, positive behavioral supports for the classroom, and establishing early childhood classrooms with a trauma-focused lens.

  • Individual, Family, & Group Psychotherapy
  • Comprehensive Educational Testing & IEP Planning
  • Comprehensive Psychological & Developmental Testing
  • Educational Consultation

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Education & Training

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship Training in Pediatric Psychology,

    September 2009-August 2010Univ. of Arkansas For Medical Sciences, where Dr. Benish received specialized training in evaluation and treatment for autism, learning differences, and helping children cope with the trauma and hardships assoicated with complex medical problems.     

  • Doctor of Philosophy in School Psychology

    December 2005 - Aaugust 2009,  Univ. of Central Arkansas      

  • Masters of Science in School Psychology

    August 2004 - December 2005,  Univ. of Central Arkansas      

  • Bachelor of Arts in Education

    May 1997 - December 2001,  Univ. of Central Arkansas      


Certifications & Licenses

  • Licensed Psychologist, 10-20P, Arkansas

  • School Psychology Specialist, K-12, License

  • Neuropsychological Technician, 07-01T Inactive

Work Experience

  • August 2010- June 2019 Child Psychologist / Behavior Specialist, Early Childhood Special Education Department, Arch Ford Education Service Cooperative

  • Sept 2009-August 2010 Pediatric Psychology Postdoctoral

    Fellowship, UAMS/ Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Little Rock, AR

  • Aug 2008-July 2009 Pre-doctoral Internship (2000 hours) Baptist Hospital, Little Rock, AR

    Supervisor: Michael Inman, Ph.D., Neuropsychologist

  • Aug 2007-April 2008 LEND Training-Intermediate Level, Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities, UAMS/ Partners for Inclusive Communities, Supervisor: Dr. Eldon Shulz, M.D.

  • Aug 2007- Dec 2007 Practicum at Baptist Rehabilitation Hospital, Department of Psychology and Outpatient Clinic

  • Jan 2007- May 2007 Practicum at Dennis Development Center Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Little Rock, AR

    Supervisors: Jeff Snow, Ph.D., & Kelly Jarratt, Ph.D.

  • Aug 2006-Dec 2006 Counseling Practicum at Methodist Behavioral Hospital, Maumelle, AR

  • Aug 2005-May 2006 School Psychology Practicum I & II, Conway Public School District, Conway, AR

  • Jan 2001–May 2001 Interim Art Teacher, Cloverdale Magnet Middle School, Little Rock School District, Little Rock, AR

  • Aug 2001-May 2004 Art Teacher/ Middle School Art Program Director, Episcopal Collegiate Middle School, Little Rock, AR

Research Experience

  • Feb 2010-August 2010, Leadership Project Coordinator, CPAP Adherence in Children, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Little Rock, AR Published workbook for children ages 2-8 to assist with sleep apnea, diagnosis, and treatment.

  • August 2009, Lead Investigator, Using Social Stories to Decrease Aggression and Improve Peer Relationships in Typically Developing Preschool Children, Dissertation

  • Dec 2005-April 2008, Program Evaluation & Data Collector for Even Start Family Literacy and Preschool Program, Conway’s Promise for New Beginnings, AR State Grant Funded Research, Supervisor: Ron Bramlett, Ph.D.

  • Aug 2007- Dec 2007, Intervention Website Database Development, Research Assistant

  • Jan 2007-May 2007, Video Self-Modeling for Preschoolers, Research Assistant, Supervisor: Sarah Blount, Ph.D.

Presentations & Publications

  • Benish, T. M. & Blocker, J.E. (2018, October) Behavior Support and Trauma Informed Environments in the Early Childhood Setting. Presentation at Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) annual statewide conference, Little Rock, AR.

  • Benish, T.M. & Blocker, J.E. (2017, October) Blending Behavior Support and Early Childhood Special Education. Presentation at Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) annual conference. Little Rock, AR.

  • Benish, T.M. & Blocker, J.E., (2016, March). Blending Behavior Support and Early Childhood Special Education: Insights, Investment, and Inspirations for the Early Childhood Model. Presenter at Arkansas Mental Health in Education (ARMEA) annual conference, Little Rock, AR.

  • Smith, S., Hennessey, J. & Benish, T.M. (2014, August) An Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Training presentation at Heber Springs School District. Heber Springs, AR and for Arch Ford Early Childhood Staff, Plumerville, AR.

  • Benish, T.M. & Hennessey, J. (2014, October). Gouls and Goals: Writing Behavioral and Social Goals for IEP’s. Training provided to Arch Ford Early Childhood staff during a special meeting for Professional Development.

  • Benish, T., Blocker, J. (2013) Lifelong Learners. June 2013. The Magic of Material: Fun Easy Ideas for Teaching Early Childhood. University of Central Arkansas. Conway, AR.

  • Benish, T. M. & Bramlett, R.K. (2011). Using social stories to decrease aggression and increase positive peer interactions in normally developing preschool children. Educational Psychology in Practice. 27(1), 1-17.

  • Bellando, J. & Benish, T. M. (2010). Developing play skills in preschool children with Autism disorders. Presentation at Arkansas Parenting Education Network, Hot Springs, AR.

  • Benish, T. M. (2010, May). Behavior Management, Parenting, and Discipline in the Medical Setting.

  • Guest lecturer in weekly training seminar for UAMS pediatrics medical residents, Dennis Developmental Center, Little Rock, AR.

  • Benish, T. M., Fishgold, A., & Ward-Begnoche, W. (2010, April). Using Social Stories to Prepare Children for CPAP Acquisition and Maintenance. Symposium presented at the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Conference, Little Rock, Arkansas.

  • Benish, T. M. (2010, February) Using Social Stories to Decrease Aggression and Improve Peer Relationships in Preschool Children. Original research paper presented at National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) annual Convention, Chicago, IL.

  • Your Content Goes Here
  • Ward-Begnoche, W. L., Benish, T. M. (Nov, 2009). A good nights sleep. Lecture presented at Arkansas

  • Parenting Education Network (APEN), Hot Springs, AR.

  • Benish, T. M. (2008). TBI Follow Along Project: Experience Outside of the Textbook. NASP Communique, 37 (2).

  • Benish, T. M. (2008, October). Using Social Stories In the Preschool Classroom. In-service Training Presented at CAPCA Head Start Faculty Professional Development Workshop, Conway, AR.

  • Benish, T. M. (2008). School Psychology: What Do School Psychologists Do? PowerPoint and discussion presented at Psi Chi annual conference, University of Central Arkansas

  • McChristian, C., Benish, T. M., & Smith, B. (2007, February). The Relationship between the Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales (RIAS) and the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test-Second Edition (WIAT-II). Paper presented at Southwestern Educational Research Association, 30th Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX.

  • Benish, T. M. (2006, June). Functional Behavior Assessment and Intervention for Aggressive Behavior: A Single Case Analysis. Poster session presented at Arkansas School Psychology Association’s

  • Summer Conference, Little Rock, AR.University Guest Lecturer

  • Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-2 (ADOS-2) An Introduction. Presenter for UCA School Psychology Doctoral Students 2-Day Training. May 2018 & May 2019.

  • Students with Emotional Disturbance in School Settings. University of Central Arkansas (UCA)

  • Department of Education: Strategies for Diverse Learners EDU 3320. November 2012; and October 2012.

  • Behavioral Intervention and Transition Process in Preschool. UCA Department of Occupational Therapy. April 2014: March 2013; and Oct 30, 2012.

Professional Teaching Experience

  • July- August 2010, Peer Mentor for Faculty and Student Training, UAMS/Children’s Hospital

  • Provided orientation and training to new faculty members in various clinics at ACH.

  • Provided supervision and training for undergraduate students enrolled in UAMS Summer Learning Institute.

  • Sept 2009-May 2010 LEND Junior Faculty Member, UAMS & Children’s Hospital, Little Rock, AR.

  • Provided supervision and training to undergraduate and graduate students in the LEND program.

  • Conducted student evaluations, led discussions, taught clinical skills within various medical clinics.

  • Jan 2008- May 2008 Co-Teaching assistant, Psycho-educational Assessment I, UCA, Supervisor: Terri Smith, Ph.D.

  • Co-Taught two graduate level assessment courses: Psychoed Assessment I & Counseling Psychology Assessment I.

  • Taught use of assessment tools (WISC-IV, WJ-III Cognitive & Achievement, WIAT- II, Bender Gestalt, WAIS-III, VMI, WRAT IV, PPVT).

  • Taught classes, supervised students, scored protocols and reports, monitored grades.

  • Aug 2006- May 2008 Graduate Teaching Assistant, General Psychology, UCA, Supervisor: Ron Bramlett, Ph.D

  • Developed and presented lectures on the administration of various intellectual assessments (e.g., WAIS, WISC, RIAS), memory, and history of assessment.

  • Jan 2005- May 2005 Graduate Teaching Assistant, Sports Psychology, Supervisor: Brain Bolter, Ph.D.

  • Jan 2005- May 2005 Graduate Teaching Assistant, General Psychology & Process and Skills, Supervisor: Linda Glenn, Ph.D.

  • Aug 2004-Dec 2005 Graduate Teaching Assistant, UCA Child Study Center, University of Central Arkansas, Conway, AR, Supervisors: Kathleen Atkins, Ed.D. & Rene Crow, Ph.D.

About Us

Arkansas Families First is a multidisciplinary behavioral health care group that offers a variety of health services for children, teens and families in Central Arkansas. Our group of independently practicing providers strive to provide the best, most comprehensive care that modern psychology, psychiatry, counseling, and other disciplines have to offer.


Arkansas Families First is devoted to unlocking the full potential of children and families. We utilize the latest research and the most skilled providers in the service of improving people’s lives. We strive to empower parents and to integrate multiple disciplines in the building of strong families and healthy children.

Our Promise

We take a strengths-based approach utilizing the latest evidence-based treatments and include parents in all aspects of treatment and assessment. We'll find the service and the provider that best fits your family. With our growing list of clinicians, if you are not satisfied with your provider or services will help you make the necessary changes.