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CPT (Cognitive Processing Therapy)

Cognitive processing therapy (CPT) is a specific type of cognitive-behavioral therapy found to be effective for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in people who have experienced violence, abuse, natural disasters, or other traumatic events. CPT is short-term, typically conducted over the course of 12 sessions.

In CPT, the therapist will help a patient who has undergone significant trauma to evaluate his or her thoughts surrounding the trauma, particularly maladaptive or self-blaming thoughts that may be exacerbating PTSD symptoms, and conditions including anxiety and depression that set on in the wake of the experience. The patient will then learn to challenge those thoughts and take a new perspective when appropriate.

Like some other forms of CBT, at-home work is important for CPT; for example, patients will likely be asked to write an account of their trauma between sessions, to be read aloud in a later session.

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