Coaching Child-Directed Interaction
When therapists coach CDI skills, we employ the same strategies and philosophies that parents are taught to use with their children during special playtime. Therapists provide labeled praises to parents to increase particular CDI skills. We also use strategic attention and selective ignoring to increase certain parent verbalizations while decreasing others. Just as a goal of special playtime is to improve the parent-child relationship, therapists use coaching strategies that enhance rapport with the parents. For example, therapists avoid criticism when coaching, particularly the words “no,” “don’t,” “stop,” “quit,” and “not,” in order to prevent parents from feeling judged or incompetent. These negative feelings damage our relationships with the parents and lead to treatment attrition. Rather than criticizing, we enthusiastically give attention to their positive behaviors by describing and praising. When correcting the parent, we use constructive feedback telling them what “to do” rather than what “not to do.” Just as we teach parents to allow their children to lead the play, we allow parents to take the lead in their use of PRIDE skills.
KeywordsCoaching Session Mastery Criterion Play Therapy Task Persistence Physical Closeness
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