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Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) was developed to treat the symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among people who had experienced a sexual assault. Today it is widely used in the treatment of PTSD. It is an evidence-based treatment, and a specific type of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) that assists you to learn how to modify and challenge unhelpful beliefs related to the trauma. CPT is based on the notion that PTSD symptoms stem from conflicts, called "stuck points," between beliefs from before the trauma about the self and world (e.g., the belief that nothing bad will happen to me, the world is a safe place) and information from after the trauma (e.g., the traumatic event is evidence that the world is a dangerous and hazardous place). Throughout therapy these conflicts and stuck points are identified and addressed. In addition, you are provided with psychoeducation regarding PTSD, encouraged to practice exposure, and are helped to confront unpleasant memories and thoughts associated with a traumatic event. All this helps you to create a new understanding and conceptualization of the traumatic event so that it reduces its ongoing negative effects on current life.



Resick P. A., Monson C. M., and Chard K. M. (2017). Cognitive Processing Therapy: CPT Patient Workbook. The Guilford Press.

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