Parent-Child Interactive Therapy (PCIT)
Developed for children ages two to seven, Parent-Child Interactive Therapy (PCIT) is an evidence-based combination of play therapy and behavioral therapy for young children and their caregivers. Parent-child interactive therapy is effective for children with disruptive behavior, traumatic experiences, language issues, developmental disabilities, and mental health disorders. It is also proven to prevent child abuse and mitigate the risk of antisocial behavior later in life. As such, it is a powerful intervention.
During a PCIT session, caregivers and children interact, either in person or through a remote video session, as one of our PCIT-trained therapists, Sophia Clauss LMFT and Tiffany Rivera, LCSW, watches through a two-way mirror (or video screen), communicating training and guidance to the caregivers via Bluetooth earphone. The goal is to discourage caregivers from using negative language or negative reinforcement, choosing instead to selectively ignore harmless negative behaviors while praising positive ones. Caregivers also learn how to use reflective language to improve communication, imitate good behavior to convey approval, and describe a child’s activities to bolster vocabulary.
By improving the caregiver-child relationship, PCIT fosters healthier family dynamics and a more positive home environment. Caregivers and children both experience increased confidence, reduced anger, and better interactive behavior in all aspects. The benefits of a successful treatment course can last a lifetime.