Child-Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT)

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About This Program

Target Population: Parents of children ages 3- 8 with behavioral, emotional, social, or attachment disorders

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 3 – 8

Brief Description

Child-Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT) is a play therapy-based treatment program for young children presenting with behavioral, emotional, social, and attachment disorders. CPRT is a systemic intervention grounded in Child-Centered Play Therapy (CCPT) theory, attachment principles, and interpersonal neurobiology. CPRT is based on the premise that a secure parent-child relationship is the essential factor for a child’s well-being. In a supportive group environment, parents learn skills to respond more effectively to their children’s emotional and behavioral needs. In turn, children learn that they can count on their parents to reliably and consistently meet their needs for love, acceptance, safety, and security. In CPRT, parents are taught specific skills grounded in the principles and procedures of CCPT that focus on establishing or enhancing a secure attachment with their child and helping parents attune to and respond to their child’s underlying needs rather than focus on symptoms. Parents learn to limit their children’s problem behavior, while demonstrating empathy and respect for their children.

Program Goals:

The goals of Child-Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT) are

  • Enhance the caregiver-child relationship to increase trust, security, and closeness between the dyad and ultimately between other family members
  • Improve communication within the parent-child relationship
  • Increase problem-solving strategies within the parent-child relationship
  • Increase expressions of affection and familial enjoyment within the parent-child relationship
  • Increase parental acceptance and empathy
  • Improve parent’s ability to attune and respond sensitively to their children’s emotional needs
  • Help parents develop more realistic developmental expectations and limits on their children’s behavior
  • Increase overall confidence and self-acceptance as parents
  • Increase the child’s expression of their needs and feelings
  • Increase more appropriate and satisfying ways for the child to express, regulate, and meet their needs

Contact Information

Sue Bratton, PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S
Agency/Affiliation: Center for Play Therapy, University of North Texas
Phone: (940) 565-3864
Fax: (940) 565-4461

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: March 2017

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: August 2017

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: September 2017