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What is Parent Training?

Kids don’t just grow out of behavioral difficulty and self-regulation issues on their own.   Kids also don’t come with instruction manuals! Parents should definitely seek professional help early on for best outcomes. We are fortunate to have many good, empirically-supported treatments. Untreated, or even under-treated, early childhood behavioral disorders put kids at known risk for the development of other adjustment difficulties – academically, socially, vocationally, and interpersonally – later on.  We urge you to contact us for more information about treatment, which always includes some type of parent training.

Our approach to Parent Training

Our approach to parent training is easy to define: Parents are the key agents of change in their child’s life! We will work with you to give you the needed skills to help promote your child’s optimal development. Depending on what issues we are treating, we will spend different amounts of time working individually with your child. However, in all of our treatments, regardless of age or presenting problems, we will spend a considerable amount of time with you as parents to train you how to continue to promote the generalization of the gains to home, school, and community settings and to promote the maintenance of these gains after treatment.

The heart and soul of this treatment approach is teaching the parents how to be their child’s best behavior therapist. We systematically teach parents a well-defined set of behavioral Do’s and Don’ts, so they become the experts helping their child learn to change behaviors.

Treatment options for Parent Training

Treatment is always customized to your child’s developmental stage and your family’s unique situation. We work with you to decide on the best option. Here are some of the ways we work with parents to do parent training:

  • Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)  PCIT is a treatment of choice for helping children 2-7 years old who present with behavioral issues such as oppositionality or defiance.  Parents and the child are seen in sessions together, with live coaching.  Treatment can take place in our NYC offices or in your home community. Treatment is usually weekly but can be done equally well as an intensive approach, which is especially helpful to out-of-town families.
  • Parent Management Training (PMT) PMT is a treatment of choice for children 7 and older for whom PCIT may not be indicated. Like PCIT, PMT trains parents how to use the best relationship building techniques combined with state-of-the-art discipline strategies. Research shows significant and sustaine gains with PMT.
  • Parent Training for Anxious Youth Parents are key in helping their anxious children.  We work with parents to create developmentally sensitive goals, that are progressively more challenging goals to eliminate and manage fears, known as exposure hierarchies, and coach parents in reducing the amount and extent of unwanted, interfering accommodations. Research shows that when parents change their behaviors, childrens anxious behaviors improve significantly.
  • Internet & Telehealth Services We have secure telehealth video-based sessions available as a treatment option. In many cases, research has already demonstrated equal or better outcomes for telehealth versus in-person treatments. We have presented at national and international conferences on some of this work and can discuss whether this is a viable option for some or all of your child’s treatment.

Where do the schools fit into the treatment?

We partner with our parents to provide the necessary information and training to the schools so they can work effectively with their students. At a minimum, we are available to do inservice training with all school staff that will interact with the student. This can be done live, at the school, and for families who live far away, we can do a live streaming training.  Some parents and schools choose to engage us for live coaching of the skills in the actual school setting as well.  Most children will have their needs met in the general education program. For those students who require either an Accommodation Plan (also called a 504 Plan) or an Individualized Education Plan (also called an IEP), we are available to consult with you and your District to develop those plans.

How can you know which treatment option is best for your family?

We are happy to provide a free phone consultation to help you think through which of our available options is best suited to your child’s needs and your family’s circumstances. Simply call 212.658.0110, ext. 124 to schedule a phone consultation.


While we do not participate in any insurance plans, our licensed providers’ fees are reimbursable to some extent under most insurance plans using your out-of-network, outpatient mental health benefits. Our itemized statements of your payments to us can then be submitted by you to your carrier for reimbursement directly to you. We also have Post-Doctoral Psychologists and advanced practicum therapists providing services under our direct supervision at significantly reduced costs. Some financial aid is available.

Coordination of care

We look forward to coordinating care with any of your other providers. You will have the option to sign a Release of Information for us to discuss details with other providers if you so choose and your privacy and confidentiality are always of great importance to us.

What is Parent Training? | Kurtz Psychology