Assessing Therapist Competence in the Context of PCIT Training

  • Richard F. Davis III
  • Elizabeth Brestan-KnightEmail author


Assessing therapist competence is an essential aspect of ensuring that parent–child interaction therapy (PCIT) services are delivered with fidelity. Currently PCIT International requires all PCIT therapists to complete a highly structured training process in which therapist competence is evaluated at several points. Pre- and post-training measures evaluating therapist knowledge of PCIT, observing therapist performance during role-plays and DPICS coding exercises, and review of therapist work samples during the year-long consultation period following a PCIT training are all useful techniques that are routinely used when assessing the competence of trainee PCIT therapists. Several “code the coach” systems are also gaining popularity as a way to offer structured feedback related to a therapist’s coaching style. Still, the specific methods used to assess therapist competence may vary between individual PCIT trainers. We discuss possible future directions in the assessment of therapist competence and present a case example of how the competence of one trainee therapist was assessed.


Parent–Child Interaction Therapy PCIT Therapist competence Training 

Supplementary material


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard F. Davis III
    • 1
  • Elizabeth Brestan-Knight
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyAuburn UniversityAuburnUSA

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