Behavioral Parent Training

Behavioral parent training (BPT) approaches recognize and honor that parents play the most important role in their children's development. Therefore, in BPT, parents are trained to become "co-therapists" such they are empowered to skillfully respond to the day-to-day behavioral struggles their children face. 

The goals of BPT are to help parents learn a new way of intervening and responding such that they can increase desirable behavior, reduce undesirable behavior, improve parent-child interactions, and bring about a positive family atmosphere. Specific skills often taught include praise, positive attention, administration of rewards and privileges, rule-setting, ignoring, and consequences. Parents are taught when and how to use these skills because even the most effective skill used at the wrong time or in the wrong way will not lead to the desired changes in behavior!

Studies have consistently shown BPT to the most effective therapy for reducing conduct behavior problems (e.g., noncompliance, tantrums, aggression, lying, stealing). And, BPT doesn’t just work in the short-term - reductions in conduct problems have been shown to last years after treatment has ended. Studies have also shown BPT to be effective in treating attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, depression, developmental disabilities, autism, sleep problems, and elimination problems.

At the Seattle Clinic we offer both principle-driven BPT therapy individualized for each family as well as specific BPT protocols:

Triple-P: Positive Parenting Program

Helping the Noncompliant Child (HNC)

Incredible Years

Defiant Teens

Parents of Early Adolescents Conflict Education (PEACE)


Empirical Support

McMahon (2015) 

Serketich & Dumas (1996) 


Popular Press

NY Times Article: Behavioral Parent Training for Children with ADHD