Parent Child Interaction Therapy

Parent Child Interaction Therapy

PCIT outcome research has demonstrated statistically and clinically significant improvements in the conduct-disordered behavior of preschool age children: after treatment, children’s behavior is within the normal range. Studies have documented the superiority of PCIT to wait list controls and to parent group didactic training. In addition to significant changes on parent ratings and observational measures of children’s behavior problems, outcome studies have demonstrated important changes in the interactional style of the fathers and mothers in play situations with their children. (Eyberg, Nelson, & Boggs, 2008).

Parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT) is an evidence-based behavior parent training treatment for young children from 2 to 8 years old with emotional and behavioral disorders. This type of treatment places emphasis on improving the dynamic and quality of the parent-child relationship and improving parent-child interaction patterns. Children and their parents are treated together in the same session.

Ideally, clients will work with their therapist between of 12-20 weeks. This actual duration will vary based on each patient’s specific needs and is influenced by the following factors:

  • Regular weekly attendance
  • Family engagement
  • Parent mastery of PCIT skills in session
  • Your child’s behavior
  • External emotional and developmental concerns

The differences between PCIT and regular child therapy are vast. Parents are an integral part of the PCIT process that emphasizes hands-on interaction with the parents in each session. Parents will receive live feedback and coaching related to various skills. In addition, parents will be expected to master specific parenting skills before graduating to the next level of treatment. In addition, each family will receive extensive homework assignments that help implement proven strategies to help your child accept limits, comply with your directions, respect house rules, and behave appropriately in public.

No. PCIT requires very particular room configurations and treatment devices. For PCIT to work effectively, some version of the following requirements must be met.

  • An observation room with a one way mirror
  • A ‘time out’ room that is adjacent to the observation room
  • Two way communication devices with omnidirectional microphones