Cognitive Processing Therapy

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Brenda Henning, MS, LPC

CPT is a 12-session cognitive-behavioral treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that can be individualized to include fewer or additional sessions. CPT teaches trauma survivors to recognize and challenge dysfunctional thinking about their traumatic experiences and current beliefs about themselves and others (Resick, Monson & Chard, 2016).

Through CPT, trauma survivors learn about symptoms of PTSD and the connection between trauma-based thoughts and feelings. As a CPT clinician, I  engage clients to recognize and challenge unrealistic thoughts, referred to as “stuck points,” throughout the course of treatment. Common trauma-related stuck points may include: “It’s my fault the trauma happened”; “If I would have done something different, I could have prevented the trauma.”

During later sessions, themes of safety, trust, power and control, esteem, and intimacy are explored as areas possibly affected by the trauma. Throughout, we address concerns through a gentle and kind Socratic dialogue to facilitate thinking changes. Derived from the Socratic method of learning, Socratic dialogue values people coming to know something for themselves rather than my teaching or telling them.

CPT is effective for both adolescents and adults.