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What is PCIT?

PCIT stands for Parent-child interaction therapy. It’s specialized play therapy for children ages 2-7 years old.
Children are born with different temperaments. Even children born to the same parents can be as different as night and day. Perhaps you have one easygoing child, listens, and is even-tempered. Yet your other child is aggressive, has poor listening skills, and no matter what you do, it doesn’t work. These children often struggle in daycare or school. Teachers find them challenging because it doesn’t take much to trigger meltdowns that become difficult to manage. These are the little ones who are being put out of daycare, which doesn’t help change disruptive behaviors and further frustrates parents. Keep in mind that ignoring these behaviors does not make this go away. They often get worse. It is better to address troubling behaviors early on in life.

How does PCIT help?
PCIT is done in phases. The first phase helps to improve the child’s connection with the parent. The parent is taught skills that help the child to feel calm, secure and improves self-esteem. The second phase teaches the parent discipline techniques that allow the parent to remain in control yet powerful enough to change the child’s acting out behaviors.
PCIT’s goal is to lessen the number and intensity of aggressive, destructive, and defiant behaviors. Typically, parents begin to see changes after eight sessions. However, the full course of treatment requires families to be involved for at least twenty sessions.

What can PCIT help?
autism spectrum
Oppositional defiance
aggressive behaviors
poor attachment to caregivers
history of abuse or neglect
poor listening skills

Here at the Center for Child Development, we have several therapists trained in PCIT. Families can do this therapy virtually from the comfort of their homes. If you have a child between the ages of 2-7, who is displaying problematic behaviors, give us a call. We can help you to feel more in control and change your child into a listening machine! 302-292-1334 x1010.


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