Child-Parent Relationship Therapy

Parents or carers attend without their children and the group meets for two hours per week during school time, usually for ten weeks.

Child-Parent Relationship Therapy is a structured, supportive group programme for parents and carers. Delivered by a qualified and experienced Play Therapist, the course teaches parents/carers to run “mini Play Therapy” sessions with their own children, helping them to understand their children’s behaviour and emotions. The group provides a therapeutic environment for parents to explore the difficulties they are having with their children, and to develop mutual support. If necessary, CPRT can also be provided on a one-to-one basis to individuals or couples.

Training is usually provided to small groups of parents and carers, in ten weekly sessions of two hours each.  Additional individual support can be offered if this is needed. The course is delivered through a mixture of presentations, video clips, group discussions, demonstration and skills practice, including discussion and debrief of the play sessions carried out at home.

Unlike many parenting courses, which ask carers to apply the new skills they are learning consistently throughout their parenting, CPRT trains parents/carers to deliver one half-hour play session per week.  This makes the programme very manageable for the majority of parents, while the effects of the weekly session and the communication between parent and child during this time can have extremely positive effects on all aspects of the parent-child relationship. Parents/carers are taught

  • to identify and respond to their children’s feelings
  • to use reflective listening skills
  • to set effective limits, and
  • to enhance their children’s self-esteem.

CPRT is equally suited to enhancing already positive parent-child relationships, enabling parents/carers to support their children through particularly difficult experiences, and helping to build relationships which are new or have been damaged by ill health or life events.  The system has proved effective in many different situations, including

  • families with step-parents and children
  • foster and adoptive families
  • parents who are imprisoned
  • families affected by physical and mental illness
  • children recovering from trauma and abuse.