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Parent-Child Interaction Therapy

Mount Saint Vincent is excited to announce that we are starting an outpatient program, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT). This program is an evidence-based training of behavioral intervention for children and their parents/foster parents/caregivers that focuses on decreasing challenging child behavior problems, increasing child social skills and cooperation, and improving the parent-child attachment relationship. Caregivers and therapists work together to manage challenging child behaviors, which in turn promotes healthy family functioning.

PCIT teaches parents traditional play-therapy skills to use as social reinforcers of positive child behavior and traditional behavior management skills to decrease negative child behavior. Parents are taught, and practice, these skills with their child in a playroom while coached by a therapist. The coaching provides parents with immediate feedback on their use of their new parenting skills, which enables them to apply the skills correctly and master them rapidly.

Clinicians observe and film children and caregivers in play therapy situations with the clinicians offering the parents coaching via 2-way communication tools such as earbuds.  Through this coaching and the reviewing of the filmed play therapy parents are coached and learn the various techniques that will help their child in reducing their disruptive behaviors or problematic child-parent relationship issues.

PCIT is time-unlimited; families remain in treatment until parents have demonstrated mastery of the treatment skills and rate their child’s behavior as within normal limits on a standardized measure of child behavior. Therefore treatment length varies but averages about 14 weeks, with hour-long weekly sessions.

If you’re interested in learning more, call Mount Saint Vincent at (303) 458-7220 to get more information or to schedule an appointment.

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