Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)

Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)

MCCFL’s Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) program works with children ages 2-7 who are enrolled in mental health services at Mid-Columbia Center for Living. Children who are appropriate for PCIT often exhibit many of the following behaviors: difficulty in school, preschool and/or day care, aggression towards parents, siblings, and/or other children, refusing to follow directions, frequent temper tantrums, swearing and defiance.

PCIT is an evidence based, short-term, intensive treatment program designed to help both parents and children. The PCIT program works with the parents and child together to improve the quality of the relationship and to teach parents skills necessary to manage their child’s severe behavior problems.

PCIT consists of two parts: The Relationship Enhancement component involves coaching parents on how to increase positive and supportive communication with their child. In the Discipline component, parents are taught the elements of effective child-management skills, again using a coaching approach.

How does this work?

The therapist coaches in real-time from behind a one-way mirror and through a wireless
earphone. The parent receives instructions on specific ways of relating and managing
the child’s behavior. The parent is immediately able to put into practice the skills
they just learned.

Benefits of PCIT

  • Reduces child’s negative behaviors
  • lncreases child’s problem solving skills
  • Strengthens child’s social skills
  • Increases a child’s ability to manage frustration
  • Encourages independence in children
  • Improves child’s attention skills
  • Increases school attendance and academic performance
  • Decreases child’s potential for delinquent behaviors
  • Decreases potential for child abuse
  • Decreases parental stress
  • Enhances the quality of parent/child relationship