Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)


     Given that 80.3% of perpetrators of child maltreatment in 2012 were the parents of victims, they are a clear focus for best practices in prevention methods. Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is one successful practice that addresses the relationship between the child and parent and teaches both of them strategies to reduce child behavior problems and child maltreatment altogether (Self-Brown, Valente, Wild, Whitaker, Galante, Dorser, & Stanley, 2012). PCIT is an intervention comprised of for parents and children. Phase one is a relationship enhancement phase to strengthen the overall connection between the child and the parent. The second phase is called the discipline phase, and it works to reinforce positive behaviors of the child and the appropriate disciplining of the parent so that abuse is avoided but resolutions occur (Self-Brown et al., 2012). One of the contributing factors to the success of PCIT is that it uses observation and direct audio feedback from a therapist through a headset to strengthen parent competence and deal with real-life situations as part of the therapy (Barth, 2009). The emphasis on the relationship between the parent and child is another advantage to this proven method of prevention.

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