The best way to learn to alter parental responses to child behaviors is with the support and assistance of a behavioral health professional (psychologist, psychiatrist, clinical social worker). As noted earlier, parents often inadvertently reinforce the problem behaviors, and it is difficult for a parent to see objectively the ways in which he or she is unintentionally supporting the defiant or difficult behavior. Furthermore, inappropriate application of such behavioral techniques as those used in PMT can actually make the problem situation worse. Families should seek therapists with valid credentials, skills, training and experience in PMT.
Typically, the parents should notice a decrease in the unwanted behaviors after they implement the techniques learned in PMT at home. Of the various therapies used to treat childhood disorders, PMT is among those most frequently researched. PMT has shown effectiveness in changing children's behavior in very well-designed and rigorous studies. PMT has a greater effect on behavior than many other treatments, including family therapy or play therapy. Furthermore, the results— improved child behavior and reduction or elimination of undesirable behavior— are sustained over the long term. When a group of children whose families had used PMT were examined one to fourteen years later, they had maintained higher rates of positive behavior and lower levels of problem behavior.