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Parent-Child Interaction Therapy

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is a specialized form of therapy that focuses on improving the parent-child relationship and enhancing parenting skills. PCIT is typically used with young children (ages 2 to 7) who are experiencing behavioral or emotional difficulties, such as defiance, aggression, tantrums, anxiety, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).


PCIT is an evidence-based intervention that combines elements of play therapy, behavioral therapy, and parent training. The therapy is conducted in two phases: the Child-Directed Interaction (CDI) phase and the Parent-Directed Interaction (PDI) phase.


During the CDI phase, the therapist coaches the parent on how to engage in positive and supportive interactions with their child through play. The parent learns how to use specific skills, such as praise, reflection, imitating, and describing their child's behavior, to create a more positive and nurturing relationship.


In the PDI phase, the focus shifts to teaching the parent effective discipline and behavior management strategies. The therapist coaches the parent on how to set limits, give clear instructions, use consequences, and reinforce positive behavior in order to reduce problem behaviors and improve the child's compliance.


Throughout the therapy process, the therapist provides live coaching and feedback to the parent through a one-way mirror or a bug-in-the-ear device, allowing the parent to practice new skills in real-time interactions with their child. The therapist also helps the parent build confidence and competence in their parenting abilities.


PCIT has been shown to be effective in improving parent-child relationships, reducing child behavior problems, and increasing parental confidence and competence. It can be a valuable intervention for families struggling with challenging behavior issues and can lead to lasting positive changes in the parent-child dynamic.

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Contact us

Breckenridge Location:

Phone: 218.643.9330

Fax: 218.641.1001

Address: 115 5th St N

Breckenridge, MN 56520​

Fargo South Location:

Phone: 701.532.1353 option 1

Fax: 701.532.1505

Address: 3369 39th St S Suite 2 Fargo, ND 58104

Fargo West Location:

Phone: 701.532.1353 option 2

Fax: 701.532.1505

Address: 4955 17th Ave S #122 Fargo, ND 58103

Grand Forks Location:

Phone: 701.792.7001

Fax: 701.792.7002

Address: 2303 S. Washington St

Grand Forks, ND 58201

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