The Child Trauma Research Program was founded in 1996 by Alicia Lieberman with support from co-director Patricia Van Horn with the mission of developing an evidence-based, culturally-informed approach to treating traumatic stress in young children and extending the basic principles of infant-parent psychotherapy to children aged 3 to 5. Their primary focus was to serve families from low-income and under-represented minority backgrounds.




Infant-Parent Psychotherapy (IPP) was a psychoanalytic treatment developed by Selma Fraiberg. IPP involves parents and young children and uses the metaphor of "ghosts in the nursery" to understand and prevent the intergenerational transmission of negative relationship patterns during the first three years of life. 




In 1998, CTRP received federal funding from the National Institute of Mental Health to develop the manual for Child-Parent Psychotherapy and conduct a randomized control trial. The study involved preschool-aged children and their mothers, all of whom had experienced domestic violence. Results showed that CPP helped reduce child and maternal symptoms, even in children who had experienced multiple risks, and that results endured over time.