Improving care. Changing lives.

Center for Effective Child Therapy

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is a scientifically proven training program that works with caregivers to enhance parenting techniques for use with their children. PCIT is for children ages 2 to 7 with emotional and behavioral problems. In this training program, caregivers learn specific behavior management techniques to use with their child and therapists work with families to help children’s behaviors improve. PCIT typically lasts 12-20 weeks.

The program places an emphasis on improving the quality of caregiver-child relationships and interactions. This is done by increasing parenting skills, including positive discipline, teaching skills to decrease children’s behavior problems, increasing positive communications, and improving children’s listening skills and compliance with parental requests. The goals of PCIT also include decreasing parenting stress, increasing children’s ability to manage frustration and anger, and building children’s self-esteem and self-confidence.

Our counselors work with families to enhance existing parenting techniques and try out new ones. Caregivers are coached on developing consistent positive time with their children, reducing negative parts of the caregiver-child relationship, and enhancing caregiver’s discipline skills. Caregivers practice new skills in session with our therapists.

PCIT may be helpful if your child or a child you know is having trouble listing to adult requests, argues with adults, and/or has difficulty taking turns, sitting still, or playing alone. Children showing disruptive behaviors such as temper tantrums, hitting and kicking, and destroying things may also benefit from PCIT.

If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about PCIT, call us at 617-278-4288 or email us at cect@jbcc.harvard.edu.