NameParent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)
Target AudienceInfants (0-2 years)
Early childhood (3-5 years)
Middle childhood (6-12 years)
At-risk or vulnerable
CfC ObjectiveSupporting Families and Parents
OrganisationKaritane Australia, Parent Child Interaction Therapy Inc
Delivery SettingCommunity-based
DescriptionPCIT is a cognitive behavioural intervention that aims to decrease behavioural problems, increase positive parent behaviours and improve the quality of the parent-child relationship.
Delivered toChildren aged 15 months to 7 years identified as at risk of maltreatment, or self-identified because of severe behavioural problems, and their parents.
Delivered byLicensed mental health service providers (e.g., psychologist, family therapist, social worker etc.) with a master's degree or higher in a mental health field. Under some circumstances psychology doctoral students can deliver the program. Check the program website for more information.
Program StructurePCIT is a mastery-based program that is generally delivered by a qualified psychologist/therapist via weekly hour-long sessions for approximately 14 weeks.

The program can be delivered through in-room coaching or by using a one-way mirror and headphones (this may incur additional costs). For more information about the requirements for delivering PCIT contact Karitane Toddler Clinic or visit:

Practitioners must undergo:

  • A 5-day training course (and gain 40 hours of practical experience); and
  • A follow up 2-day training course.
    As part of the training, practitioners will also need to complete an online quiz. Both training courses include clinical supervision for 6 months.

For certification, applicants must complete the Certified PCIT Therapist Application Form and an online exam. This will be submitted with evidence of completed training and supervision from a Karitane PCIT Level II trainer. More information can be found at

In Australia, training is offered once a year by Karitane Australia. Contact Karitane for further details about training, or visit:

Cost$5480 includes a 5 day training course, 2 follow-up training days and 12 months of fortnightly supervision.

Sue Morgan
Manager Karitane Toddler Clinic
Phone: (02) 9794 2300
Email: [email protected]


Evaluation and effectiveness

The program has undergone 3 RCTs in the United States. The most recent RCT found improvements in child behavior, parental behavior and statistical significant improvements made in parent report of child problems, and parental stress. Participants who completed treatment were less likely to be notified to child protection compared to control group.

Thomas, R., Zimmer-Gembeck, MJ. (2011). Accumulating evidence for parent child interaction therapy in prevention of child maltreatment. Child Development, 82(1), 177-192.