PCIT- Parent Child Interaction Therapy

What is PCIT? Is my child a good fit?

PCIT stands for Parent Child Interaction Therapy. PCIT is an evidence-based treatment for young children showing behavioral problems such as, anger, aggression, yelling, hitting, biting, etc. These behaviors often happen at home, in school, in public, or a combination of places. However, even if your child may not have behavioral problems, PCIT has been proven effective with children who are depressed or anxious (those who may internalize as opposed to externalize). If your child is between the ages of 3-6 1/2, feel free to contact me today to see if PCIT would be a good fit.

How does PCIT work/what does it look like?

You will first come in for an initial screening/assessment to determine if PCIT is a good fit for you and your child.

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, and 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.

Can both parents participate?

Oh, yes! In fact we encourage this! However please note that we will only utilize PCIT with one child at a time. This is not for sibling sets, and will not have more than one child in the room at a time.

Please note that just because you and your child may be seeking treatment and will be participating in PCIT, this does NOT make you a bad parent or your child a bad child. Together we will work together to help strengthen your bond and make play, compliance, and being together more enjoyable for all.