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An Evidence-Based Mental Health Program for Parents
of Children Age 2-7

Positive Parent-Child Interactions

Play-based Development

Jane Gray

"Happypillar makes evidence-based behavioral parenting methods accessible for busy parents. I recommend trying it!"

Jane Gray, PhD
Child and adolescent psychologist

Director of Clinical Training, Counseling and School Psychology at The University of Texas at Austin and Happypillar clinical advisory board member

Easy and Effective

Evidence and Outcomes

Early Intervention

A Bright Future

The parent-child connection is the most powerful mental health intervention known to mankind. 

-Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk; psychiatrist, researcher and author of The Body Keeps the Score

Happypillar was tested with 2000+ families with children between the ages of 2 and 7. Here's what we learned about the effectiveness and impact:

  • 100% of parents reported a decrease in stress

  • 100% of parents found Happypillar easy to use

  • 98% of parents saw an improvement in their child's behavior

  • 95% of parents reported that their child enjoyed doing Happy Time

Happypillar's Impact


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023, January 23). Praise and Imitation | Communicating | Essentials | Parenting Information | CDC.

  2. Thomas, R., Abell, B., Webb, H. J., Avdagic, E., & Zimmer-Gembeck, M. J. (2017). Parent-Child Interaction Therapy: A Meta-analysis. Pediatrics, 140(3), e20170352.

  3. Amato, P. R., & Fowler, F. (2002). Parenting Practices, Child Adjustment, and Family Diversity. Journal of Marriage and Family, 64(3), 703–716.

  4. Romeo, R. R., Leonard, J. A., Robinson, S. T., West, M. R., Mackey, A. P., Rowe, M. L., & Gabrieli, J. D. E. (2018). Beyond the 30-Million-Word Gap: Children’s Conversational Exposure Is Associated With Language-Related Brain Function. Psychological Science, 29(5), 700–710.

  5. Yogman, M., Garner, A., Hutchinson, J., Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Golinkoff, R. M. (2018). The power of play: A pediatric role in enhancing development in young children. Pediatrics, 142(3).

  6. Barros, W., David, M., Souza, A., Silva, M., & Matos, R. (2019). Can the effects of environmental enrichment modulate BDNF expression in hippocampal plasticity? A systematic review of animal studies. Synapse, 73(8), e22103.

  7. Masse, J. J., & McNeil, C. B. (2008). In-Home Parent-Child Interaction Therapy: Clinical Considerations. Child & Family Behavior Therapy, 30(2), 127–135.

  8. Rothenberg, W. A., Weinstein, A., Dandes, E. A., & Jent, J. F. (2018). Improving Child Emotion Regulation: Effects of Parent–Child Interaction-therapy and Emotion Socialization Strategies. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 28(3), 720–731.

  9. McDole, M., Ralston, P. A., Coccia, C., & Young-Clark, I. (2013). The Development of a Tracking Tool to Improve Health Behaviors in African American Adults. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 24(1), 171–184.

  10. Whittle, S., Simmons, J. G., Dennison, M., Vijayakumar, N., Schwartz, O., Yap, M. B. H., Sheeber, L., & Allen, N. B. (2014). Positive parenting predicts the development of adolescent brain structure: A longitudinal study. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 8(8), 7–17.

  11. Chen, Y., Kubzansky, L. D., & VanderWeele, T. J. (2019). Parental warmth and flourishing in mid-life. Social Science & Medicine, 220, 65–72.

  12. Comer, J. S., Furr, J. M., Miguel, E. M., Cooper-Vince, C. E., Carpenter, A. L., Elkins, R. M., Kerns, C. E., Cornacchio, D., Chou, T., Coxe, S., DeSerisy, M., Sanchez, A. L., Golik, A., Martin, J., Myers, K. M., & Chase, R. (2017). Remotely delivering real-time parent training to the home: An initial randomized trial of Internet-delivered parent–child interaction therapy (I-PCIT). Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 85(9), 909–917.

  13. Davidson, R. J. (2021). Childhood Adversity and the Brain: Harnessing the Power of Neuroplasticity. Biological Psychiatry, 90(3), 143–144.

  14. Tierney AL, Nelson CA 3rd. Brain Development and the Role of Experience in the Early Years. Zero Three. 2009 Nov 1;30(2):9-13. PMID: 23894221; PMCID: PMC3722610.

  15. LaBelle, B. (2019). Positive Outcomes of a Social-Emotional Learning Program to Promote Student Resiliency and Address Mental Health. Contemporary School Psychology.


Additional reviewed research includes the sources listed below. All of this research was considered when building out our program and content. 

  • Agarwal, S. M., Rodríguez Delgado, M., & Tapia-Fuselier, J. L. (2022). Meeting the needs of children through telemental health: Application for rural mental health using child–parent relationship therapy. International Journal of Play Therapy.

  • Ainsworth, M. D. S. (Ed.). (1978). Patterns of attachment: A psychological study of the strange situation. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates ; distributed by Halsted Press Division of Wiley.

  • American Psychiatric Association & American Psychiatric Association (Eds.). (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5 (5th ed). American Psychiatric Association.

  • Bjørseth, Å., & Wichstrøm, L. (2016). Effectiveness of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) in the Treatment of Young Children's Behavior Problems. A Randomized Controlled Study. PloS one, 11(9), e0159845.

  • Bowlby, J. (1999). Attachment and loss (2nd ed). Basic Books.

  • Bratton, S., & Landreth, G. L. (2020). Child-parent relationship therapy (Cprt) treatment manual: An evidence-based 10-session filial therapy model.

  • Carnes-Holt, K., & Bratton, S. C. (2014). The efficacy of child parent relationship therapy for adopted children with attachment disruptions. Journal of Counseling & Development, 92(3), 328–337.

  • Cornett, N., & Bratton, S. C. (2014). Examining the impact of child parent relationship therapy (Cprt) on family functioning. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 40(3), 302–318.

  • Edwards, N. A., Sullivan, J. M., Meany-Walen, K., & Kantor, K. R. (2010). Child parent relationship training: Parents’ perceptions of process and outcome. International Journal of Play Therapy, 19(3), 159–173.

  • Franz, L., Angold, A., Copeland, W., Costello, E. J., Towe-Goodman, N., & Egger, H. (2013). Preschool anxiety disorders in pediatric primary care: Prevalence and comorbidity. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 52(12), 1294-1303.e1.

  • Hicks, B., & Baggerly, J. (2017). The effectiveness of child parent relationship therapy in an online format. International Journal of Play Therapy, 26(3), 138–150.

  • Kerns, K. A., & Brumariu, L. E. (2014). Is insecure parent-child attachment a risk factor for the development of anxiety in childhood or adolescence? Child Development Perspectives, 8(1), 12–17.

  • Masi, G., Mucci, M., & Millepiedi, S. (2001). Separation anxiety disorder in children and adolescents: Epidemiology, diagnosis and management. CNS Drugs, 15(2), 93–104.

  • Perryman, K. L., Christian, D. D., & Massengale, B. D. (2017). The impact of a two-day child parent relationship therapy training on attitude, knowledge, and skills. International Journal of Play Therapy, 26(4), 218–229.

  • Schneider, S., Blatter-Meunier, J., Herren, C., Adornetto, C., In-Albon, T., & Lavallee, K. (2011). Disorder-specific cognitive-behavioral therapy for separation anxiety disorder in young children: A randomized waiting-list-controlled trial. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 80(4), 206–215.

  • Schuhmann, Elena M., Foote, Rebecca C , Eyberg, Sheila M., Boggs, Stephen R., & Algina, James (1998) Efficacy of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy: Interim Report of a Randomized Trial with Short-Term Maintenance, Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 27:1, 34-45, DOI: 10.1207/s15374424jccp2701_4

  • Shafi, R. M. A., Bieber, E. D., Shekunov, J., Croarkin, P. E., & Romanowicz, M. (2019). Evidence based dyadic therapies for 0- to 5-year-old children with emotional and behavioral difficulties. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 10, 677.

  • Socarras, K., Smith-Adcock, S., & Shin, S. M. (2015). A Qualitative Study of an Intensive Filial Intervention Using Child–Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT). The Family Journal, 23(4), 381–391.

  • Starr, L. R., & Davila, J. (2012). Temporal patterns of anxious and depressed mood in generalized anxiety disorder: A daily diary study. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 50(2), 131–141.

  • Stulmaker, H. L., & Ray, D. C. (2015). Child-centered play therapy with young children who are anxious: A controlled trial. Children and Youth Services Review, 57, 127–133.

  • Tal, R., & Tal, K. (2017). Child-parent relationship therapy—A dialogue with Winnicott’s theory. International Journal of Play Therapy, 26(3), 151–159.

  • Wallace N.M., & Sly, H.G. (2018) Parent-Child Interaction Therapy with a Child on the Autism Spectrum: A Case Study. In C.B. McNeil, L.B. Questsch & Anderson, C.M. (eds.), Handbook of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy for Children on the Autism Spectrum, (pp. 609-618). Cham: Springer. 5_34. 

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