James is a four-year-old boy, with an avid interest in dinosaur bones, and police dogs. He’s been having great difficulty regulating his emotions, hitting other kids in daycare and breaking things at home when angry. One of the other daycare parents commented to Suzy that she’s raising a bully. Suzy is frustrated and concerned. Her friends think it’s just a phase that will pass, and say things like “boys will be boys.”
James has been through a lot of changes in his 4 years of life. His father is addicted to drugs, and left the family-of-three when James was just two years old. Suzy doesn’t know what to do, but she she’s convinced she needs to do something. Waiting for this “season to pass” doesn’t feel right, and so Suzy does something she never expected to do before, no matter how hard things had gotten for her. She has searched for a therapist and finds Family Innovations online.
The therapist there specializes in Early Childhood Mental Health (ECMH), through a process called Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT). PCIT is conducted through coaching sessions during which Suzy and James were in a playroom while the therapist was in an observation room watching them interact through a one-way mirror. Suzy wore a earpiece through which the therapist provided in-the-moment coaching on skills.
Suzy was learning to manage James’ emotions and behavior. He’s becoming the sweet boy she knew was there, and he seems happier. Even his daycare worker has noted a marked difference in his behavior. The other kids enjoy playing with James and he’s been having successful interactions with kids his age. Suzy is much more hopeful about the future of her family.