Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)

What Is CPT?

Cognitive processing therapy (CPT) is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that’s evidence-based and has been proven to effectively treat individuals struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). CPT typically take place over a period of 12 sessions with a therapist and aims to retrain the brain to think differently about the traumatic event. Historically, the demographics that benefit the most from CPT include military veterans, sexual assault victims, and first responders.

How We Use CPT

All too often with PTSD, the individual takes on the blame for the outcome of the traumatic occurrence. Through talk therapy, using CPT, the therapist helps the client determine if their thoughts are justified through reconceptualization. CPT is offered in both individual and group settings and sessions range from 60 to 90 minutes in length.
One of the primary goals of the therapist is to identify which emotions are obstructing their client’s recovery; also called “stuck points”. The therapist will then challenge these stuck points through open-ended questioning which will eventually deconstruct the traumatic event. Nearing the end of the final session, the client and therapist will often begin to devise a relapse prevention plan which will keep the client in recovery from their PTSD.

CPT consists of four steps:

  1.   First, the client discusses PTSD symptoms with their primary therapist as well as other co-occurring disorders (often referred to as dual diagnosis) they may be struggling with.

  2.  Then, the client works to identify their belief system in relation to the emotions experienced following the traumatic event.

  3.  Next, the therapist helps the client challenge their own beliefs about the event.

  4.  Lastly, the therapist helps the client understand how their thoughts can change after experiencing trauma.
Interested in learning more about CPT or our other treatment methods? Call our compassionate Admissions Team today at 866-321-9430 or fill out our contact form.
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