About P.E.T.


Parent Effectiveness Training or P.E.T. is the world’s No. 1 parent education program.

Benefiting a million parents since 1962 across 53 countries, P.E.T. was developed by award winning psychologist and three-time Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, Dr. Thomas Gordon. P.E.T. offers proven, practical, logical communication skills and problem solving steps applicable to any demographic status of the parent and child. Current research validates the effectiveness of using the non-punitive, compassionate and respectful parenting model introduced by Dr. Gordon.

P.E.T. is a skills training and relationship-based course which sets the family to have democratic, collaborative relationships. The core skills taught in P.E.T. are Active Listening, I-Messages, Shifting Gears and No-Lose Conflict Resolution or Method III. The Behavior Window is the key to knowing which of these skills to use and for which specific situation.

Who is it for?

For Parents, educators, councilors, social workers, and caregivers, and adults who deal with children.

P.E.T. is a complete model of effective parent-child relationships which works for all different kinds of families.

It works with children of all ages, from the very young through the rebellious adolescent years.

It works in parent-child relationships that have begun to deteriorate and it works to prevent problems before they occur, i.e., “training before trouble”.

It also works for single parents, stepparents and grandparents.

And it works in all cultures.

What will you learn?

All P.E.T. workshops are taught by certified instructors who are trained and certified by Gordon Training International  and Gordon Parenting . You will learn to:

Listen to your children so that they feel genuinely understood and accepted.

Talk to your children honestly and non-blamefully when their behavior causes you a problem.

Resolve conflicts and problems in your family so that no one loses and problems stay solved.

Deal with value collisions.

Troubleshoot family problems and know which skills to use to solve them.

P.E.T. Workshop Session Outline

Session 1: Understanding Parent Effectiveness and Your Relationships

Session 2: Learning the Helping Skills

Session 3: Applying Active Listening

Session 4: Confronting Unacceptable Behavior

Session 5: Applying I-Messages

Session 6: Resolving Conflicts

Session 7: Applying Method III (No Lose Conflict Resolution)

Session 8: Resolving Values Collisions

How is P.E.T. delivered?

The P.E.T. course is a 24-hour program and the schedule depends on the individual P.E.T. Instructor and participants. It is made up of 8 parts lasting 3 hours each and may be delivered over 3-4 full days or 5 half days spread over several weekends or weekdays. Another popular alternative is to deliver one 3- hour session per week over 8 weeks. The training is ideally done in a group setting but individual classes may be arranged. Group size varies but usually between 10-15 participants.

P.E.T. is designed to involve you in an active way drawing on your own life experiences, circumstances, problems and perspectives.  Activities include role-plays, group discussion, group sharing, reflection as well as instructor presentations.

This intensive workshop is taught only by instructors certified by Gordon Training International . Each class participant will receive a set of P.E.T. materials which includes the latest edition of the P.E.T. book, a P.E.T. Workbook, a Participant Certificate and a copy of Dr. Gordon’s Credo.

Dr. Thomas Gordon

Dr. Gordon was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997, 1998 and 1999; as well as the recipient of the American Psychological Foundation’s 1999 Gold Medal Award for Enduring Contribution to Psychology in the Public Interest. He was also the recipient of the 2000 Lifetime Achievement Award from the California Psychological Association.

A licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Gordon (1918 – 2002) received his B.A. from DePauw University, his M.A. from Ohio State University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, where he served on the faculty for five years.

He was the author of nine books: Group-Centered LeadershipParent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.)Leader Effectiveness Training (L.E.T.)Teacher Effectiveness Training (T.E.T.)Parent Effectiveness Training in ActionDiscipline That WorksSales Effectiveness Training (co-authored with Carl Zaiss), Making The Patient Your Partner (co-authored with W. Sterling Edwards, M.D.) and Good Relationships: What Makes Them, What Breaks Them (co-authored with Noel Burch). His books have been published in 32 languages and over 6 million copies have been sold worldwide.

In addition, Dr. Gordon contributed over 50 published articles on organizational leadership, communications, counseling, discipline, parenting, conflict resolution and democratic decision-making.

The Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) program, which he introduced in 1962, is widely recognized as the first skill-based training program for parents. It spawned the widespread parent training movement in the U.S. and it has been taught to over a million parents in 53 countries around the world.

The P.E.T. book was updated and revised in 2000. Gordon Training International has revised and updated the P.E.T. program and workshop materials periodically, most recently in 2006.

Dr. Gordon was a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and a member of its Division of Peace Psychology. He was also a member of the National Peace Foundation, the Association of Humanistic Psychology, and a past President of the California Psychological Association. Dr. Gordon was the first recipient of the Career Achievement Award from the National Parenting Instructors Association. He was a consultant to the 1970 White House Conference on Children and an invited speaker to the White House Fellows.