What is TBRI?

black and white connected hands love

  • When children come from hard places such as a difficult pregnancy or birth, early hospitalization, abuse, neglect, or other trauma, their brain chemistry and development are affected.
  • This can lead to chaotic even bizarre behavior. It is not what most parents expected when they chose to love and care for that child.

What is TBRI?

  • Developed by Dr. Karyn Purvis and Dr. David Cross at the TCU Institute of Child Development, Trust-Based Relational Interventions® TBRI® has emerged as the intervention model for a wide range of childhood behavioral problems.


  • It has been applied successfully in a variety of contexts, and with many children for whom numerous other interventions have failed (e.g., medications, cognitive-behavioral therapies.) TBRI® is based on a solid foundation of neuro-developmental theory and research, tempered by compassionate principles.
  • TBRI® was designed for children from “hard places” such as abuse, neglect, and/or trauma. Because of their histories, it is often difficult for these children to trust the loving adults in their lives, which often results in perplexing behaviors

  • TBRI® offers practical tools for parents, caregivers, teachers, or anyone who works with children, to see the “whole child” in their care and help that child reach his highest potential.

Why use it?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

  • When TBRI is used with children, synapses are created in the brain, the limbic system and pre-frontal cortex begin to work correctly, children become able to self-regulate and negotiate their needs with words. 
  •  In as little as one month caregivers report significant reduction in unwanted/disruptive behaviors, increases in verbal and auditory processing, and increases in their feelings of hope and love within their family.

  • Teachers report drastic reduction in classroom disruptions, decreased aggression, improved cognition, increased focus, and shorter, smoother transitions.

Where is it used?

  • TBRI is being used in homes, schools, orphanages, residential treatment centers, child welfare, family court, and other environments.
  •  It is designed for use with children and youth of all ages and risk levels.

  • By helping caregivers understand what should have happened in early development and giving specific tools, caregivers are able to see a restoration of the whole child.

TBRI®. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://child.tcu.edu/about us/tbri/#sthash.SeWmSqML.dpbs