Parent / Child Interaction Therapy

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is a short-term, specialized behavior management program designed for young children experiencing behavioral and/or emotional difficulties and their caregivers.  PCIT averages 12-14 weekly sessions, and is an exceptionally effective treatment backed by over 30 years of research and practice by PCIT providers throughout the U.S. and internationally (  Fun for both the parent and child, PCIT focuses on improving positive child behaviors through a strong parent-child relationship.  Caregivers generally see marked improvements in 3-4 sessions.  Research has found that successful completion of PCIT decreases parenting stress and reduces child behavior problems in the home, school and public settings.

How PCIT Works

PCIT involves direct, live coaching of the parent with the child together, and establishing a daily positive parent-child interaction time, homework to monitor progress and generalization skills.  As a therapist observes a caregiver and child, they communicate with the caregiver through an earpiece coaching them on specific play therapy and discipline skills.  Using this live coaching technique, skills are acquired more rapidly, a caregiver and child can learn by doing and the therapist can support caregivers as they learn the skills.  Parents/caregivers quickly become confident and proficient in skills with each child through immediate feedback.

PCIT Helps Solve Behavior Issues Early

Children rarely outgrow many difficult behaviors.  Should negative behaviors continue or increase, these are likely to interfere with the children’s learning abilities and development of appropriate social skills, preventing them from reaching their full potential.  Designed specifically for parents, foster parents, adoptive parents and guardians, PCIT is designed to help children, aged 2-7 with the following problems:

  • Refuse or defy adult requests
  • Lose temper easily
  • Steal or destroy things
  • Start fights or hurt others
  • Staying seated or playing quietly
  • Sharing or taking turns
  • History of abuse of others
  • Difficulty adjusting to settings

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