Does PCIT via video conferencing work as well as in-person PCIT?
Yes! Research shows that PCIT via telehealth is equally as effective as in-person PCIT when the treatment protocol is followed. Many parents prefer video conference sessions because it eliminates travel time to an office setting, makes child care easier for other kids in the home, and can allow the other parent to join in from a remote location. Some families have even chosen to do a video session while on vacation so they don't miss a week! One of the most significant benefits of PCIT coaching via video conferencing is that services are provided in your home, where your child is most likely to experience their specific behavioral/emotional triggers, as well as to demonstrate their typical cooperation difficulties. It's not uncommon to incorporate ongoing daily challenges into the later stages of PCIT treatment. such as: cooperative play with siblings, playing gently with pets, homework completion, getting dressed, teeth brushing, meal times, etc.
I’ve read lots of books and tried many techniques. What makes PCIT different?
Live-coaching through an ear-bud allows your therapist to intervene directly in the moment and provide you with immediate support, feedback, and rationale. Treatment is tailored to the specific needs of you and your child based on a thorough clinical assessment. PCIT is a successful treatment that is strongly supported by decades of research. Outcome studies have proven PCIT to help parents learn more effective parenting techniques, decrease children's behavior problems, and improve the quality of parent-child relationships. Once parents master the therapeutic skills, they can use them with other children in their home, and can continue to apply these techniques as their children mature through different stages of life.
What if my child doesn’t misbehave during the therapy sessions?
Surprisingly, it can be beneficial if your child behaves well during the first one or two sessions. This can help you practice your new skills in a lower-stress environment, and also provides opportunities for your child to feel good about themselves and their relationship with you. In the initial phase of PCIT, significant therapeutic progress is accomplished without directly challenging your child's negative behaviors. After a few sessions, children generally begin to show their typical behaviors. In the second phase of treatment, coaching directly addresses any remaining behavioral issues with targeted strategies for giving effective commands and following through with appropriate consequences.
My child has the problem, why do I need to participate in treatment?
You are the most influential person in your young child’s life! By making subtle shifts in how you interact with and respond to your child, you can successfully increase their positive behaviors and minimize or eliminate problematic behaviors. PCIT provides you with evidence-based tools and helps you establish a game plan to effectively manage your child's day-to-day challenges. The PCIT skills are easily adapted to other children in your home and to a variety of behaviors, so you will be able to use these techniques as your children grow into new developmental phases.
Can more than one parent or caregiver participate in PCIT?
Yes! This is the most ideal situation. The more consistently all caregivers use the skills with your child, the more quickly behaviors can change. Additionally, many parents find it helpful to go through treatment together as they can support each other in the learning and use of the therapeutic skills. Many parents report that PCIT has brought them closer together by "getting on the same page" with a unified approach to parenting. In families where parents reside in separate homes, the participation of both parents (in separate sessions) can help modify behaviors more quickly and reduce parenting inconsistencies between homes. It should be noted that PCIT is not a substitute for co-parenting classes.
I have more than one difficult child, can both participate?
PCIT sessions typically focus on one child at the onset of treatment; however as treatment progresses, your other child may be incorporated into sessions as needed. The goal of treatment is for parents to eventually use the PCIT techniques naturally, throughout the day, with all children in the home. Including other family members in sessions is a part of this generalization process.
Do I have to commit to the full course of treatment?
Families are free to end treatment, or take a break, at any time. However, families that complete the full course of treatment report more long-term gains and reduced behavioral relapses. Treatment progress is heavily determined by parent participation. Research has proven that the more a parent practices the specific PCIT skills with their child, the faster the child's behaviors improve. Treatment goals and therapeutic gains are assessed at every session and any barriers to progress are promptly and directly addressed. If it is determined that PCIT is not the best fit for your family's needs, appropriate referrals and treatment recommendations will be provided.
Is the cost of the PCIT sessions really worth it?
Consider the financial and emotional costs of your child's challenging behaviors. Many parents complain that disruptive behaviors cost them valuable time and energy, both at home with daily power struggles and at work with having to take personal time to address issues with their child’s school or daycare. PCIT is not only an investment in a better relationship with your child, but an opportunity to reduce your own level of stress. Compared to other therapeutic interventions for young children with behavior problems, PCIT has been found to be more effective in a shorter amount of time. PCIT is typically completed in 15-20 sessions, unlike other treatments that may continue for over a year and sometimes with unclear progress.
PCIT FAQ Developed by Leslie (Whitten) Baughman, LMFT All Rights Reserved