How Can Parents Help?

The relationship between children and parents can be modified through the process of play. By teaching parents the language of play, parents become significant members of the team helping their own children become restored to emotional health. Parents are taught basic play therapy principles and skills including how to listen to their children, to recognize and respond to their children’s feelings, imaginary play, limit-setting, building children’s self-worth, and the value of using toys in communication.

Research shows that parental support and the child-parent relationship predicts mind, body, and spiritual health during childhood, adolescence, mid-life and even into old age. Child-Parent Relationship Therapy focuses on restoring, and improving the well-being of children, parents, and their relationships.


After an assessment, parents who are appropriate for Child-Parent Relationship Therapy will be trained in a step-by-step program to learn how to develop a relationship with their child through strucuted play sessions. Eventually, the child leaves therapy and the sessions will continue at home with the parent providing the play sessions.

Child-Parent Relationship Therapy

is based upon principles developed over the past 45 years. The concepts were first proposed in the 1960s by Bernard and Louise Guerney and furthered by Rise VanFleet, Garry Landreth, and Sue Bratton. In general, the objective of CPRT is the transfer of play therapy skills from therapist to parent by training them and ensuring that they are comfortable at practicing these four main skills:

  • Space and Time management

  • Imaginative play

  • Verbally tracking behavior and feelings

  • Limit setting

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