In our last PCIT blog post, we talked about what kinds of kids and caregivers Parent Child Interactional Therapy works best with. Oftentimes, caregivers learn about PCIT and think it will help, but want to know more specifically….
What will my (PCIT) sessions look like?
Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) consists of two parts and it is different than what most people think of when they think of “family therapy”. A typical session will look like parent/caregiver and child in a play therapy room, playing together. The parent or caregiver will have an earbud in one ear in order to hear coaching suggestions and tips from the therapist. The therapist will spend the majority of the session in a separate room, behind a two-way mirror, watching the caregiver and child play, while giving instructions to the caregiver through the earpiece.
This allows the therapist to teach the caregiver parenting skills that have been proven to be effective when managing children with difficult behaviors. This setup allows the therapist to witness behavior that typically goes on in the home, how the child and caregiver interact, and to step in (in real time) to help the caregiver make adjustments in how he or she responds to the child’s behavior. This is extremely helpful for the parent or caregiver because he or she is able to learn, in the moment, with the assistance and support of the therapist’s voice in their ear.
The PCIT approach has been shown to be very effective in reducing destructive or difficult child behaviors and improving the parent-child relationship. Learn what you can do to enjoy your child again!
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If Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) sounds like something you and your child might benefit from, please CONTACT US at the Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center of Southern California to set up an assessment with one of our child clinicians.
Author Erica D’Ambrosi, LMFT is a child and adolescent behavioral specialist and practices in Torrance, CA.