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Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)

Camarillo Campus

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy is an intensive treatment program that improves the quality of parent-child relationships and provides parents with skills to manage the challenging behaviors of young children. It is designed for children between two and eight years old who are living with their biological, foster, or adoptive parent (or soon to be reunited) and exhibit behavioral challenges such as:

  • Defiant behavior
  • Aggression toward parents, siblings or other children
  • Frequent outbursts of anger
  • Refusal to follow directions
  • Difficulty in school, preschool or daycare
  • Use of medication to manage difficult behaviors

How it Works

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy is provided on campus in specially equipped rooms that allow the therapist to observe the parent and child through a one-glass mirror.  The parent wears a discreet wireless receiver over his or her ear so that they can receive instructions and guidance from the therapist.  The parent and child engage in a task or a game that provides the opportunity for practicing new parenting behaviors as “coached” by the therapist.  Sessions last an hour and are provided weekly.  In-home practices are conducted by an in-home specialist between sessions.  Casa Pacifica has four rooms devoted to PCIT so that four sessions can be conducted simultaneously. 

PCIT is conducted in two phases. The first phase focuses on creating or strengthening a positive and mutually rewarding relationship between the parent and child. The second phase focuses on learning and using effective behavior management strategies.  With this real time coaching, the parent learns skills and is able to immediately apply them with his or her child.

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy helps parents learn and practice how to:

  • Give child-focused attention
  • Frequently and consistently praise appropriate behavior
  • Increase positive and supportive communication
  • Communicate clearly and directly
  • Effectively respond to defiant behavior

“Parent-Child Interaction Therapy is unique in that it incorporates both parent and child within the treatment session, and uses live and individualized therapist coaching to change aspects of the interaction that cause challenges in the parent-child relationship” (UC Davis Medical Center).


PCIT accepts referrals from Ventura County Behavioral Health Child Welfare Subsystem and must have full-scope Medi-Cal.

Kathy Kemp, LCSW
Program Coordinator
(805) 366-4420
E-mail: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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Casa Pacifica is a center for adolescent and youth, offering programs and services to treat the symptoms arising from abuse and neglect
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