The early years of parenting can be particularly stressful for many families. The “Terrible Twos” get all the attention, but many young kids struggle with tantrums, aggression, and uncooperative behavior long after turning three. Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is an evidence-based approach to addressing challenging behaviors in young children.
Although originally developed for children ages 2 through 7, adaptations of PCIT can be used with older children. In PCIT, parents learn new skills then participate in weekly coaching sessions where they practice these skills with live feedback and support. I have been providing PCIT via teletherapy since August 2019, and parents have shared how helpful it is to be coached (virtually) in their own homes. Most families begin to see positive changes within the first few weeks of coaching. Upon completion of PCIT (usually 16 – 20 weeks), parents report more enjoyable interactions with their children, greater family cooperation, and fewer tantrums.