Are you feeling overwhelmed by your child’s tantrums? Are you tired of getting phone calls from school about your child’s behavior? Is your child destructive (often breaking things on purpose)? Are you embarrassed by your child’s behavior when out in public? Do you love your child, but often experience feelings of not liking them due to challenging behaviors? If so, Parent Child Interaction Therapy might be for you!
Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is a highly effective treatment for young children (ages 2-7) with disruptive behavior. It has been repeatedly shown to reduce behavior problems, strengthen parent-child attachment, and improve child trauma symptoms. PCIT is one of the most effective evidence-based treatments for children with these difficulties in this age range. PCIT is conducted through "coaching" sessions during which you and your child are in a playroom while the therapist is in an observation room watching you interact with your child through a one-way mirror and/or live video feed. You wear a "bug-in-the-ear" device through which the therapist provides in-the-moment coaching on skills you are learning to manage your child's behavior.
PCIT is done across two treatment phases. The first phase of treatment focuses on establishing warmth in your relationship with your child through learning and applying skills proven to help children feel calm, secure in their relationships with their parents, and good about themselves. The second phase of treatment will equip you to manage the most challenging of your child's behaviors while remaining confident, calm, and consistent in your approach to discipline. In this phase, you will learn proven strategies to help your child accept your limits, comply with your directions, respect house rules, and demonstrate appropriate behavior in public.
How long does it take to complete PCIT?
The average length of treatment typically varies between 12 and 20 sessions. Treatment length is variable based on each family's specific needs. Some families complete treatment in fewer than 12 sessions. Other families take more than 20 sessions to meet treatment graduation requirements. Treatment is considered complete when you have mastered both sets of skills and rate your child's behavior within normal limits on a behavior rating scale. The length of treatment is likely based on the following factors:
- Family's regular attendance to treatment
- The extent that caregivers engage in quality homework practice in between sessions
- The rate that caregivers display mastery of PCIT skills in session
- The intensity of the child's behaviors at the start of treatment
- The rate at which caregivers report reductions in children's behavior problems
- The extent that the child has other emotional or developmental concerns
- The fulfillment of a specific treatment or case plan if referred by child protective services
If you feel your child and family could benefit from Parent Child Interaction Therapy, don’t wait any longer to get the help your family deserves. At Behavioral Health Services of Arkansas, we have three therapists certified and trained to provide PCIT. Appointments are available and we're here to help.
Behavioral Health Services of Arkansas provides therapy for children, adolescents, families, adults, and seniors in a comfortable environment. Treatment focuses on a wide range of emotional and behavioral issues and contemporary work, school, or family problems. Call 501-954-7470 or click here to request an appointment with one of our professional therapists. Our team is available for in-person and virtual appointments.