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"My son is currently 6 years old. From the time he was little, he was always full of energy, and my husband and I were kept on our toes. During the “terrible twos,” we experienced tantrums and aggression that we thought he would eventually grow out of. As he got older, behavior ebbed and flowed, but we always struggled with non-compliance, tantrums, breaking things, sometimes aggression, and needing attention at all times. We always thought that we could handle it and that things would eventually get better, but we found things getting worse and worse. We had trouble at daycare and school, were constantly embarrassed and ashamed around others, and were exhausted and unhappy with our daily lives as a family. Things came to a head in the spring when he started tantruming at bedtime every single night, hurting us, and destroying our home. We were out of control of the situation, and our stress level went through the roof.
While there were behaviors in other places, they were typical of a child with hyperactivity and impulsivity issues. The biggest problems came in our son’s interactions with us, and we had to face the fact that something was not working there. We have a calm home, lots of structure, positive family and community activities, close family support, church involvement, typical daily schedule, stable parents… it was not making a difference for our son. Not only were my husband and I completely stressed and overwhelmed, my heart broke for how my son must be feeling when every single day was a struggle for our family. Other places recommended medication, and referenced futures that included terrifying outcomes such as drug abuse and incarceration.
After doing some research, we came across PCIT, which focuses on the relationship between parent and child, and on the relationship the child has with attention. Our therapists were not only knowledgeable but skilled, and we were able to dive into the process within a short period of time. Through the daily therapeutic time with our son, we changed our response to his behavior and his focus on gaining attention through any means necessary. We were provided significant support throughout the process, and it was clear that we were not the only ones heavily invested in a positive future for our son and our family. Within five months, we were able to complete the program. The undesirable behavior went from clinically significant to very low, compliance went through the roof, aggressions became almost non-existent, and our family became happier and happier. We cannot say enough about the women who worked with us, their perseverance, responsiveness and problem-solving made all the difference for our family. The investment in this process pales in comparison to the positive impact it had for our family. I am so thankful we found PCIT."
“I just wish it (PCIT) was available to everyone. It was just so helpful. I
mean, so positive. I wish I had known about it a while ago because I’ve dealt with these disruptive behavior since my oldest was my only child, and I wasn't able to stop it. I didn’t find out about it (PCIT) until my fourth child and I think the behaviors would have been gone a long time ago.”
“…I have never felt like I can relate to him. And, it is hard feeling
like you can’t relate to your child… just never feeling like you can
relate to them, like you can connect, until finally, after all of this [PCIT], I
can actually connect with him. But, I think that’s what’s been so
precious to me because I can actually talk to him. I can actually
feel close to him and not just be his mother but feel like his
mother and nurture him…”
“My son used to whine constantly. Like he would whine and cry for no reason. Since working with Maria, he has started to verbalize his emotions. He’s really saying what is on his mind., which is giving him confidence, and he stands up for himself. With this confidence, he is verbalizing his emotions, and the whining went away because he's talking more.”
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