Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)

What is PCIT?

Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is an evidence based treatment model for families with children ages 2-7. PCIT is a type of Play Therapy offered at Creative Family Counseling.

Who would benefit from PCIT?

It is effective in improving children’s behaviors such as:

  • tantrums
  • defiance
  • aggression
  • destruction
  • misbehavior in public
  • symptoms of ADHD
  • symptoms related to a traumatic event

PCIT helps Parents too!

PCIT also works to build a bond between parent and child and strengthen parents’ discipline skills. PCIT may be effective if your young child is struggling with:

  • listening to directions
  • playing well with others
  • using manners
  • participating in time-out or parent’s other parenting methods

What should I expect?

In PCIT sessions, parents will participate with their child to practice skills to improve positive behaviors through play. Treatment is completed in two phases – Child Directed Interactions (CDI) and Parent Directed Interactions (PDI). In CDI (first) phase, parents will be coached to use play therapy skills to improve connection with their child, improve children’s self-esteem and encourage positive behaviors. During this phase of treatment, you will see an increase in positive behaviors such as sharing, paying attention, and manners, and a decrease in attention seeking negative behaviors such as taking toys and arguing.

In the PDI (second) phase, parents will implement discipline skills, learn ways to address misbehavior in public, and implement house rules. Each phase includes homework to play with your child for five minutes a day. The entire treatment typically takes about 12 to 20 sessions.

PCIT is a family therapy, and parents will be expected to attend sessions with their children and participate in daily homework. PCIT can be used in conjunction with individual therapy for your child if needed.

Where can I find PCIT?

Courtney Lauver, LCSW at Creative Family Counseling (Prospect Campus) offers PCIT to families with children ages 2 to 7.

I’m ready for a happier home. How do we get started?

1. Contact our Practice Administrator to be matched with a Therapist offering PCIT play therapy who fits your needs.
2. Schedule an intake appointment to discuss your concerns and goals.
3. Allow your Therapist to create an individualized treatment plan for you.
4. Work together to meet your goals.
5. Enjoy  a happier home.

Still have Questions?

Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page to have additional questions answered!

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Therapists who work at Creative Family Counseling, LLC are committed to providing culturally competent and affirming care. This includes ongoing conversations on issues of power, privilege, and oppression, as well as dedicated focus and education on these issues, with the goal of supporting anti-racism, anti-discrimination, & anti-hate to foster growth, love, change, and social justice for all.