Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)

Do you have a 2 to 7 year old child with challenging behaviors? Do you worry about how to manage your child's difficult behaviors? If so, then PCIT might be right for you and your family!

What is PCIT?

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is a short-term, specialized behavior management program backed by over 40 years of research. It is designed for young children (ages 2–7) experiencing behavioral and/or emotional difficulties and their families. PCIT consists of weekly sessions conducted in the following two treatment phases:

  • Child-Directed Interaction
    Caregivers are taught the PRIDE skills: Praise, Reflect, Imitate, Describe and Enjoyment. These skills promote positive child behaviors.
  • Parent-Directed Interaction
    Caregivers learn to use effective command and discipline procedures. The PCIT therapist helps caregivers manage their child's behaviors in many settings.

How Does PICT Work?

Live coaching makes PCIT unique from other therapies. The therapist observes the caregiver and child together, then provides coaching on the skills learned in sessions. Caregivers and therapists work together to manage challenging child behaviors.

Advantages of Live Coaching

  • Skills are acquired rapidly by caregivers, as they practice in the moment with therapist support.
  • Therapists provide caring support as caregivers gain confidence and master their skills.
  • Therapists provide immediate feedback about strategies to manage the child's challenging behaviors.

Who is PCIT For?

PCIT is for children ages 2 to 7 who display difficult behaviors such as:

  • Parent-child relationship problems
  • Refusal/defiance of adult requests
  • Easy loss of temper
  • Purposeful annoyance of others
  • Destruction of property
  • Difficulty staying seated
  • Difficulty playing quietly
  • Difficulty taking turns

Appropriate caregivers for PICT include:

  • Biological parents
  • Foster parents
  • Adoptive Parents
  • Legal guardians
  • Grandparents
  • Kinship caregivers