Cognitive Processing Therapy or CPT is a specific type of cognitive behavioral therapy that has been effective in reducing symptoms of PTSD that have developed after experiencing a variety of traumatic events including child abuse, combat, rape and natural disasters. CPT is an evidenced based therapy which means that it has been proven to be effective through rigorous scientific research. This research has shown that many individuals lose their PTSD diagnosis after competing CPT.
Trauma can change how we see the world and ourselves. Many people who experience trauma believe they are to blame for what happened or that the world is an unsafe place. These are some of the thoughts that might keep you stuck in your PTSD. CPT helps you learn new ways to handle these dysregulating thoughts. You can learn how to tell whether the facts support your thoughts and whether it is beneficial or detrimental to act on your thoughts moving forward. CPT can help you decide whether or not it makes sense to take on a new perspective and help you get unstuck.
Some of the goals of CPT are:
Improve understanding of PTSD
Reduce the feeling of being tense or “on edge”
Decrease anxiety, depression, guilt and/or shame
Reduce distress about memories of the trauma
Decrease emotional numbing (difficulty feeling/pushing away feelings) and avoidance of trauma reminders