Combined Parent Child Cognitive-Behavioral Approach for Children and Families At-Risk for Child Physical Abuse (CPC-CBT)

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Program/Intervention Name

Combined Parent Child Cognitive-Behavioral Approach for Children and Families At-Risk for Child Physical Abuse (CPC-CBT)


Family Functioning, Parent Engagement, Parenting Skills - Training and Enhancement, Social/emotional functioning, Trauma Treatment, Child Mental Health - internalizing

Program/Intervention Description

What: Combined Parent-Child Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CPC-CBT): Empowering Families Who Are at Risk for Physical Abuse is a structured treatment program for children ages 3-17 and their parents (or caregivers) in families where parents engage in a continuum of coercive parenting strategies. The target population includes families in which child physical abuse by parents has been substantiated, families that have had multiple referrals to a child protection services agency, and parents who have reported significant stress and fear that they may lose control and hurt their child. The program aims to reduce children's posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, other internalizing symptoms, and behavior problems while improving parenting skills and parent-child relationships and reducing the use of corporal punishment by parents. Combined Parent-Child Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CPC-CBT) is grounded in cognitive behavioral theory and incorporates elements (e.g., trauma narrative and processing, positive reinforcement, timeout, behavioral contracting) from empirically supported CBT models for families who have experienced sexual abuse, physical abuse, and/or domestic violence, as well as elements from motivational, family systems, trauma, and developmental theories. How: CPC-CBT is a manualized treatment consisting of 16 sessions offered over the course of 16-20 weeks in either individual (90-minute sessions) or group (2-hour sessions) format. Every session begins with the parent and child meeting individually with the clinician and concludes with the parent, child and clinician together. The amount of time spent jointly with the parent, child and clinician increases as therapy progresses. By the end of the course of treatment, the majority of the session is spent jointly with parent, child and clinician. The treatment consists of the following phases: Engagement, Skill Building, Family Safety Planning, and Abuse Clarification.

Intervention Target Population Identified (Age Group)

0-5, 6-12, 13-17

Program Goals/Outcomes

Goals of CPC-CBT include helping children heal from their abusive experiences, empowering parents to effectively parent their children in a non-coercive manner, strengthening parent-child relationships, and enhancing the safety of all family members, reduce children's PTSD symptoms

QIC Target Group

General - 3

QIC Adoption/Guardianship Relevance Levels

LEVEL 5: Other Human Services

QIC level of Evidence

LEVEL 2: Supported by Research

Intervention Web Site/URL

Contact Person/Purveyor

Melissa K. Runyon, Ph.D.



Contact Email

Contact Phone


External Links (Registry/Other Catalog)