Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy used to target trauma that reaches the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) threshold. CPT is a widely used intervention for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and is an approved treatment modality for the Veterans Administration for the treatment of PTSD.
CPT is based on a protocol that can be implemented on a weekly basis ranging from 12-18 sessions depending how fast the individual completes the protocol. CPT targets stuck points a person has developed related to past traumatic event(s). CPT can target a single past traumatic event of multiple events by adjusting the protocol slightly. As stuck points are targeted, the person develops their ability to engage their prefrontal cortex to not allow their mid and lower brain areas to become activated, aka jumping back into fight, flight or freeze mode. In short, CPT works by keeping a person’s prefrontal lobe online and not allow lower, more primitive brain areas to influence a person’s functioning.
There are a few reasons CPT is efficacious. The first is CPT’s ability to support a person to examine their thoughts to evaluate their accuracy and then create alternative thoughts that are more balanced or neutral in nature. The second factor is CPT’s repetition. Every day there is some form of homework. This allows a person being treated with CPT to create new neuron pathways that then allow them to change how they relate to stuck points from past trauma(s). Another major reason CPT is effective is the shear exposure to trauma related material. CPT does not re-traumatize a person but rather allows the person to examine the beliefs and stuck points that have been influenced from the past trauma(s) and then create new ways to relate to this material.
If you or someone you know have been impacted by PTSD do not hesitate to reach out. We offer free consultations and can either schedule to begin therapy or refer them to a trusted provider.