PARENT-CHILD INTERACTION THERAPY (PCIT)
What is PCIT?
PCIT is an evidence-based, short-term treatment to treat young children who have disruptive behaviors. In PCIT, the caregiver works directly with the therapist to strengthen the relationship with the child and improve their confidence in setting limits and disciplining their child. PCIT is a powerful treatment because of the direct involvement of the caregiver and live coaching from the therapist.
PCIT takes place in two phases- Child Directed Interaction and Parent Directed Interaction. The length of treatment varies, but is generally 14-20 weekly sessions.
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM PCIT?
Kids ages 3-7 who display any of the following target behaviors:
-Parent-child relationship problems
-Refusal and defiance of adult requests
-Easy loss of temper
-Purposeful annoyance of others
-Destruction of property
-Difficulty staying seated
-Difficulty playing quietly
-Difficulty taking turns
CHILD-DIRECTED INTERACTION (CDI)
During CDI, the caregiver is taught play therapy skills in order to begin strengthening the parent-child relationship and the child begins to feel more emotional regulation.
The foundation of PCIT is the ability to use PRIDE skills- praise, reflection, imitation, description and enjoyment. Once the caregiver has mastered these skills, they move on to the Parent-Directed Interaction phase.
PARENT-DIRECTED INTERACTION (PDI)
During PDI, the child is taught to obey and behave better. Skills are practiced during sessions with support from the therapist.
If the child is non-compliant, the therapist coaches the parent through a safe, effective time-out procedure.