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09-10-2019 | Original Paper | Uitgave 3/2020

Journal of Child and Family Studies 3/2020

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy from the Parents’ Perspective

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 3/2020
Auteurs:
Melanie J Woodfield, Claire Cartwright
Belangrijke opmerkingen

Supplementary information

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10826-019-01611-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorised users.
Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Abstract

Objectives

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is an evidence-based parent training programme, distinctive in its live coaching of parents with children via an ear-piece and one-way mirror. Yet few studies have explored the acceptability of PCIT to parents—and those which do exist have typically relied upon quantitative methods such as inventories or rating scales. The current study aimed to gain in-depth insight into parents’ experiences, and perspectives of PCIT utilising a qualitative methodology.

Methods

Sixteen parents who had participated in PCIT in a community setting in New Zealand took part in semi-structured face-to-face interviews. Thematic analysis of verbatim transcripts led to the emergence of several themes.

Results

Despite early scepticism, self-consciousness, and initial discomfort with the use of particular strategies (e.g., time out), parents described an effective treatment that facilitated a progression from feelings of inadequacy to confidence, and despair to optimism. Child-led play, an essential component of PCIT, was viewed as surprisingly effective by parents. Parenting skills which initially felt awkward and un-natural, became more intuitive and instinctive through repeated rehearsal and coaching support. Parents also consistently described the influential role of the coach in facilitating change—particularly in improving parent emotion regulation abilities.

Conclusions

This detailed account of the parent experience of progression through PCIT enhances existing knowledge of factors related to parent engagement with, and attrition from the programme. It also highlights the multidimensional role of the therapist coach in supporting parent emotion regulation abilities—an area which warrants further empirical research.

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