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What is PCIT?

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is short-term, specialized behavior management program designed for young children experiencing behavioral and/ or emotional difficulties and their families. PCIT works with the child and caregiver together to improve overall behavior and to reduce parenting stress.

Goals of PCIT

  • Improve the parent/caregiver-child relationship
  • Improve children's minding and listening skills
  • Increase children's ability to manage frustration and anger
  • Increase children's social skills
  • Improve children's attention skills
  • Improve parents' use of appropriate discipline strategies
  • Help parents set developmentally-appropriate expectations for their child

Deciding if PCIT is appropriate for a family...

  • PCIT is designed for young children between the ages of 2 and 7 years
  • PCIT has been successful with:
    • Children with oppositional/defiant problems
    • Children with aggressive behaviors
    • Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
    • Children experiencing adjustment problems
    • Children impacted by substance abuse
    • Children in foster care
  • PCIT requires a 14-20 week commitment by the parent/caregiver and child with one or more sessions per week
  • PCIT is not appropriate for non-custodial caregivers unless they are able to see the child at least three times per week in addition to their weekly PCIT session