TCIT-U is adapted from Dr. Shelia Eyberg’s Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), an evidence-based treatment for children aged 2-7 years with disruptive behavior. TCIT-U builds on the strong research base of PCIT as an effective means of improving adult-child relationships and consistent application of behavioral strategies for increasing children’s prosocial behavior. TCIT-U incorporates the core elements of PCIT while making adaptations to enhance its applicability to a classroom or childcare setting.


For a detailed description of the TCIT-U model, see:

Gershenson, R., Lyon, A., & Budd, K. S. (2010). Promoting positive interactions in the classroom: Adapting Parent-Child Interaction Therapy as a universal prevention program. Education and Treatment of Children, 33, 261-287.


Since 2006, several studies have investigated TCIT-U’s effectiveness and viability as a professional development model. These studies have demonstrated several benefits of training in TCIT-U for teachers and children, including:

  • Teachers’ use of positive, responsive attention increases substantially across training
  • Teachers rate their students’ behavior as significantly improved on a standardized strengths-based inventory
  • Higher levels of teacher skill change are associated with greater improvements in children’s behavior
  • Teachers report high satisfaction with TCIT-U


To read more on the effects of TCIT-U, see these peer-reviewed publications:

Garbacz, L. L., Zychinski, K. C., Feuer, R., Carter, J. S., & Budd, K. S. (2014). The impact of Teacher-Child Interaction Training on teachers’ skills and children’s behaviors. Psychology in the Schools, 51, 850-865.

Lyon, A., Gershenson, R., Farahmand, F., Thaxter, P., Behling, S., & Budd, K. S. (2009). Effectiveness of Teacher-Child Interaction Training (TCIT) in a preschool setting. Behavior Modification, 33, 855-884


To increase the capacity for TCIT-U to impact more teachers and children, we developed a “train-the-trainer” model. Education and mental health specialists in local schools are trained in the TCIT-U approach, and they in turn deliver TCIT-U to teachers. Research on this approach has shown that local school practitioners are able to implement TCIT-U successfully with teachers, achieving results similar to those by the model developers.

Budd, K. S., Garbacz, L. L., & Carter, J. S. (2016). Collaborating with public school partners to implement Teacher-Child Interaction Training (TCIT) as universal prevention. School Mental Health, 8, 207-221.


“Live practice with children was particularly helpful (essential) for practice of coding, CDI, TDI, and coaching skills!”

Contact Us

David Stern, LICSW

Karen S. Budd, Ph.D.