Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is treatment for young children who are experiencing behavioral difficulties that places emphasis on improving the quality of the parent-child relationship and changing parent-child interaction patterns. In PCIT, parents are taught specific skills to establish a nurturing and secure relationship with their child while increasing their child’s appropriate behavior and decreasing their negative behaviors. This treatment focuses on two basic interactions: Child Directed Interaction (CDI) is similar to play therapy in that parents engage their child in a play situation with the goal of strengthening the parent-child relationship. Parent Directed Interaction (PDI) resembles clinical behavior therapy in that parents learn to use specific behavior management techniques as they play with their child.