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Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is a program that specifically helps younger children who have behavioral problems. These can include tantrums, defiance and aggression. It involves parents and children working together so the child’s compliance can be improved and the parent can focus on positive interactions. This will help to reduce any disruptive behavior.

There is an active coaching element, which is completely different to other forms of child help. Usually, it is about talking with the parent about the various techniques but PCIT allows parents to practice the skills and have live coaching from the experts to help their child.

PCIT is a two phase process. In the first part, children are encouraged to play like in most traditional forms of therapy. This is known as Child-Directed Interactions and allows the social skills to develop and gives the chance to encourage the good behavior. The Parent-Directed Interaction is the second stage and this is time for the parent to learn more about the best techniques for disciplining a child and gain the chance to practice the skills. Parents learn more about using time-outs for punishments and being clear in commands. They learn more about how to enforce their house rules.

PCIT has been proven efficient and effective according to various research studies. Children become better-behaved, even years after the end of the treatment sessions.

Man in behavioral therapy