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Parent Child Interaction Therapy


Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is an empirically supported treatment for young children with disruptive behavior disorder.  PCIT places emphasis on improving the quality of the parent-child relationship and changing parent-child interaction patterns.  In PCIT, parents are taught specific skills to establish a nurturing and secure relationhip with their child while increasing their child's pro-social behavior and decreasing negative behavior.  This treatment focuses on two basic interactions:  Child Directed Interaction (CDI) is similar to play therapy in that parents engage their child in  a play situation with the goal of strengthening the parent-child relationship; Parent Directed Interaction (PDI) resemble clinical behavior therapyin that parents learn to use specific behavior management techniques as they play with their child.


PCIT requires the parent(s) and child to meet at our office approximately one per week for a 50 minute session.  On average, therapy lasts about 15 sessions, but may include follow up sessions or last longer if need be.  Sessions may be videotaped, wit the consent of parents, so that therapists can provide detailed feedback about parent and child skill development. 

PCIT is provided by mental health professional who have received ongoing training and consultation in PCIT. Andrea Smothers, MSW, LICSW  has attended training and consultation in PCIT and is qualified to provide this therapy.