Parent-Child Interaction Therapy: A Primer for Child Welfare Professionals

PCIT is a behavioral parent training approach that was introduced in the 1970s to treat young children (generally ages 2–7) with externalizing behavior problems. It has since been successfully delivered to support families of children who have experienced or are at risk of experiencing maltreatment (Thomas & Zimmer-Gembeck, 2012) as well as children exhibiting internalizing behavior problems (Osofsky, Stepka, & King, 2017).1 PCIT addresses negative parent-child interaction patterns that can contribute to problem behaviors in young children. What sets PCIT apart from other parent training approaches is the treatment of both the parent and child together, coupled with live coaching.

Published February 2019

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