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.
Treatment Manual and Resources
The CPRT manual is available in English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish.
Child-Parent Relationship Therapy is designated as an effective evidence-based mental health intervention by the Results First Clearinghouse (NREPP) and designated as a promising evidence-based mental health intervention by The Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse and California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare (CEBC).
Randomized Controlled Trials and Quasi-experimental Studies
(Mental Health Focus)
Bratton, S., & Landreth, G. (1995). Filial therapy with single parents: Effects on parental acceptance, empathy, and stress. International Journal of Play Therapy, 4(1), 61-80. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0089142
Carnes-Holt, K., & Bratton, S. C. (2014). The efficacy of child parent relationship therapy for adopted children with attachment disruptions. Journal of Counseling and Development, 92(3), 328-337. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1556-6676.2014.00160.x
Ceballos, P. L., & Bratton, S. C. (2010). Empowering Latino families: Effects of a culturally responsive intervention for low-income immigrant Latino parents on children's behaviors and parental stress. Psychology in the Schools, 47(8), 761-775. https://doi.org/10.1002/pits.20502
Chau, I. Y., & Landreth, G. L. (1997). Filial therapy with Chinese parents: Effects on parental empathic interactions, parental acceptance of child and parental stress. International Journal of Play Therapy, 6(2), 75–92. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0089409
Costas, M., & Landreth, G. (1999). Filial therapy with nonoffending parents of children who have been sexually abused. International Journal of Play Therapy, 8(1), 43–66. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0089427
Harris, Z. L., & Landreth, G. L. (1997). Filial therapy with incarcerated mothers: A five-week model. International Journal of Play Therapy, 6(2), 53–73. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0089408
Jang, M. (2000). Effectiveness of filial therapy for Korean parents. International Journal of Play Therapy, 9(2), 39-56. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0089435
Kale, A. L., & Landreth, G. L. (1999). Filial therapy with parents of children experiencing learning difficulties. International Journal of Play Therapy, 8(2), 35–56. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0089430
Kidron, M., & Landreth, G. (2010). Intensive child parent relationship therapy with Israeli parents in Israel. International Journal of Play Therapy, 19(2), 64-78. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0017516
Landreth, G. L., & Lobaugh, A. F. (1998). Filial therapy with incarcerated fathers: Effects on parental acceptance of child, parental stress, and child adjustment. Journal of Counseling & Development, 76, 157–165. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1556-6676.1998.tb02388.x
Lee, M., & Landreth, G. L. (2003). Filial therapy with immigrant Korean parents in the United States. International Journal of Play Therapy, 12(2), 67–85. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0088879
Opiola, K. K., & Bratton, S. C. (2018). The efficacy of child-parent relationship therapy for adoptive families: A replication study. Journal of Counseling & Development, 96(2), 155–166. https://doi.org/10.1002/jcad.12189
Sheely, A. I., & Bratton, S. C. (2010). A strengths-based parenting intervention with low-income African American families. Professional School Counseling, 13(3), 175-183. https://doi.org/10.1177/2156759X1001300305
Tew, K., Landreth, G.L., Joiner, K.D., & Solt, M.D. (2002). Filial therapy with parents of chronically ill children. International Journal of Play Therapy, 11(1), 79-100. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0088858
Yuen, T., Landreth, G., & Baggerly, J. (2002). Filial therapy with immigrant Chinese families. International Journal of Play Therapy, 11(2), 63-90. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0088865
The UNT Center for Play Therapy offers Child-Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT) training according to the evidence-based model recognized by the The Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse, California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare, and Results First Clearinghouse. Training in the evidence-based model of CPRT requires following approved treatment protocols. The UNT Center for Play Therapy advises therapists to consider where they seek CPRT training as some trainings do not teach according to the evidence-based model. For more information on the recognized protocols and training, search Child-Parent Relationship Therapy at Title IV, CEBC or PEW.
Download the Child-Parent Relationship Therapy: An Evidence-Based Intervention quick facts flyer here.