PCIT is a proven treatment method for children between the ages of 2 and 8 years old with disruptive behaviors (e.g.., aggression, non-compliance, defiance, and temper tantrums) and their families. PCIT gives equal attention to the parent-child relationship and to parents’ behavior management skills. PCIT enhances parent-child interactions, improves children’s behavior, and empowers parents to use consistent, predictable, effective parenting strategies that work. The main reason why PCIT leads to behavior-change is the unique dual focus. Parents learn specific behavioral and relationship enhancement methods that make the child WANT to comply. Parents receive immediate feedback in session and are offered support, guidance, and encouragement as they learn to build a better relationship while getting their child’s behaviors under better control.
PCIT has two components that work together to lead to long-term change:
In the Relationship Enhancement component, parents and children are taught and coached how to decrease negative aspects of the relationship and to develop consistently positive and supportive communication.
In the Strategies for Compliance component, parents and children are taught and coached the elements of effective discipline and behavior-management skills. Parents learn and acquire specific skills, practice these skills until they are mastered and the child’s behavior has improved.