What is PCIT?
Parent-Child Interaction Therapy is a proven parent-child treatment program for parents who have children with behavioral problems (e.g., aggression, non-compliance, defiance, and temper tantrums). Originally developed by Dr. Sheila Eyberg, PCIT is a unique treatment program that focuses on promoting positive parent-child relationships and interactions, and teaching parents effective child management skills. PCIT has been adapted as an intervention for many different types of families, including those receiving child welfare services or exposed to violence, those with children on the autism spectrum, adoptive families, foster families, and those from other countries or who speak other languages.
PCIT program has two program components:
In the Relationship Enhancement component, parents are taught and coached how to decrease negative aspects of the relationship with their child and to develop consistently positive and supportive communication.
In the Strategies for Compliance component, parents are taught and coached the elements of effective discipline and child management skills. Parents learn and acquire specific skills, practice these skills until mastery is achieved and the child’s behavior has improved.
The most appropriate referrals are children between the ages of 2 – 7 years who are exhibiting challenging, disruptive behaviors. PCIT is most effective when the difficulty of managing the children’s behaviors has caused the warmth and affection in the parent-child relationship to decay.