Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is a nationally-recognized, evidenced-based parent training program for families who have children with externalizing behavior problems. PCIT is unique in that it involves coaching parents while they interact with their young child. Significant research exists to support that PCIT is an effective intervention for improving child behavior as well as increasing parental skills. Treatment effects for PCIT are:

  • Reduction in disruptive behaviors in children
  • Improvements in parent behavior, parent stress, and maternal depression
  • Improvements in child’s  school behavior
  • Results generalize to untreated siblings

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is an empirically-supported treatment for young children with emotional and behavioral disorders that places emphasis on improving the quality of the parent-child relationship and changing parent-child interaction patterns.

For most families, treatment consists of 12-20 weekly, one-hour, clinic-based sessions. During sessions, the PCIT therapist observes the caregiver and child from behind a one way mirror. Utilizing technology such as microphones and a bug in the ear, the PCIT therapist is able to communicate with the caregiver and provide coaching to the caregiver during his or her interaction with the child. In doing so, the caregiver receives immediate, in the moment,  coaching from the PCIT therapist. This promotes caregiver self confidence without a therapist present in the room.


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