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Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD

Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD

As a cognitive-behavioral treatment, Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) provides a way to understand why recovery from traumatic events has been difficult and how symptoms of PTSD affect daily life. The focus is on identifying how your traumatic experiences changed how you think about things and your current feelings and behaviors. You will identify and challenge unhelpful thoughts through structured therapy sessions and practice assignments.

CPT is effective in treating PTSD in veterans and civilians. It also works well for a variety of traumas, including combat trauma, sexual assault, and domestic violence. CPT is a short-term treatment with approximately 12 weekly sessions with your therapist, and includes “homework” practice assignments.

Topics Covered in CPT:

  • The meaning of the traumatic event
  • The identification of thoughts and feelings
  • Safety issues
  • Trust issues
  • Issues of power and control
  • Esteem issues
  • Intimacy issues

Goals of Treatment:

  • Improve your understanding of PTSD
  • Reduce your distress about your memories of the trauma
  • Decrease your emotional “numbing” and avoidance
  • Reduce feelings of being tense and “on edge”
  • Decrease your depression, anxiety, and worry
  • Improve your day-to-day living


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