Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP)

What is CPP?

Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) is an attachment and trauma-focused treatment model for children ages 0-5 and their caregiver.

  • Appropriate for children who have experienced a traumatic event(s) or who are experiencing mental health, attachment, or behavioral problems
  • Average length of treatment: 32 weekly, 1 hour sessions
  • Targets negative perceptions that child and caregiver have of themselves and each other

The CPP is a good fit for agencies with:

  • Leadership and staff who strive to be trauma-informed in the services you provide
  • Leadership and staff who are committed to evidence-based and evidence-informed treatment
  • A referral base with a large number of children in the 0-5 range youth who potentially meet the criteria above
  • I would add: Leadership and staff who are committed to infant and early childhood mental health best practices

CPP is a good fit for clinicians who:

  • Have at least one year of post-Master’s clinical experience at the agency
  • Have at least three years of post-Master’s clinical experience
  • Have a psycho dynamic and family systems orientation
  • Are comfortable with non-directive, culturally competent approach in clinical treatment
  • Have good family engagement skills (e.g., low no-show rates, positive feedback from families)
  • Are able to be reflective about their own practice
  • Are motivated to learn and grow skills and to implement evidence-based practices
  • Have timely and clear documentation and good time management skills
  • Experience compassion satisfaction from treating families with trauma histories

Return on Investment

In the United States, 61% of children are affected by violence, abuse, or crime, putting them at increased risk for: depression, academic problems, violent behavior, substance use, delinquency, teen pregnancy, and other emotional-behavioral challenges. Lifetime costs of childhood maltreatment are estimated at $210,012 per case.

Service Delivery

CPP has been successfully delivered in diverse settings, provided that the child is living with a primary caregiver (biological, adoptive, or foster) such as outpatient, in home, and residential treatment settings.


Reduced foster care placement disruptions among children with moderate to severe traumatic experiences

Improved cognitive ability, on par with non-traumatized children

Improved attachment security and organization

Decreased parental and child PTSD symptoms

Decreased parental and child depression

Training Requirements

Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) Learning Collaboratives train teams from community based mental health agencies. Our model relies on clinicians training together with an administrative leader from their agency to ensure successful implementation and sustainability.

CPP Learning Collaboratives include 10 face-to-face training days with bi-weekly individual and group clinical consultation calls between training dates, as well as submission of at least 3 session videos. In order to graduate, clinicians must deliver CPP to at least 4 clients complete a full course of CPP with at least 2 clients.

Who Should Apply?

  • Applicants are encouraged to apply as part of a team, which can bolster clinical implementation and model sustainability efforts both during and after the training period.
  • When reviewing applications, preference will be given to committed teams with a highly supportive Senior Leader.
  • Individual practitioners are also welcome to apply and may be paired with other individual practitioners for support/peer supervision during the Learning Collaborative.

Team Member Requirements

Senior Leaders (at least 1 per team) must have:

  • Administrative responsibility within their organization and/or within the local mental health community;
  • Authority to make systematic changes (e.g., procedures, budgeting) to support the implementation of CPP within their organization and/or across their community.

Clinicians (6 per team maximum) must:

  • Demonstrate the ability to serve the Medicaid-eligible, or a similar, population;
  • Be a licensed clinician in North Carolina, including: clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, professional counselors, psychological associates, psychologists, child psychiatrists, nurse specialists or practitioners. (Provisionally licensed applicants will be considered.)

Training Opportunities

We offer 1-2 training cohorts per year in CPP. Training cohorts are 18 months long and consist of face-to-face learning sessions and faculty consultation. Contact NC CTP for more information.