PCIT is a short-term, specialized behavior management program designed for young children experiencing behavioral and/or emotional difficulties and their families. PCIT teaches caregivers to manage their child’s difficult behaviors, while increasing their positive behaviors. PCIT works with the child and caregiver together to improve behavior and reduce parenting stress.
What Is PCIT
PCIT consists of weekly sessions conducted in two treatment phases.
CHILD DIRECTED INTERACTION Caregiver are taught the PRIDE skills: Praise, Reflect, Imitate, Describe and Enjoyment. These skills promote positive child behaviors and improves the quality of the parent-child relationship. In CDI, parents learn to follow their child’s lead in play and provide positive attention combined with active ignoring of misbehavior. They learn the importance of avoiding commands, questions, criticism and sarcasm.
PARENT DIRECTED INTERACTION Caregivers learn to use effective commands and consistent follow through. PDI focus includes praise for compliance and a timeout procedure for noncompliance. The PCIT therapist helps caregivers manage their child’s behaviors in many settings.
How does PCIT work?
PCIT is an exceptionally effective treatment backed by over 30 years of research. Live coaching is a hallmark of PCIT. The therapist observes the caregiver and child interactions through play, then provide coaching on the PCIT skills through a “bug-in-the-ear” system. The advantage of live coaching are skills are acquired more rapidly by caregivers, as they practice in the moment. Therapist provide caring support as caregivers gain confidence and master skills. Caregivers receive immediate feedback about strategies to manage the child’s challenging behaviors. At the conclusion of each therapy session, therapist and caregivers decide which skills to focus on during daily five minute home practice. Five minute daily home practice is important to PCIT treatment progress and caregivers mastery of skills.
Who is PCIT for?
Children ages 2 to 7 who display any or all of the following:
Parent-child relational problems
Refusal and defiance of adult requests
Easy loss of temper
Purposeful annoyance of others
Destruction of property
Difficulty staying seated
Difficulty playing quietly
Difficulty taking turns
Difficulty with mealtime behaviors and feeding difficulties