Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)

PCIT, or Parent Child Interaction Therapy, was developed by Dr. Sheila Eyberg for children from age 2 up to age 7 with externalized behavioral disorders. PCIT Therapy is based upon parenting theories proving the success of authoritative parenting styles in helping with behavioral and social issues with children.

The first part of treatment is the CDI phase or child-directed interaction. Parents are taught specific guidelines while interacting with their child during child play therapy, including praising, reflecting, and imitating their child. These methods used during child play therapy help create a secure and stronger child-parent relationship.

The second part of treatment is called PDI or parent-directed interaction. In this phase, parents are taught ways in which they can gain authority over their child in situations where he or she may be disruptive. Parents learn how to direct their children with appropriate instructions and how to provide consistent consequences with the help of their therapist.

All PCIT therapy sessions are conducted using a one-way mirror, and a ‘bug in the ear,’ which allows the therapist to coach the parent while the parent is interacting with their child.

How can PCIT help my child?

PCIT can help children with a wide array of issues ranging from mild to severe. PCIT most commonly treats children with emotional and behavioral issues, sometime stemming from conduct problems and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder). Parent Child Interaction Therapy has been proven very effective with behaviorally challenging young children, helping to reduce these disruptive behaviors while improving their ability to respond to more effective parenting expectations.

What are some of the possible outcomes of PCIT?

Statistical and clinical Research has shown significant improvement in behavioral and disruptive issues in children after participating in Parental Child Interaction Therapy once a week over the course of treatment, which averages 14-16 weeks It can help your parent child relationship between you and your child, forming a special bond, while still establishing authority to help with behavioral issues that affect your child.

If you believe your child may benefit from Parent Child Interaction Therapy, please contact Family Innovations for more information. See our PCIT Therapists.

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PCIT Therapists at Family Innovations

  • Lauren MobergLauren Moberg - MA, LMFT
    Therapist - Centerville

    Lauren completed her Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Bethel Seminary in 2009, and has been licensed through the state of Minnesota as a Marriage and Family Therapist since 2012.  Lauren provides counseling services to clients of all ages, and works with very young children, school age youth and teenagers, couples, families and individuals.  She has specialized experience working with children ages birth-3. 

    Click here for Lauren's full bio

  • Meghan SwensonMeghan Swenson - MA, LMFT, RPT
    Clinical Supervisor & Therapist - Centerville

    Meghan completed her Master of Arts Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at St. Mary’s University, and has been licensed through the state of Minnesota as a marriage and family therapist since 2011. She has also been working as a Registered Play Therapist since 2011. Meghan is currently finishing up a graduate certificate at the University of Minnesota in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health, and will soon begin training in Child Parent Psychotherapy, an evidence based therapy for children age birth – three with traumatic exposure.  Meghan enjoys working with young children and their families and has extensive experience in working with young children and their families. She utilizes a holistic approach to therapy, incorporating mind, body, and soul care.  She is highly trained in early childhood mental health, and is able to provide reflective consultation to agencies and programs seeking to enhance their own ability to work with young children. 

    Click here for Meghan's full bio

  • Lauren Moberg
  • Meghan Swenson
  • Lauren Moberg – MA, LMFT
  • Meghan Swenson – MA, LMFT, RPT