Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is a two part process. Part one, Filial Therapy, focuses on relationship building between parent and child. Parents are taught basic play therapy techniques that assist in strengthening the relationship with their child. This helps to increase appropriate play behavior and decrease aggressive behavior. It also helps to teach pro-social skills, like sharing and taking turns, through modeling appropriate behavior. Parents learn how to play with their child and enjoy the process of interacting with them. This relationship building process makes it much more likely that the child will have good will toward the parent and cooperate with minding commands.
Part two, Minding Therapy, focuses on teaching parents to make clear, direct commands and follow through with those commands. Children learn to listen and obey the first time a command is given. The goal is to both improve the relationship between parent and child as well as increase the willingness of the child to comply with the parent’s request. This helps to decrease parent-child conflicts and increase both the parent and child’s sense of well-being and self-esteem.