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  • Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)

    PCIT (Parent Child Interaction Therapy) For A Healthy Relationship With Your Child

    • Are you feeling overwhelmed by your child’s behavior?
    • Is your child throwing tantrums that are becoming increasingly difficult to handle?
    • Are you worried about taking your child out in public because of how they might behave?
    • Have you read books or tried other parenting strategies with little or no improvement?

    If you answered yes to any of those questions, PCIT Might be the answer your family needs.

    What is PCIT?

    PCIT stands for Parent Child Interaction Therapy. This provides evidence-based treatment for parents with young children that are exhibiting behavioral problems. The typical PCIT program consists of two phases.

    Phase 1

    In this phase, the focus of treatment is to establish warmth in the relationship of the parent and child. The focus is to learn and apply skills that will help your child feel calmer and more secure in their relationship with you, while also feeling good about themselves.

    Desired outcomes for this phase include:

    • A decrease in the duration, frequency, or severity of tantrums
    • A decrease in activity levels
    • A decrease in behaviors such as bossiness and whining
    • A decrease in feelings of frustration
    • An increase in feelings of attachment towards the parent
    • An increase in feelings of safety and security
    • An increase in the child’s attention span
    • An increase in the child’s self-esteem
    • An increase in the child’s pro-social behaviors, including taking turns and sharing, etc.

    Phase 2

    The aim of this phase is to equip parents with the skills and strategies they need to manage their child’s most challenging behaviors. They will learn this, as well as how to stay calm, confident, and consistent with their disciplinary actions and measures. In this phase, your child will earn to behave appropriately in public, respect house rules, and comply with your instructions and directives.

    Desired outcomes for this phase include:

    • A decrease in the duration, severity, and frequency of aggressive behavior
    • A decrease in destructive behavior
    • A decrease in defiant behavior
    • Increased compliance with requests made by parents and other adults
    • An increase in respect for house rules
    • An improvement in behavior when out in public
    • Increased parental calmness and confidence to discipline appropriately

    Why Choose PCIT?

    When deciding if PCIT is the best course of action, this decision should be taken under the advice of your mental health professional. They can provide you with the best advice for your child after completing a thorough intake and observing the interactions between parents and child or children. Then they can come up with the most effective method of treatment.

    How Are PCIT Sessions Done?

    Your PCIT sessions will be in real time, where you and your child are in a playroom and your therapist is watching from an observation room. For this session, you will wear an earpiece through which the therapist will communicate with you.

    This type of therapy can be done in person or can be done virtually. The therapist watches as you interact with your child and gives you in-the-moment coaching through your earpiece. This helps to teach you the techniques for managing your child’s behavior right away.

    Does PCIT Work?

    When PCIT is regularly practiced, there is evidence of a reduction in behavioral problems compared to children that are not in PCIT. The evidence suggests that parenting skills also improve so this therapy benefits both parent and child.

    Let The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Center of Arizona help you decide if PCIT is right for you.  Get started with an appointment request today.