Parent-Child Interaction Therapy with Toddlers

Improving Attachment and Emotion Regulation

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy with Toddlers (PCIT-T) is an early intervention program that involves coaching parents while they interact with their 12 to 24-month-old children. Utilizing play therapy and teaching listening practice skills, parents are supported, by a specially trained therapist, in the use of effective skills that are proven to increase attachment, improve children’s language, and encourage young children to follow directions. Parents practice the skills under the guidance of a therapist until parents reach mastery. Numerous controlled studies have shown that these skills improve children’s difficult behaviors.

PCIT-T implements novel components for the special needs of toddlers, including specific procedures for promoting the attachment relationship and emotion regulation in both the caregivers and children. Central to the model is the understanding that difficult behaviors in toddlers are a sign of emotion dysregulation rather than deliberate defiance. It is with the assistance of a nurturing and sensitive caregiver that the child’s capacity to manage emotion develops. PCIT-T involves coaching parents through when the toddlers experience the “big emotions” that are characteristic of this age range.

PCIT-T is appropriate for families that may be dealing with any of the following:

  • Tantrums
  • Aggression (e.g., hitting, biting, pinching)
  • Fussiness (e.g., screaming, whining, crying)
  • Anger, frustration, head-banging
  • Attachment difficulties (e.g., rejection of parent, difficult to comfort)
  • Separation anxiety or withdrawal from parent
  • Developmental concerns (e.g., autistic behaviors, language problems)
  • As a preventative measure for child abuse and neglect
  • Parental stress (e.g., anxiety, dissatisfaction, difficulty coping, lack of confidence, postpartum support)
  • First time parents
  • Parents that want to more effectively manage toddlers’ behaviors.
  • Parent-Child Interaction Therapy with Toddlers (PCIT-T)

For services or any questions about PCIT-T please contact:

The LifeLine Center
Office: (843) 731-9100
2126 W. Jody Rd., Florence, SC