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What is PCIT?

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, or PCIT, is one of the most effective programs for managing oppositional and defiant behaviours in children 7 years and younger.  PCIT integrates attachment theory and behaviour modification techniques to help parents regain confidence in their ability to positively and effectively parent their child.

PCIT treatment is done with both the parent and child present. While the parent interacts with the child, PCIT-trained therapists coach him/her using a bug-in-ear device to give real-time feedback from behind a one-way mirror.


How does PCIT work?

There are two phases involved in PCIT. The first phase is called Child-Directed Interaction (CDI). In this phase, parents are coached to use play therapy skills with the child in order to improve the quality of the parent-child relationship and increase appropriate child behaviours.

The second phase of treatment is called Parent-Directed Interaction (PDI), which aims to increase the child’s compliance. In this phase, parents are taught to give clear, effective commands that work, and to set appropriate limits to increase child compliance.


What are the benefits of PCIT?

Decades of research finds that PCIT improves children’s behaviour problems and parent’s skills, increases compliance, and improves overall family functioning. Parents who have completed PCIT report high levels of satisfaction with the program and greater confidence in managing their children’s behaviours. Learn more about PCIT at: PCIT International