Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)

Trauma in any form is hard to shake.

But when we hold onto our unhealthy thoughts about ourselves and our lives, we give trauma even more power than it already has. 

And let’s be real, it doesn’t deserve any more real estate in your brain.

That’s where Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) comes in.

CPT is a specific type of trauma-focused cognitive behavioral (TF-CBT) psychotherapy that helps individuals recover from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and related events such as child abuse, combat (military and veterans), rape, and natural disasters. 

It has been found to be the most successful in alleviating trauma-related PTSD symptoms while maintaining long term recovery. 

This therapy approach teaches you to become aware of your thoughts and feelings surrounding your trauma, and to create a new understanding and interpretation of the event in order to lessen its negative impact on your life.

CPT is also used to help you change and modify unhealthy beliefs related to your trauma, and manage your memories effectively by gaining a more in depth understanding of how your symptoms can affect your thoughts about yourself and the world around you.

Our ultimate goal is to improve the way you feel on a day to day basis, without your trauma dictating your mood or behaviors.

CPT was originally developed to help process the emotions (especially fear) caused by PTSD, and to help manage them in a way that’s conducive to a happier and more functional life. 

According to the underlying theories of CPT, exposure to your traumatic event—in a safe environment—is a crucial step in accepting, processing, and giving less power to your fear.


HOW CPT WORKS

While the title “Cognitive Processing Therapy” may seem scientific and impersonal, your sessions will actually be very interactive as we discuss ways to shift your negative thoughts surrounding your trauma.

Throughout our sessions, we will work together to consider other ways of thinking about your situation and beliefs about yourself that have surfaced in the aftermath of your traumatic experience. 

We will use a wide range of different techniques during our sessions, and we will even give you tools to practice at home in your own time.

The process will begin with some psychoeducation, where we teach you about the symptoms and impacts of PTSD.

This will make you aware of your “automatic thoughts” that may be perpetuating your PTSD symptoms. 

Then, you will learn to process your trauma more directly by verbally talking about it or writing it down on paper.

And of course, will be there to help you navigate your thoughts and feelings along the way.

While facing trauma may seem like a daunting and intimidating process, we will be there to guide you through the pain and into a greater sense of healing, safety, and peace. 

We will continue to work with you in getting rid of your unhelpful thoughts and beliefs, helping you transform self-blame and self-hatred into self-compassion and self-worth. 

Once you are able to identify your automatic, negative thoughts you will continue to use your newfound skills to modify your traumatic thoughts and beliefs. 

CPT also involves work outside of session so that you gain the greatest benefits possible from treatment by integrating practical exercises into your life.

We will supply you with worksheets that will help you implement your newly-learned strategies in the real world.

Our therapists understand that everyone who experiences trauma is unique, and that your experience is extremely personal.

That’s why we will develop a plan of action that is tailored to your individual needs. 

It’s also important to note that CPT’s efficacy may differ for different populations, and may be less effective for combat-induced PTSD (you might want to look into EMDR or TRM for combat-induced trauma, please follow the links to visit our dedicated pages and learn more.) 

Our CPT sessions are designed to help patients learn skills to improve their quality of life, and help alleviate comorbid mental illnesses such as depression, substance abuse, and dissociation. 

At the same time, you will learn to trust yourself and those around you, improve your self-esteem, and increase your ability to be intimate again.

At My La Therapy, we are ready and prepared to help you take control of your story, manage your trauma, and get your life back.

Using Cognitive Processing Therapy, we will challenge the cognitive distortions surrounding your trauma, so you can experience greater freedom, peace, and vitality. 


OUR THERAPY METHODS

Therapy can successfully improve your life by helping you minimize the anxiety in your life, identifying and changing underlying thought and behavioral patterns that contribute to your struggles, and providing you with strategies to decrease discomfort while restoring an overall sense of peace.

ACT is an evidence-based, scientifically proven intervention that is demonstrated by research to be effective in addressing a wide range of psychological issues including trauma, depression, anxiety, and relationship issues.

Learn more about our empirically based therapy modalities by visiting our Methods page. 


WANT TO TALK? SPEAK WITH A CPT EXPERT NOW

If you have any questions, contact one of our CPT specialists for a free consultation any time.


RESOURCES

  1. National Center for PTSD
  2. APA
  3. Psychology Today
  4. National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)
  5. JAMA Network

Cognitive Processing Therapists

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