Parent-Child Interactive Therapy (PCIT)

Parent-child interactive therapy (PCIT) is a unique type of therapy involving a therapist and a parent or guardian. It works best with children between the ages of two through seven, and is backed by scientific research.

What is the overall focus of parent-child interactive therapy (PCIT)?

The primary goal is to reduce child behavior problems, such as open resistance and aggression, by correcting them right after they happen. By teaching children how to get along with others and get along with adults, the child increases his/her social skills and improves his/her bond with family members.

Parent-Child Interactive Therapy

How does it work?

In a private setting, the therapist observes while the parent and child engage in an activity. The therapist speaks directly to the guardian when any disruptive behaviors occur and provides phrases or actions they can use to correct them.

Why does it work?

Parents who use the skills that they learn are able to teach and model positive social behavior on a regular basis, making it a habit for their kids to have self-awareness when around others. Labeled praise, active ignoring and modeling are good examples of skills that reduce negative child behavior.

In the end, not only does the parent improve their relationship with their child, the healthy bond teaches the child how to interact with others in a positive way.

Why I love it

During my training to practice PCIT, I liked the direct approach. I’ve used this method with (10+) families and saw things improve quickly.

Based on research done by “The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare”, PCIT has earned the highest possible scientific rating of 1 in terms of evidence that supports the positive benefits of using this method.

Parent-Child Interactive Therapy

Free Consultation

If you’re unsure how to discipline your child or would like to improve how you interact and bond with your child, call Castorena Therapeutic Services for a free 15-minute consultation: +1 (818) 514-5655


Christina Castorena, MS, LMFT


– Christina Castorena, LMFT
Castorena Therapeutic Services