What is PCIT?

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, or PCIT, is an evidence-based treatment that addresses externalizing behavior problems in young children ages 2-7. It uses a play-based behavioral treatment approach, with an emphasis placed on improving the quality of the parent-child relationship. Children and their caregivers are seen together in PCIT. We work together with each parent to strengthen their relationship with their child, build their ability to manage their child’s behavior, and restore positivity to their daily interactions.

How is PCIT implemented?

PCIT uses a live coaching model in which the clinician observes the parent and child through a one-way mirror or video feed, and, via a bug in the ear, coaches the parent/caregiver to apply various techniques aimed at refining parent-child interaction patterns. It is implemented across two treatment phases. The first phase emphasizes warmth in the parent-child interaction by focusing on relationship-building and positive reinforcement. Parents are taught skills that help children feel calm and secure in their relationships with their parents, and feel good about themselves. The second phase focuses on discipline and consequences. Parents are taught strategies to manage their child’s challenging behaviors while remaining confident, calm, and consistent.

Who is PCIT for?

Children ages 2-7 who are defiant, destructive, or have frequent tantrums or meltdowns; Parents who are feeling overwhelmed, and unsure about how to handle their child’s challenging behaviors .

What can I expect from PCIT?

  • An enhanced relationship with your child
  • An increase in positive behaviors
  • A decrease in challenging behaviors

For more information:

Please visit the PCIT International website at pcit.org

School-Based Consultation

  • What is school-based consultation? School-based consultation is a collaborative approach to solving problems faced within the school setting. It involves bringing a consultant into a school to address a specific problem (a) exhibited by a particular student, (b) in a particular classroom, or (c) occurring across the school. We follow a problem-solving/behavioral approach in which specific intervention strategies are recommended to address the referral issue.
  • What is involved in school-based consultation? School-based consultation begins with a conversation between a parent or member of the school administration and the consultant. Observations will be conducted in the school setting, during which the consultant will collect and analyze data. This is accompanied by interviews with relevant parties (parents, teachers, service providers, etc.). The consultant then develops a plan of action and generates recommendations for addressing identified problems.
  • What issues can be addressed by school-based consultation? Behavioral, social and academic problems can all be addressed via school-based consultation. We also offer staff development workshops and training on a variety of topics, such as effective behavior management, social-emotional development, and understanding and managing ADHD in the classroom.
  • What are the benefits of school-based consultation? School-based consultation offers a cooperative, ongoing partnership between the consultant, school staff, parents and students revolving around the mutual goal of promoting student success. It is a collaborative process that fosters stronger relationships between school administrators and faculty, between school staff and parents, and between the school and students. It can help close behavioral, social, academic and achievement gaps, to help students meet their maximum potential.
  • For more information: Please contact Hannah Hoch

What is Selective Mutism?

Selective Mutism (SM) is an anxiety disorder in which a child is unable to speak in social situations where speaking is expected, despite being fully capable of speaking at home or other comfortable settings and situations. SM causes challenges in social and academic functioning. Children with SM often cannot initiate conversations with friends or extended family, answer questions from teachers and other adults, or even ask for help when they need it. SM is more than being extremely shy; it stems from anxiety, not a language deficit, oppositionality, or trauma. Professional help should be sought early, as children typically do not outgrow SM.

What treatment approach do you use?

Our approach to treatment is the Selective Mutism adaptation of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT-SM). It is a behavioral-developmental approach that reverses the downward spiral of selective mutism and creates an upward positive spiral of brave talking, by applying behavioral principles of shaping, positive reinforcement, and systematic exposures.

What is involved in PCIT-SM intervention?

In PCIT-SM, caregivers (which can include parents, siblings, teachers, and others) are taught critical skills to help children with SM verbalize in a variety of social situations. There are several behavioral modules that include learning skills that promote positive adult-child interactions, to promote brave talking, and methods of prompting and reinforcing brave talking in increasingly difficult social situations.

What can I expect from PCIT-SM?

  • An enhanced relationship with your child
  • Improvement in your child’s ability to verbally communicate with a variety of people in a variety of social settings
  • An increase in your child’s self-confidence