Parent/Child Interaction Therapy

What is PCIT?

Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is a treatment proven effective in helping children listen and behave better. By working as a team with the therapist, caregivers learn how to coach their child in a positive way that creates a secure relationship. This approach often leads to feelings of relief for parents as they enjoy getting along better and having fewer conflicts.

Close up of child

Who does it help?

PCIT is most effective in the early years, primarily for children ages 2-7 who:

  • Struggle to follow directions
  • Bite / hit / kick
  • Exhibit temper tantrums / outbursts
  • Show distractibility, impulsivity, and/or hyperactivity
  • Have problems with peers / siblings
  • Have been suspended from daycare / school
  • Talk back / whine / swear

How long will it take?

PCIT lasts about 12-20 visits, given that families progress at different rates and each visit is about an hour. Rest assured, we will work together until you feel confident in the skills you’ve developed and your child is responding in the way that you had hoped. Many families notice changes after just a few sessions!

Parent handing a lego to child
Counselor adjusting a headset

Will it work?

PCIT works because caregivers learn by doing and receive feedback in the moment. More than 40 years of research has shown that PCIT is highly effective, and Health in Mind is honored to help be a part of positive change for families.

Benefits include:

  • Increases in the child’s positive behaviors and compliance
  • Improved relationships with siblings
  • Decreases in parenting stress
  • Improvements at school
  • Improvements in parenting attitudes
  • Improvements in listening and attention skills
  • Less family disruptions

PCIT in Action

Significant improvement in sitting and engagement
At the start of treatment, a child struggled with sitting and playing with their parents, often leaving the table, hoarding toys, or even refusing to play. With consistent practice, the child was able to find safety and comfort in the play with the parent. And the parent recognized significant improvements in their child’s ability to sit and engage for longer periods of time, even outside of the session.

Improved core relationship between parent and child
In another case, parents were initially struggling to engage with their child. With practice and coaching, they learned to use warmth, an enthusiastic voice and safe physical touch (hugs and high fives) to communicate with their child and improve their core relationship. This shift helped to reduce the tension between them and offer a stronger foundation and connection before moving into the next phase focused on positive discipline.

In all you do, keep your health in mind.

Our team is here to support your desire to live an optimal life.

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