Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)

What is CPT?

CPT is a treatment for trauma disorders and anxiety related to traumatic events. CPT is a modern trauma treatment that evolved out of decades of research on CBT. CPT is a 15-18 week structured treatment approach that helps clarify the connection between our traumatic experiences, our views of ourselves, our views of others, and our active symptoms. 

In keeping with the research protocol of CPT, our goal is to keep you focused on the therapeutic process, help point out the areas where you may be stuck, and challenge you to value and trust yourself enough to do the work. There are assignments between each session to help deepen the insights and understandings that we uncover during the sessions. 

Who is helped by CPT and how does it work?

CPT works well with people who have active symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and/or depression that are related to a traumatic event and have an identifiable memory from that experience that they are able to describe or discuss. This memory forms the basis for the therapeutic work of the treatment sessions. The goal of treatment is to understand the ways that traumatic experiences have created patterns of thoughts and behaviors that are no longer serving your life and to begin to change those patterns. Each session builds on prior sessions and the self-reflection, writing, and homework that is done in between sessions. With that in mind, it is important for clients to begin treatment at a time when they can commit to their appointments and the time for the between-session homework. 

Looking for more information?


What is CPT? (from the VA)

CPT for PTSD (from the VA)

Here. Is. Better. A documentary on veterans and PTSD


Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD


This American Life: Ten Sessions