If you have a child who exhibits behavioral issues, you know first-hand just how draining it can be. Whether it’s tantrums or constant calls from school, a child’s disruptive behavior can be extremely challenging to handle.

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy

It’s possible that you may even feel embarrassed by your child’s conduct in public, but aren’t sure what to do about it.

If this sounds like your situation, you and your child may benefit from Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT). This hands-on approach is a very effective way to help you understand your child’s behavior and equip you with the skills to combat disruptive behavior when it occurs.

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy

What Exactly Is Parent-Child Interaction Therapy?

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy is a hands-on, interactive way to absolve behavioral issues in children. These issues may include hyperactivity (ADHD), tantrums, screaming, and intentional destruction (i.e. intentionally breaking things).

PCIT is a method that utilizes a series of “coaching” sessions. You and your child interact in a playroom or in a play area in your own home while a therapist watches and gives advice to you through an in-ear microphone or headset. Your therapist is essentially “coaching” you on how to respond to your child in a way that shapes behavior in a positive direction.

Many parents have read countless books and tried numerous strategies to no success. Through PCIT, parents can learn exactly what to do in a given situation. As sessions go along, you will gain meaningful skills to better interact with and understand your child’s behaviors.

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy

PCIT Has Two Phases

There are two distinct phases and sets of goals within the PCIT protocol.

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy

1st Phase

Phase one establishes the connection between you and your child. It’s important that your child feels safe and secure throughout the whole process. It’s also important that they are inclined to act completely normal—you want their bad behavior to flare up.

This first phase is designed to make a child feel good, warm, and confident about themselves and their interactions with you, their parent.

Goals of Phase One:

  • Decreased frequency and severity of tantrums
  • Increased bond and feelings of safety/security between you and your child
  • Fewer feelings of frustration for you
  • Increased attention span in your child
  • Higher self-esteem (for both you and your child)
  • Increased positive social behaviors, such as sharing

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy

2nd Phase

Once the goals of phase one are accomplished, phase two is meant to solidify your confidence in managing your child’s behaviors.

You will learn proven strategies to ensure that you can help your child regulate their behavior. And you will also become more confident in your ability to effectively enforce household rules, give directions, and ensure your child behaves appropriately in public.

Goals of Phase Two:

  • Decreased frequency and severity of tantrums and aggressive behavior
  • Decreased frequency of destructive behavior
  • Less defiant behavior
  • Increased compliance with you and your rules
  • Improved public behavior
  • Increased parental confidence when it comes to discipline

The Benefits of Parent Child Therapy

The Undeniable Benefits of PCIT

As highlighted in the goals of both phases for PCIT, the benefits are huge. You may have begun to worry that nothing will help your child or that they’ll never outgrow this “phase”, but PCIT can help both you and your child tremendously.

Not only will your child’s behavior improve, but you will feel less stressed about how to discipline them. You no longer will have to fear a tantrum in public—because even if one happens, you have the skills to remain calm and resolve the conflict.

PCIT is a great treatment option for kids with behavioral issues because it not only improves these behaviors, but it helps make your bond with your child stronger than ever before.

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy

Help Your Child and Yourself

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your child’s behavior, I would highly recommend Parent-Child Interaction Therapy. It will equip you with the skills to discipline and rectify undesirable behavior, helping you not only now but also with any behavioral issues that may pop up down the road.

You don’t have to suffer through your child’s tantrums, nor is it a hopeless situation. Your child’s disruptive behavior can be improved.

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy

Get Support From a Child Therapist or Parent Educator

If you’re interested in learning how to help your child, reach out to me today to learn more about my approach to PCIT. Therapy sessions can be a safe, nonjudgemental place to develop key relationship skills and formulate solutions. At Eddins Counseling Group, in Houston, TX we have several experienced child therapists and parent educators that can help you and your family. Consider a consultation today. Give us a call at 832-323-2355 or book an appointment online.