Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)

What is PCIT?

Trauma-Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is a specialized behavior management program for children ages 2 to 6 and their families.

  • Appropriate for children who demonstrate excessive or developmentally inappropriate behavioral and/or emotional difficulties, including behaviors that are often associated with trauma
  • Average length of treatment: 12-20 weekly hour long sessions
  • Through live coaching, parents/caregivers work together to implement skills designed to help children reach their full potential.

Return on Investment

In the United States, 61% of children are affected by violence, abuse, or crime, putting them at increased risk for depression, academic problems, violent behavior, substance use, delinquency, teen pregnancy, and other emotional-behavioral challenges. Lifetime costs of childhood maltreatment are estimated at $210,012 per case.

PCIT has shown a benefit-cost ratio of $2.29 and a 79% chance of benefits exceeding costs for children with disruptive behaviors and a benefit-cost ratio of $12.99 with a 94% chance of benefits exceeding costs for children in the child welfare system.

Service Delivery

PCIT is typically delivered in clinic settings, such as community agencies and outpatient clinics.

PCIT has also been successfully delivered in alternate settings, such as in-home services.


Improved parent-child relationships

Decreased problematic behaviors, such as defiance and aggression

Increased social skills and cooperation

Increased attention

Improved behaviors at home and school

Decreased parental stress

Reduced recidivism of child maltreatment

Training Requirements

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) Learning Collaboratives train teams from community based mental health agencies. Our model relies on clinicians training together with an administrative leader from their agency to ensure successful implementation and sustainability.

PCIT Learning Collaboratives include 7 face-to-face training days with bi-weekly clinical consultation calls between training dates, and video review of up to 10 clinical session. In order to graduate, clinicians must complete a full course of PCIT with at least 2 clients.

Training Opportunities

We offer 2 training cohorts per year in PCIT. Training cohorts are 15 months long and consist of face-to-face learning sessions and faculty consultation. Contact NC CTP for more information.