Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)

What is PCIT?
PCIT is for young children (ages 2.5 to 7 years old) who have disruptive or oppositional behaviors. Therapists teach you – the child’s parent or guardian – how to use behavior management and discipline techniques with your young child.

What are disruptive or oppositional behaviors?

  • Temper tantrums
  • Purposely taking or breaking other people’s things
  • Not listening to adults
  • Trouble playing with other children
  • Hitting or kicking others

How long is treatment?
Therapy sessions usually last for 12–20 weeks. Each session is one hour long, once a week.

How do you learn the PCIT skills?
You learn the PCIT skills from the therapist during weekly sessions. The PCIT playroom is set up so the therapist can watch you and your child play through a one-way mirror. The therapist gives direction or “coaching” through an earpiece that you wear during the therapy session. You have homework to practice the new PCIT skills at home and in community settings.

PCIT is successful because it helps you learn by doing. Live coaching helps you discover what you are doing well and helps you to master skills so you can use PCIT skills in everyday life.

Where are the locations for PCIT?
Many providers offer PCIT. To see if PCIT is the right match for you and your child, or to find the location nearest your family, call us.