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Parent-Child Interaction Therapy

If you're struggling to help your child manage their big emotions and behaviours, you know how frustrating it can be to try to find the right supports. 

Having a child with emotional or behavioural difficulties can be stressful and overwhelming, and it can have a negative impact on your relationship with your child, your other children, your spouse, and even your extended family and friends. 

If you're like most parents who have a child with a behaviour difficulty, this likely isn’t the first place you've turned to for support.

What is Parent-Child Interaction Therapy?

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is a type of therapy that helps parents improve relationships and address big feelings and behaviours with their young children, typically between the ages of 2-7 years old, including toddlers and preschoolers. 

PCIT is an evidence-based intervention for treating emotional and behaviour problems in children ages 2-7 years old.

It focuses on teaching parents new ways to interact with their children that are positive and effective, and it helps parents learn how to manage their child's emotional and behavioural difficulties more effectively.

PCIT is a structured therapy that involves a therapist coaching parents in real-time interactions with their children, helping parents learn new skills and strategies for handling challenging behaviours such as temper tantrums, defiance, and aggression. 

PCIT has been shown to effectively treat children with:

  • ADHD
  • ODD
  • Anxiety
  • Emotional reactivity
  • Noncompliance
  • Defiance
  • Tantrums
  • Physical and verbal aggression
  • Destructive behaviours
  • Sibling rivalry 
  • Attachment difficulties

PCIT is delivered internationally, and is effective across several diverse cultures.

How Does It Work?

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy is delivered in two phases, over approximately 16-20 sessions, or until mastery of each consecutive phase is reached. 

Each phase consists of parent only sessions, and parent-child play-based sessions.

Phase 1

In the first phase of treatment, you'll help me gain a greater understanding of your child’s specific behaviour difficulties and your goals for therapy. 

I'll be will be with you through every step of the therapy process, and will coach you on ways of increasing your child’s engagement, enhancing your relationship, and working through your child’s challenging emotions and behaviours in the moment.

Once you've mastered the first phase of treatment, you'll likely see decreased tantrums, negative behaviours, and activity levels, and increased focus and attention, self-esteem, and positive social behaviours such as sharing and turn-taking.

Phase 2

In the second phase of treatment, you will learn to effectively set limits with your child, and will likely see significant decreases in your child’s defiance, aggression, and destructive behaviours, along with increases in their responsiveness, compliance, respect, sibling and peer relationships, and other beahviours at home, school, and in the community.

By the end of therapy, you'll experience more peace, joy, and confidence within your parenting role.

Want More Info?

If you'd like to learn more about Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, please visit PCIT International, or book a complimentary consult call to discuss whether PCIT might be an effective treatment option for you and your child.