What Is It and How Can It Help?

Child-Parent-Relationship Therapy (CPRT)

What Is It?

Child-Parent-Relationship Therapy is a unique 10-session program designed to strengthen the relationship between a parent and a child through weekly 30-minute playtimes. Play is the most natural way for children to communicate, with toys serving as their words and play as their language. While adults express their experiences, thoughts, and feelings through conversation, children do so through play.

In C-P-R-T, parents are taught to engage in structured 30-minute play sessions with their child using a kit of carefully selected toys at home. These sessions help parents respond empathically to their child’s feelings, build their child’s self-esteem, teach self-control and responsibility, and set therapeutic limits.

For 30 minutes each week, the child becomes the center of the parent’s universe. During this special playtime, the parent creates an accepting relationship where the child feels completely safe to express emotions and experiences— whether they are fears, likes, dislikes, wishes, anger, loneliness, joy, or feelings of failure. This is not a typical playtime. It is a special session where the child leads and the parent follows.
In this unique relationship, there are no:

  • reprimands
  • put-downs
  • evaluations
  • requirements (to draw pictures a certain way, etc.)
  • judgments (about the child or his play as being good or bad, right or wrong)

How Can It Help My Child?

In these special playtimes, you will build a unique relationship with your child, helping them realize they are capable, important, understood, and accepted as they are. When children feel accepted, understood, and cared for during play, they naturally work through many of their problems, releasing tensions, feelings, and burdens. This process helps your child feel better about themselves, discover her own strengths and take on greater greater responsibility during play.

How your child feels about themselves significantly impacts their behavior. By focusing on your child rather than their problems during these special playtimes, you will notice a change in their reactions. Their behavior, thoughts, and school performance are directly linked to their self-perception. When your child feels better about themselves, they will act in more self-enhancing ways rather than self-defeating ones.

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Spot to Talk Interest Form: Child-Parent-Relationship Therapy

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