Children’s compliance may be improved by the use of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy. Children who have difficulty following instructions, have tantrums, or act aggressively might consider this therapy. With the help of the Improving Lives Counseling Services, it’s a lot more hands-on.

In most cases, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy may be completed between 12-20 weekly sessions, however, this varies from family to family.

The Fundamental Principles Of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy

As part of Interparental Interaction Therapy, caregivers and children work together to enhance their bond, as well as their ability to issue effective orders. Caregiver involvement and compliance may be taught and monitored by therapists using video or even a one-way mirror, and auditory feedback is provided in real-time.


Parents and carers of young children who are struggling with issues like non-compliance or oppositional behavior, difficulty focusing or following through, or issues with an attachment may find great benefit from Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, even if it is not considered a ‘ gold treatment’ for just about anyone specific disorder. As a result, children who have these difficulties may also suffer from their connection to their main caregiver.

First and foremost, Parent-Child Interactions Therapy focuses on enhancing the bond between the parents and their children by teaching them techniques for increasing their attention and pleasure at the moment. A key component of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy is the development of more cooperative behavior via the use of particular language and consequences.


CDI and Caregiver Interaction (PDI) are the two separate stages of Parental Interaction Therapy (PCIT) (PDI). First, the kid and caregiver establish a stronger attachment as a result of this relationship-building period. Consequently, the youngster develops a stronger bond with the caregiver and is more likely to comply with the caregiver’s instructions.

In the second stage, the focus is on assisting caregivers in developing and implementing successful language and behavior control strategies. Caregiver participation is required throughout Parent-Child Interaction Therapy so that caregivers may practice the skills they are learning.

  • Child-Directed Play

During this period, the therapist guides the caregiver in using positive encouragement with the kid, who may choose the toy or activity.

While practicing PRIDE skills, caregivers should avoid using negative words, criticizing, directing the play, or inquiring.

  • Parent-Child Contact

The second phase focuses on establishing an effective disciplinary and compliance strategy. Depending on the child’s reaction, the caregiver reinforces the directive favorably (e.g., praise) or negatively (e.g., time out). This phase’s abilities include using a particular language, cautions, and allowing the kid to make choices that lead to better results.

  • Child-Directed Play

The one-way mirror allows the therapist to monitor the kid and caregiver. They have earbuds in so they can hear the therapist using a headset mic. The youngster is told that this is their “particularly unique playtime” and will last around 20 minutes. Games and sports with predetermined rules are improper for learning PCAT. The therapist pushes the parent to tell the kid that their unique playtime will soon end, but they will meet again at home.

  • Parent-Child Contact

On-one observation using a one-way mirror, mic, and earbuds. As indicated above, the caregiver and kid are playing together, but the carer is now practicing issuing effective orders.


Parent-Child Interaction Treatment is often covered as family and individual therapy by insurance carriers. The cost of the therapy varies by geography and provider, with qualified therapists in cities like New York City charging as much as $325/hour. Ask your insurance provider whether Parent-Child Interaction Therapy is covered and if there are any special conditions for coverage.


This method aims to boost the caregiver’s self-efficacy or confidence in their abilities to influence their child’s behavior. A secure and stimulating positive learning environment, aggressive disciplinary tactics, keeping realistic expectations both for child and caregiver, and caregiver self-care are all important components of Triple P. This technique works well with young children and teenagers and may be tailored to the family’s requirements. 8

For some parents, conventional play therapy may be more beneficial than Parent-Child Encounter Therapy. Although play therapy is a part of more formal Parent-Child Encounter Therapy, it may more directly target social-emotional skills. Play therapy may assist children who are struggling to comprehend, solve problems, or manage difficult emotions or experiences. If the child’s behavioral issues aren’t accompanied by socioemotional issues, Parental Interaction Therapy may be more appropriate.

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