Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)

Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)

PCIT is an evidenced-based treatment for young children with behavioral problems

What is Parent-Child Interaction Therapy?

PCIT is an evidence-based treatment which can be used with families who have children between 2 years-old to 6-years-old with primary or secondary disruptive behaviors or those youth who have risk factors for disruptive behaviors (e.g., children with ADHD, developmental delays, family disruptions, etc.). PCIT can be done online and it involves therapist coaching parents in-the-moment (while parents play with child) so they can learn new skills to manage their child’s behavior.

​This treatment can help children struggling with:

  • Whining
  • Noncompliance
  • Bonding in blended families
  • Post-divorce adjustment
  • Low self-esteem
  • Lying
  • Hyperactivity
  • Verbal aggression
  • Classroom conduct problems
  • Angry, resentful, spiteful
  • Authority defiance

The treatment includes two phases:

  • Phase 1 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.
  • Phase 2 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.