What is Parent Management Training?
Parent Management Training (PMT) is an evidenced-based psychotherapy intervention, designed specifically to teach parents behavioral interventions they can use at home when dealing with unwanted behaviors, emotional outbursts, or general defiance. PMT was developed in the 1960s by Alan Kazdin at Yale University. It has been thoroughly researched, particularly over the last 40 years. The most recent research states PMT has a 92% success rate in treating child behaviors. While Parent Management training was originally developed to address defiant behaviors, the treatment and research has also been extended into treating anxiety and ADHD and has similar success.
According to Kazdin (2017), “PMT emphasizes changing how the child responds in interpersonal situations at home, at school, and in the community and with teachers, parents, peers, siblings, and others. The treatment uses learning-based procedures to develop behavior and includes modeling, prompting, shaping, positive reinforcement, practice and repeated rehearsal, extinction, and mild punishment. The treatment sessions develop skills that the parents use to implement behavior change programs in the home”.
Parents can be the most effective resource for changing a child’s behavior – while a child often greatly benefits from their own therapy, PMT aids parents in assisting their child through these behavioral challenges in “real time” at home, when the behaviors are happening. You are with your child daily, while a therapist only sees them once, maybe twice a week- PMT can be immensely helpful in assisting parents in managing a child’s behaviors at home, throughout the week.
- What can you expect from doing Parent Management Training with a trained clinician?
In PMT, there aren’t child sessions- the focus is on the parents and teaching you to navigate your child’s behaviors with more skill and effectiveness. Parent Management Training is weekly sessions, ideally with both parents, in which they are taught about behavior and operant conditioning- and how to apply these concepts to their children.
According to Kazdin, Parent Management Training is built on four distinguished, but interrelated components-
- A PMT clinician walks parents through a conceptual view about how to change social, emotional, and behavioral problems
- Through this understanding and conceptual view, parents learn a set of principles, treatment techniques, and strategies.
- Parents then develop a specific skill set through practice, role play, and other active methods of training to improve a child’s behavior. The therapist is also able to assist in helping parents with specific issues related to their child.
- PMT includes both assessment and evaluation to guide treatment and assist with progress being made on treatment goals.
- What are some skills you can learn in PMT:
- Parents learn to prompt children effectively and ignore unwanted behaviors
- PMT is very focused on positive reinforcement to change behaviors- parents learn skills around how to praise children consistently.
- Parents learn how to manage their own reactions when their children are acting out and have support through the PMT clinician.
- How do you know if Parent Management Training would be the right fit for your family?
PMT is a great fit for parents who feel they need some guidance and skills as they are learning to manage their child’s behaviors, big emotions, or outbursts. PMT offers parents and families education and skills to manage and move through the difficult moments- including behavioral issues related to anxiety and ADHD, as well as more intense, defiant behaviors.