Parent Child Interaction Therapy ( Pcit ) Essay

Parent Child Interaction Therapy ( Pcit ) Essay

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Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is an evidence-based practice in the treatment of emotional and behavioral disorders for young children. This family centered treatment approach emphasizes on improving the quality of the parent-child relationship and changing parent-child interaction patterns. During PCIT, therapists coach parents via one-way mirror while they interact with their child. The therapist teaches the caregiver strategies that will promote positive behaviors in children who have disruptive or externalizing behavior problems (Child Welfare Information Gateway, 1). The use of live- coaching helps the parent gain strategies in the moment, and allows the therapist to see the different dynamics of the parent-child relationship. This therapies goals also emphasizes the use of positive discipline, and a decrease in parental stress.
Parent-Child Interaction Therapy was originally designed in the 1970’s at the Oregon Health Science University to integrate an intervention that had elements from both play therapy and child behavior therapy. Both types of therapies had the specific elements that PCIT wanted to convey. One element was an emotional calm that play therapy produced in work with children. However, the calm play that the therapist and child do inside session, is far from the relationship that the parent and child may have outside therapy. By training the child’s parent to provide behavior therapy, enables treatment benefits to be longer-lasting. The use of play therapy in parent-child interaction strengthens the parent-child attachment and provides the child greater exposure to the calming therapy with their own parent. However, play therapy is not the only appropriate intervention when it comes to disciplining ...


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...e limited or no contact with their child, parents with serious mental health problems, or sexually abusive parents or parents who engage in physical abuse or substance abuse (Child Welfare Information Gateway, 5). Finding a mental health provider that is train in PCIT may be a challenge to if you live in an area where it is not used.
As a social worker, I believe that PCIT could be very successful if properly structured for the right parent- child relationship. I think that many parents struggle with how to even being to handle their child behavior. With the live coaching, the therapist can give the parent strategies to use in the moment to help modify the behavior. I think that being able to see the parent-child interaction is extremely helpful for the therapist to develop a treatment plan for the family as well. It gives them an inside look at their relationship.

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