Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)

“I do love my child but sometimes I just don’t like him very much.”

This common feeling was shared by a mother who was frustrated with her son’s repeated aggressive and noncompliant behavior. She’s typical of many of the parents who come to CYS feeling incompetent as a parent, angry, depressed and looking for help.

PCIT is an evidence based parent-child treatment program that assists parents of children with behavioral problems (aggression, non-compliance, defiance, and temper tantrums). The program focuses on children between the ages of 2 – 7  who are having these challenging behavioral issues and parents who want to improve their relationship with their children.

PCIT has two specific program components:

  • Relationship Enhancement: In this component, parents are taught and coached how to decrease negative aspects of the relationship with their child while learning how to communicate in a more positive manner.
  • Strategies for Compliance: In this component, parents are taught and coached how to provide effective discipline and child management skills.

What is unique about this type of therapy?

It incorporates both the parent and child within the treatment session and involves “live coaching”. Treatment takes place in two rooms separated by a one-way mirror. The parent and the child are playing and interacting in one room while the therapist is in the other room observing and coaching. The parent wears a hearing aid device which allows the therapist to guide the parent throughout the entire session.

Who is eligible for this program?

The program is available to anyone who qualifies under the Child Abuse Treatment Program (CHAT) or the Bright Beginnings for Families program.

The guardian (parent, grandparent, foster parent, adoptive parent) needs to have daily contact with the child and is one of the child’s primary care providers who is providing consistent, on-going care of the child.

The program is designed for children between the ages of 2 – 7.

How do I apply?

Please refer to the CHAT Program or the Bright Beginnings for Families program pages on this website.

CHAT and Bright Beginnings for Families Program Manager:

Jim Pryce, LCSW: (559) 229-3561