Parent Child Interaction Therapy
The focus is primarily on families of oppositional children between the ages of 3-7. The goals of treatment are to improve the parent-child relationship and to develop parenting skills.
Coaching of parents takes place in the playroom while the parent is playing with the child. The therapist merely remains in the room and coaches the parent in a low voice. The sessions include teaching specific parenting skills which the parent practices with the child during the session. The therapist provides reinforcement, feedback and corrective statements to shape parent behavior while the parent is working with the child.
There are two parts to the therapy: In child-directed interaction, which is similar to play therapy, parents restructure play interaction designed to foster attachment and improved relations. Child-directed interaction teaches parents specific communication skills: praising behavior, reflecting the child’s statements, imitating the child’s play, describing the child’s play, and using enthusiasm. In the second part, parent-directed interaction uses behavior management skills such as positive reinforcement, clear prompts, and time-out from reinforcement. Behavior-change programs based on these skills are implemented at home, and progress is evaluated in each session.