Trust Based Relational Intervention

During the past 14 years, research conducted by the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development has expanded our understanding of the complex needs of children who have experienced abuse, neglect, and/or trauma. Current research studies aim to advance scientific knowledge regarding the impact of early maltreatment, as well as to develop trauma-informed interventions that encourage healthy social development. 

Dr. Karyn Purvis has contributed a rich reservoir of principles and practices that bring about healing for children and hope for parents. Once on the You Tube channel, subscribe to “Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development”. Click on “videos” to find a library of resources to choose from. Get out your paper and pen. Her tips are inspired and critical as you begin your learning journey. Like everything else in life, if we want to become good at something, it isn’t magic; it doesn’t happen overnight. We learn a little here and little there, we practice here and there, until we find that we are not only “doing” the things that most help our children, but we are “becoming” the person that will most effectively help our children heal and feel safe.

Who is it for and who should use it?

TBRI® is 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?

Because of their histories, children from hard places have changes in their bodies, brains, behaviors, and belief systems. While a variety of parenting strategies may be successful in typical circumstances, children from hard places need caregiving that meets their unique needs and addresses the whole child.

Where is it used?

TBRI® is used in homes, residential treatment facilities, group homes, schools, camps, and international orphanages.

How do you do it?

If you’d like to get started right away, we encourage you to look around our site for more information and resources. Reading our book, The Connected Child, or viewing any of our DVDs are both great places to start. TBRI® 101: A Self-Guided Course in Trust-Based Relationships also provides nearly eight hours of instruction on TBRI®.  Parents can learn to implement Trust-based parenting in a variety of ways and we offer a few ideas on where to start on our parent resource page. Professionals can apply to attend our TBRI® Professional training.

Where can I read about it?

Purvis, K. B., Cross, D. R., & Sunshine, W. L. (2007). The Connected
Child: Bringing hope and healing to your adoptive family. New York, NY:

Purvis, K. B., Cross, D. R., Dansereau, D. F., & Parris, S. R. (2013).
Trust-based relational intervention (TBRI®): A systematic approach to
complex developmental trauma. Child & Youth Services, 34(4), 1-28.

Purvis, K. B., Cross, D. R., & Pennings, J. S. (2009). Trust-based
relational intervention: Interactive principles for adopted children with
special social-emotional needs. Journal of Humanistic Counseling,
Education, and Development, 48, 3-22.

Purvis, K. B., Parris, S. R., & Cross, D. R. (2011). Trust-based
relational intervention: Principles and practices. In Rosman, E. A.,
Johnson, C. E., & Callahan, N. M. (Eds.), Adoption factbook V (pp.
485-489). Alexandria, VA: National Council for Adoption.