Children are born with different temperaments; some are easy going and some have more difficulty adjusting to the rhythms of everyday life. Parents may find that their common sense child-rearing practices that may have worked with one child with an easy temperament may not work with another child with behavior problems.It can be extremely stressful when a child is deliberately defiant, throws tantrums, starts fights, annoys others or exhibits any number of other disruptive behaviors. The result is often increased frustration and tension between parent and child. Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) aims to improve the parent-child relationship and the child’s behavior by working with both parents and children together.

Focusing on children between the ages of 2 and 7, PCIT gives equal attention to children and their parents. Unlike most therapies in which skills are taught in the office and then the family goes home to practice, with PCIT the practice with the child is done in the presence of the therapist. Through a one-way mirror and a transmitter worn in the parent’s ear, the therapist gives live, ongoing coaching, advice and encouragement while the parent interacts with the child. Sessions are held weekly for approximately 14-18 weeks.

Medicaid is accepted.

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is available at these Burrell locations:

1300 E Bradford Parkway
Springfield, Missouri 65804
1350 Spur Drive, Suite 230
Marshfield MO 65706
21 N. Williams Street
Moberly, Missouri 65270
3401 Berrywood Dr, Suite 203
Columbia, Missouri 65201

“I knew that four year olds weren’t usually known for model behavior, but I also knew that other kids were NOT like this. It didn’t matter what I asked him to do, the answer was always ‘Nooooooo!’ When he didn’t get his way, there were terrible temper tantrums, and at times he would actually reach out to slap me. I was both angry and scared. If I didn’t get a handle on this now, what would happen 10 years from now? Thanks to PCIT, I do have control – and so does he.”

“I used to yell – a lot. While I understood that my yelling wasn’t often any better than my child’s misbehavior, it was the only thing I knew how to do. PCIT is probably the best program out there for parents because you actually learn new parenting skills and can practice them with someone watching. I only wish I would have had this kind of course while I was in school – that every parent could have it.”