Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)
What is PCIT?
Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, or PCIT, is an evidence-based treatment for young children age 2 to 7 with behavioral problems.
PCIT is conducted through "coaching" sessions during which you and your child are in a playroom while the therapist is in an observation room watching you interact with your child through a one-way mirror and/or live video feed. You wear a "bug-in-the-ear" device through which the therapist provides in-the-moment coaching on skills you are learning to manage your child's behavior.
PCIT is done across two treatment phases. The first phase of treatment focuses on establishing warmth in your relationship with your child through learning and applying skills proven to help children feel calm, secure in their relationships with their parents, and good about themselves.
The second phase of treatment will equip you to manage the most challenging of your child's behaviors while remaining confident, calm, and consistent in your approach to discipline. In this phase, you will learn proven strategies to help your child accept your limits, comply with your directions, respect house rules, and demonstrate appropriate behavior in public.
With consistent attendance and homework completion, PCIT can be completed within 12-20 sessions, though treatment is not time-limited. Treatment is considered complete when you have mastered both sets of skills and rate your child's behavior within normal limits on a behavior rating scale.
Goals of PCIT:
- Decreased frequency, severity, and/or duration of tantrums
- Decreased destructive and aggressive behaviors
- Decreased defiance
- Decreased activity levels
- Decreased negative attention-seeking behaviors (such as whining and bossiness)
- Decreased parental frustration
- Increased feelings of security, safety, and attachment to the primary caregiver
- Increased attention span
- Increased self-esteem
- Increased pro-social behaviors (such as sharing and taking turns)
- Improved behaviors in public
- Increased compliance
Is It Right For You?
- Tired of getting phone calls from school or daycare about your child's behavior?
- Is your child destructive? For example, does s/he break things on purpose?
- Feeling overwhelmed by your child's tantrums?
- Embarrassed by your child's behavior when out in public?
- Love your child but don't like your child because of challenging behaviors?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, please contact me to see if PCIT is right for you and your child.