Program for Emotional Problems in Children (PEP-C)

About Us

The Program for Emotional Problems in Children (PEP-C) is a program that was established with the assistance of the Jane Lawton Trust to identify and treat children and adolescents from Miami Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS), who have emotional problems. PEP-C is dedicated to providing therapy services to children in the MDCPS. This program was established by the Department of Psychology and Psychological Services Center (PSC) as part of its community outreach mission, and represents a continuation and expansion of ongoing services provided by PSC to children in the MDCPS.


Evidence-based assessment and intervention services at PEP-C are available in both English and Spanish. PEP-C provides services to families and children experiencing problems such as social adjustment, emotional distress due to intergenerational and acculturation issues, mild depression and anxiety, and behavioral difficulties. Clinical services to be provided to the MDCPS children include free screening for emotional problems, triaging to the appropriate treatment program, as well as providing direct clinical services, such as individual therapy and group therapy. We also provide educational workshops in the community in order to better help teachers and counselors with the early identification of children with emotional problems, so these children may receive help sooner.

MDCPS School Counselors and Psychologists are a crucial asset to serving the emotional and psychological needs of students. It is our hope that PEP-C will reach those children who may need more individualized and comprehensive psychological care than the school has the availability to offer.


University of Miami Staff

Saneya H. Tawfik, Ph.D.Dr. Saneya H. Tawfik is the Director of PEP-C. She is also Clinical Assistant Professor in the Child Division of the Department of Psychology at the University of Miami, as well as the Clinic Director and Director of Assessment Services of the Psychological Services Center. Dr. Tawfik received her undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University, Phi Beta Kappa. She graduated from the Child Clinical Psychology doctoral program at the University of Denver in 1990. She completed her Predoctoral Internship in Clinical Psychology at Judge Baker Children's Center and Children's Hospital/Harvard Medical School in 1990. She also completed a Postdoctoral Felllowship in Pediatric Psychology at The Children's Hospital/Harvard Medical School, as well as a Research Fellowship at Boston University-School of Public Health in 1991. She has been part of the Miami community for over 20 years. Having been part of Miami Children's Hospital and the District's Psychological Services at Miami Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS), which oversees all schools in Miami-Dade County, Dr. Tawfik believes that there is an unfilled need to provide sound, individualized and comprehensive services to children in the Miami area. Dr. Tawfik currently coordinates the assessment training and supervises predoctoral practicum students at the University of Miami PSC. In addition to her general interest in community mental health, her areas of specialty include Psychoeducational assessments of Learning Disorders, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and Neurodevelopmental Disorders. She is particularly interested in the impact of learning differences/ developmental disorders on children's emotional health.

Contact Information

For further information, please contact us at (786) 472-1088 or you may email us at Calls and emails received after-hours or on weekends will not be returned until the next business day. Our Graduate Assistant can provide families with general information about our services and will complete brief phone screenings with parents of children and adolescents seeking services in the PEP-C program.

Matt Page, M.A.
Graduate Assistant
Doctoral Student of Clinical Psychology
University of Miami
Saneya H. Tawfik, Ph.D.
Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychology
Program for Emotional Problems in Children (PEP-C)
University of Miami



The Program for Emotional Problems in Children (PEP-C) is located in the Department of Psychology at the University of Miami. The Department of Psychology is housed in the Flipse Building on the University's main Coral Gables campus. All services are provided at the University of Miami's Psychological Services Center, which is on the 2nd Floor of the Flipse Building. PEP-C's address is:

5665 Ponce de Leon Blvd.
Coral Gables, FL 33146-0751

A map of the University of Miami's Coral Gables campus with the Flipse Building circled may be found at: The PSC is accessible by Metrorail, with the Flipse Building located approximately two blocks south of the University Station. If arriving at the Flipse Building by car, please park in one of the metered parking spots on the second floor of the Ponce de Leon garage, immediately adjacent to the Flipse Building. Once you enter the Psychological Services Center, please tell the receptionist or desk assistant the name of the PEP-C staff member you are meeting.