About Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSDJon Finch2020-07-03T21:44:32+10:00
Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD
What is Cognitive Processing Therapy?
Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) is a cognitive-behavioural treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which was developed in the late 1980s. It has been shown to be effective in reducing PTSD symptoms related to a variety of traumatic events including child abuse, combat, rape and natural disasters. CPT is endorsed by the U.S. Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defence, as well as the International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies, as a best practice for the treatment of PTSD.
Cognitive Processing Therapy recognises that that it is normal for people to have psychological reactions to traumatic events, over time these reactions generally resolve without intervention. In the CPT model, PTSD occurs when something gets in the way of the natural recovery after trauma. Often it is a person’s beliefs about why the traumatic event happened that causes them difficulties. These beliefs cause people to feel strong emotions, which then tends to lead to avoidance (of anything associated with the trauma) and then prevents clear thinking about the trauma. CPT focuses upon how the person’s understanding of the traumatic event and their experiences in the aftermath. CPT is aimed at helping the individual develop more helpful and balanced beliefs about the trauma.
Cognitive Processing Therapy has shown to be an effective psychological treatment for PTSD across a variety of different types of trauma, and with multiple or complex traumatic experiences, such as combat, sexual assault, and refugee experiences. It typically consists of 12 weekly sessions of between 50 to 60 minutes.
What to expect in Cognitive Processing Therapy?
Over approximately 12, weekly therapy sessions, clients under taking Cognitive Processing Therapy:
Learn about the common changes in beliefs that occur after experiencing trauma which can include beliefs about safety, trust, power/control, esteem, and intimacy
Learn to identify and challenge unhelpful beliefs and thoughts
Learn to find a balance in the beliefs you may have had after the trauma
Are asked to write about the impact of your traumatic experience(s)
May choose to write the story of your traumatic event(s)
Are asked to complete practice assignments outside of sessions to apply the learning from therapy
What are the Goals of Cognitive Processing Therapy?
Increase your understanding of PTSD
Examine the impact of the trauma on your beliefs/thoughts and feelings
Decrease avoidance and difficulties you may be experiencing with positive emotions
Learn skills to evaluate your thinking
Consider alternative viewpoints of the trauma, oneself and the world
Reduce distress related to your memories of the trauma
Reduce feelings of anxiety, anger, guilt and shame
Improve day-to-day living
Some Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD experiences
Orion's Cognitive Processing Therapy Story
Orion tells the story of his PTSD due to childhood, emotional, physical and sexual abuse, and his Cognitive Processing Therapy journey.
Jordanna's Cognitive Processing Therapy Story
Jordanna talks about the experience of Cognitive Processing Therapy for trauma and PTSD after her experience of childhood trauma
Fiona's Cognitive Processing Therapy Story
Fiona talks about the experience of Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD after witnessing a suicide, and trying to resuscitate the person at her workplace.
Nick's Cognitive Processing Therapy Story
Nick talks about the experience of CPT for PTSD after his experience of a recreational accident, being run over by a bull at Running of the Bulls in Spain.
Erica's Cognitive Processing Therapy Story
Erica talks about the experience of Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD after being sexaully assualted. She describes how it was different to other therapy she received.
Sian's Cognitive Processing Therapy Story
Sian talks about the experience of Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD after being sexaully assualted. She describes what it is like to do therapy via telehealth and never meet the therapists in person.
Adam's Cognitive Processing Therapy Story
Adam talks about the experience of Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD after an assault.
Cyan's Cognitive Processing Therapy Story
Cyan talks about her journey through Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD after being raped.
Fathima's Cognitive Processing Therapy Story
Fathima talks about her journey through Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD after childhood sexual assault by a family friend. She talks about life after PTSD.
Lizeth's Cognitive Processing Therapy Story
Lizeth talks about the challenges of her journey through Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD and the changes in her emotions after childhood trauma.
Zoe's Cognitive Processing Therapy Story
Zoe talks about seeking help and her experience of Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD and the changes in her confidence after sexual assault.
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