Child-Parent Psychotherapy

Child-Parent Psychotherapy Provides Families with Sustained Healing After Trauma

Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) is an approach to therapy for children ages birth to 5 and their parents/caregivers that supports family strengths, helps families heal after traumatic experiences, and centers family and cultural values in the healing process. In this work, clinicians are trained to understand, hold, and help families process harm that is caused both by adverse child and family experiences and adverse or violent community experiences.

Developed by a team of clinicians, academics, and researchers at the Child Trauma Research Program, CPP has expanded to 39 states and six countries outside of the United States. Racial equity and racial justice are central to the work of CPP trainers, clinicians, and partners. As part of CPP case formulation, therapists are supported in thinking about how trauma caused by structural racism, colonization, poverty, and gender-based violence impact families, so that these harms are acknowledged and addressed as appropriate within the treatment.

Clinical trials and studies have demonstrated both short-term and sustained benefits to families after engaging in CPP: One study showed that children participating in CPP demonstrate significantly greater improvements in traumatic stress symptoms and behavior problems than comparison group children, and mothers demonstrate a significant reduction in trauma symptoms when compared with a control group. Data also showed that for children with four or more traumatic experiences, CPP significantly reduced traumatic stress symptoms to a greater degree than comparison group children.

Perigee Fund prioritizes mental health and relationship based supports that are accessible for diverse families impacted by trauma. Perigee has provided the additional philanthropic capital for the CPP Dissemination team to dream, implement, and strategize pathways to long-term sustainability.

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