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Evidence Based Therapies

Behavioral Parent Training (BPT)

talk therapy

BPT is a problem and solution-focused therapy to help caregivers address behavioral and emotional difficulties with their youth.

BPT teaches different ways to attend to and reinforce youth for desired behaviors.    


Caregivers also learn communication and validation skills to use with each other and with their youth.


The TAP Clinic offers BPT with an individual therapist. Any caregivers who play an active role in parenting the youth are encouraged to attend.


What BPT is:

Behavioral Parent Training (BPT) is a broad description for a range of empirically supported treatments designed to help parents who are struggling to manage behavioral and/or emotional difficulties with their youth. Although the youth’s behavior is the focal point of the intervention, the treatment is focused on helping parents or caregivers learn more effective strategies for interacting with their youth. Many parents come in for treatment completely overwhelmed and unsure about where to start in changing their youth’s behavior. BPT helps parents figure out what problems to tackle, in what order, and how to implement behavioral principles effectively.

BPT at TAP is a short-term (12-15 sessions) treatment that helps parents learn the principles of behavior management, validation and communication strategies, and how to establish a behavioral contract and reward system. In designing our BPT program, we relied most heavily on Barkley and Robin’s (2014) Defiant Teens protocol, which has considerable empirical support for youth with ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). Because we treat a significant number of youth at TAP who struggle with pervasive emotion dysregulation, including suicidal and self-harming behaviors, we also integrated lessons from DBT-A into our BPT curriculum. Importantly, the age of the youth does not matter - BPT can be helpful for parents of toddlers, teenagers, or transition age youth (young adults) who are having difficulties achieving independence.

BPT at TAP is open to any family interested in learning more about effective parenting strategies - the youth is not required to be a TAP client.

What BPT treats:

BPT is a behavioral intervention aimed at parents of youth with pervasive emotional and behavioral difficulties. Such youth difficulties may include issues with mood, anxiety, self-injury or suicidality, emotion dysregulation, substance abuse, and generally feature a behavioral component that impacts parenting and/or family functioning.

Learn More:

To learn more about the TAP BPT program, check out relevant blog posts:  BPT with Children & Adolescents with Dr. Zachary ; BPT with Transition Age Youth with Becca Edwards-Powell

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