Parent-Child Interaction Therapy or PCIT is described as a blend of behavioral and play therapy for young kids, and their parents or guardians. Here, the adults get to learn and be hands-on with the skills and strategies that they would acquire from the therapy which are associated with children and their behavioral patterns, emotions, disabilities, or kids’ mental health problems.
Geared mostly towards parents and guardians, this type of behavior therapy teaches particular skills that they can utilize to help them become better at communicating with their children. PCIT was created for kids between 2 and 7, and so far, it has been proven to be successful for children who manifest disturbing behavioral patterns, have gone through trauma, or those who are on the spectrum. This type of therapy, including its related programs, are also used as interventions for helping counteract neglect and child abuse as well as reducing children’s risk of criminal and antisocial behavior. This type of therapy can be paired with solution-focused therapy which aids in client change by helping them create solutions rather than concentrating on their issues.
Indeed, parents and guardians have a crucial role in PCIT during treatment while the therapist plays observant and teaches from the next room furnished with a one=way mirror. The therapist talks with the parent or guardian using earphones while giving instruction and assistance. The adults are advised not to use negative language and are encouraged not to focus on the innocent and unhelpful behaviors. They should also acquire other skills, including echoing the child’s reactions back to him to help better the communication. They are to describe these behaviors aloud to maximize the child’s vocabulary, and replicating his positive behavior so the child is aware that the behavior is approved.
How PCIT Works
By acquiring knowledge on certain strategies and skills, families, especially parents and guardians, can establish a stronger relationship with the child. The child is also able to manifest better behaviors. On the whole, PCIT can help regain good family dynamics by reducing negative behavioral patterns within the whole family, as well as learn new behaviors and techniques of collaborating that can be more inspiring and comforting. When these techniques are done regularly, they can build confidence, improve individual child and parent behavior, and decrease anger and hatred.
The PCIT Therapist
The parent-child interaction therapist, including the counselors and social workers, are employed privately or in community mental health. He has been certified by the PCIT International and has a license to provide mental health services through his master’s degree and other training and experiences in PCIT. Additionally, the therapist of your choice should be someone that you, as a parent, guardian, or family member, feel comfortable with working on personal concerns.
If your child is going through behavioral or emotional problems, you probably should have attempted to do a lot of techniques to pacify his behaviors, such as punishment and positive feedback. But if the child has not demonstrated a more pleasant behavior, you may be frustrated about not being able to do the right thing for your child.
It is significant to note that amidst all your efforts to keep yourself calm and collected, parents can become exhausted and annoyed when they are demonstrated with the same unpleasant behaviors from their child repeatedly. When this occurs, you might act inappropriately and affect the child negatively. Consequently, the child can imitate your bad reactions and habits and replicate them, which might also be the reason why they are behaving rather unpleasantly – because they see you react negatively when you are frustrated. If you are experiencing this kind of situation, then PCIT is the perfect therapy for you.
It goes to say that parent-child interaction therapy is a therapy for the parent, the guardian, or the family member. You are given lessons from a child psychologist about how to manage your negative behaviors while improving your connection with your child. This type of therapy assists in controlling behavioral patterns in a young child. PCIT is a 15 or 20 therapy program developed for parents or guardians and their children who are ten years old or younger. They may be going through emotional, mental, or other behavioral problems.
- It can help kids deal with their violent and rebellious behaviors.
PCIT focuses on various defiant behaviors in kids. Some of these include fighting, swearing, demonstrating tantrums, reduced self-confidence, lying, and refusing to follow the rules. With many more of these behaviors present in children, parents and guardians often doubt if this kind of therapy is the appropriate solution. But to be able to fix these behavioral concerns, they need to get to the bottom of the real problem of the child. Frequently, the behaviors manifested by the kids are ones that are replicated from the parents – and the parents might have been doing these behaviors unintentionally. For instance, when you reprimand your child, and they talk back at you, you might unconsciously start an argument. When this happens a number of times, a habit is developed, and it may be difficult to fix it without the help of a professional. The parent must now learn to break these habits and practice techniques that will help him positively deal with his child.
- It assists in improving relationships between the child and the parent.
One of the most important benefits of PCIT is that you are allowed to improve your connection with your child. Most parents and guardians yearn to have a strong bond with their child, yet they do not know how to do it. This type of counseling facilitates the learning of good communication through parental guidance while respecting your child in the process. Building a positive and enduring relationship with your child is easier when they are younger rather than in their later years.
- It reduces the incidence of child abuse.
When parents are discouraged or annoyed, they may verbally show these feelings out loud and can be painful and mentally disturbing to a child. Regrettably, they sometimes cannot realize this, as they may have been disciplined this way when they were children themselves. PCIT attempts to cut this vicious cycle of child abuse and guides the adults into the process of disciplining their children without mentally, physically, or emotionally assaulting them.