Parent Child Interaction Clinic

Parent Child Interaction Clinic Rotation:

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT):  PCIT is an evidence-based therapy for children exhibiting primary or secondary disruptive behaviors. The PCIT Clinic serves children functioning between the ages of 2-6 years and their families. Diagnoses typically include disruptive behavior disorders, although children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, developmental delays, or internalizing disorders are also served. Clients are referred to the PCIT Clinic from the University of Chicago Medical Center and the community. The population served is diverse in ethnicity and socioeconomic status.


Externs complete 2 scheduled days of didactic training regarding the manualized treatment, as outlined in the Parent-Child Interaction Therapy Protocol (Eyberg & Funderburk, 2011). These didactics introduce the trainee to the founding theories of PCIT (attachment, behavior, and social learning theories), as well as basic play therapy skills and parent training skills. Externs also learn a structured behavioral coding system for parent-child interactions that is used during diagnostic evaluations and as part of the weekly sessions. Externs are expected to purchase the PCIT Manual and coding manual prior to training.


After the basic didactics and mastery of the play therapy skills, trainees begin the clinical services phase of the Clinic, which takes 16-20 weeks per case. Externs are expected to carry a caseload of 2 to 4 clients throughout the academic year. Externs gain experience working individually or in a co-therapy dyad . Live, group, and individual supervision are provided by Christina Warner-Metzger, Ph.D, PCIT International Certified Master Trainer.


Currently, the PCIT Clinic is available only on Thursday afternoons as a Mini-Rotation supplementing either the Child/Adolescent Advanced Psychotherapy and Pediatric Psychology Externship or Pediatric Neuropsychology Externship.