NYT Magazine: Can Preschoolers Be Depressed?
One established [treatment] method is called Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, or P.C.I.T. Originally developed in the 1970s to treat disruptive disorders — which typically include violent or aggressive behavior in preschoolers — P.C.I.T. is generally a short-term program, usually 10 to 16 weeks under the supervision of a trained therapist, with ongoing follow-up in the home. Luby adapted the program for depression and began using it in 2007 in an ongoing study on a potential treatment. During each weekly hourlong session, parents are taught to encourage their children to acquire emotion regulation, stress management, guilt reparation and other coping skills. The hope is that children will learn to handle depressive symptoms and parents will reinforce those lessons.