Therapist–Parent Interactions in PCIT: The Importance of Coach Coding

  • Miya L. Barnett
  • Eileen M. Davis
  • Ciera E. Schoonover
  • Larissa N. NiecEmail author


Therapist coaching (i.e., in vivo feedback) of parent behaviors is a core component of parent–child interaction therapy (PCIT). Coaching allows therapists to teach and reinforce parenting behaviors in the moment that they occur. Until recently, limited research had investigated the types of coaching skills that were associated with improved parent skill development and engagement in treatment. This chapter will review efforts to date to measure and evaluate the role of therapist–parent interactions on PCIT using the Therapist–Parent Interaction Coding System (TPICS). The TPICS measures the types of coaching techniques therapists use (e.g., modeling a skill, praising the parent’s skill use) and the parent behaviors targeted (e.g., behavior descriptions, questions). Coaching techniques are categorized as being directive (i.e., telling a parent what to do) or responsive (i.e., reinforcing a parent’s behavior). Based on the research on therapist–parent interactions, recommendations will be made on how the assessment of therapist behaviors can be used to improve training and supervision in PCIT.


Coaching In vivo feedback Therapist behaviors Supervision Competency 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miya L. Barnett
    • 1
  • Eileen M. Davis
    • 2
  • Ciera E. Schoonover
    • 3
  • Larissa N. Niec
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.University of California, Santa BarbaraCAUSA
  2. 2.Miller School of Medicine, University of MiamiMiamiUSA
  3. 3.Department of Psychology, Center for Children, Families, and Communities, Central Michigan UniversityMount PleasantUSA

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