Clinical and Wellness Center

Manhattan/Westchester – New York

Specialized Programs
Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) For Children


At CBC’s Clinical and Wellness Centers we are committed to providing compassionate evidence – based treatment programs to address a wide range of emotional, behavioral, lifestyle management and personal development issues.

Our therapists practice leading edge treatments based on the principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), with our primary goal to create positive and enduring change for all of our clients.

The Parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT) Program is an evidence-based treatment for young children between the ages of 2-7 that teaches parents specialized, therapeutic parenting strategies to use with their children who display emotional and/or behavioral difficulties. PCIT improves the quality of the parent-child relationship, decreases the child’s emotional difficulties and behavioral problems, increases the child’s positive social skills and cooperation, and reduces parental stress. Treatment helps parents build positive, warm relationships with their children and supports parents as they set firm, developmentally appropriate limits.

PCIT is unique in that children and their caregivers are seen together and because caregivers are coached to practice skills with the child within the therapy session itself. Our PCIT therapists observe caregivers and the child from a special observation room with a one-way mirror, and use a “bug-in-the-ear” system to coach caregivers to apply specialized, therapeutic parenting skills as they play and interact with their child. PCIT Therapists at CBC often use a co-therapy model to facilitate training and provide additional support to families in treatment.

At the end of each PCIT therapy session, the therapist and caregiver collaboratively decide which skills should be practiced at home in between sessions. PCIT is time-limited, averaging about 14 weeks, with hour-long weekly sessions and daily therapy practice at home. Families remain in treatment until parents have demonstrated mastery of treatment skills and their child’s emotional and behavioral concerns have improved.

PCIT is taught in two phases:
The first phase enhances the parent-child relationship and teaches parents to use their own play therapy skills to increase positive child behaviors. These skills have also been shown to foster trust and security between the parent and child, improve the child’s vocabulary, and enhance the child’s self-esteem.

The second phase of treatment coaches parents to use effective skills to increase their child’s compliance with parents’ instructions and to decrease the child’s unhelpful or problematic behaviors.

Dr. Amber Ufford, Coordinator of CBC’s PCIT program, is a certified PCIT International therapist and helps oversee our team of 6 PCIT therapists. Master PCIT trainer Dr. Melanie Fernandez has joined CBC to deliver PCIT to our clients and consult to our PCIT team. Dr. Cheryl McNeil, a world-renowned master PCIT trainer/consultant has also joined our team to provide added expert consultation to our team.

Check our calendar for upcoming classes.

Please contact our Director of Intake Services at 212-595-9559 (ext.1) or 914-385-1150 (ext.1), or fill out the form, with any questions regarding eligibility, for further information, or to make a referral.  If you are a current patient at CBC, please speak to your individual therapist to see how this group may be of added benefit to you.

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