Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) is a manualized cognitive behavioral treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). CPT is appropriate for adult trauma survivors with various experiences and backgrounds. CPT can be administered in group or individual settings and is typically delivered over the course of 12 sessions but can vary in length depending on treatment response. CPT can also be administered with or without a written exposure component which provides flexibility and autonomy to both the client and the provider.
Patricia Resick, Candice Monson, & Kathleen Chard (2016) – Guildford Press
Contact email: [email protected]
CPT is a manualized treatment that was developed for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The goal of CPT is to provide trauma survivors with greater flexibility in their thoughts and beliefs in order to facilitate an adaptive recovery (Resick et al., 2016). CPT encourages recovery through accommodation of the traumatic event. Specifically, CPT targets assimilated beliefs, or negative trauma-related appraisals, and overaccommodated beliefs, or overgeneralized beliefs about the self, others, and the world (Resick et al., 2016). CPT also facilitates connections between factual events, thoughts, emotions, and behaviors and it addresses core beliefs and themes that may have been impacted by the trauma, including safety, trust, power/control, esteem, and intimacy (Resick et al., 2016).
There is strong empirical evidence for the efficacy of CPT with over 30 randomized control trials (RCTs) and dozens of additional studies over the past few decades. CPT was originally developed for survivors of sexual trauma; however, evidence suggests that it is effective for various types of trauma across the lifespan (e.g., military, childhood sexual trauma, refugee; Chard, 2005; Monson et al., 2006; Resick et al., 2016; Schulz et al., 2006). CPT can target PTSD symptoms from traumatic events that occurred as little as 3 months prior to treatment and as much as 65 years prior to treatment (Resick et al., 2016).
CPT is typically delivered over the course of 12 sessions and has successfully been administered in both individual and group formats (Chard, 2005; Resick et al., 2002; Resick et al., 2016; Resick et al., 2015). Research also supports CPT administration via in-person or Telehealth delivery systems (Maieritsch et al., 2016; Morland et al., 2011; Morland, et al., 2015). The CPT manual has been translated into 12 different languages and it may be modified to meet the needs of the population that is being served. For example, modified versions of CPT have remained effective for female trauma survivors living in the Democratic of Congo (Bass et al., 2013) and for adult survivors who are living with cognitive or intellectual difficulties (Resick et al., 2016). Furthermore, CPT can be individualized to each client using techniques and recommendations from the flexible applications book (Galovski et al., 2020).
The most recent iteration of the manual can be purchased through the publisher’s website (link below) or through other bookstores. Both print and electronic copies are available.
The CPT for PTSD website provides translated copies of the manual and other resources.
For Arabic, Kurdish, and French versions, please email Debra Kaysen, Ph.D., at [email protected]
Note that only appropriately trained clinicians with experience in cognitive behavioral theory and therapy should attempt to use this treatment manual. Practitioners without this background are strongly advised to obtain training and supervision in general CBT approaches prior to implementing the approaches described in this manual.
Workshops: for further information, click here.
CPTforPTSD.com provides overall information and how to achieve provider status.
Consultation: for further information, click here.
Provider Status: There are two levels of provider status available for clinicians:
Both require an official CPT workshop and case consultation – more information can be found here.
- CPT Provider
- Quality-Rated CPT Provider
- CPTWeb2.0 is a free online learning course for CPT.
- An introductory course on CPT is also offered through VHA Train which can be accessed here.
These resources should be used in an ethical and responsible manner and should be used only for the purpose(s) for which it has demonstrable validity. Please observe copyright where indicated and reference it appropriately.
Bass, J. K., Annan, J., McIvor Murray, S., Kaysen, D., Griffiths, S., Cetinoglu, T., Wachter, K., Murray, L. K., & Bolton, P. A. (2013). Controlled trial of psychotherapy for Congolese survivors of sexual violence. New England Journal of Medicine, 368(23), 2182–2191. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1211853
Chard, K. M. (2005). An evaluation of cognitive processing therapy for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder related to childhood sexual abuse. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 73(5), 965–971. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-006X.73.5.965
Galovski, T. E., Blain, L. M., Mott, J. M., Elwood, L., & Houle, T. (2012). Manualized therapy for PTSD: flexing the structure of cognitive processing therapy. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 80(6), 968.
Galovski, T. E., Nixon, R. D., & Kaysen, D. (2020). Flexible applications of cognitive processing therapy: Evidence-based treatment methods. Academic Press.
Maieritsch, K. P., Smith, T. L., Hessinger, J. D., Ahearn, E. P., Eickhoff, J. C., & Zhao, Q. (2016). Randomized controlled equivalence trial comparing videoconference and in-person delivery of cognitive processing therapy for PTSD. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 22(4), 238–243. https://doi.org/10.1177/1357633X15596109
Marques, L., Eustis, E. H., Dixon, L., Valentine, S. E., Borba, C. P., Simon, N., ... & Wiltsey-Stirman, S. (2016). Delivering cognitive processing therapy in a community health setting: The influence of Latino culture and community violence on posttraumatic cognitions. Psychological trauma: theory, research, practice, and policy, 8(1), 98.
Monson, C. M., Schnurr, P. P., Resick, P. A., Friedman, M. J., Young-Xu, Y., & Stevens, S. P. (2006). Cognitive processing therapy for veterans with military-related posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 74(5), 898-907. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-006X.74.5.898
Morland, L. A., Hynes, A. K., Mackintosh, M., Resick, P. A., & Chard, K. M. (2011). Group cognitive processing therapy delivered to veterans via telehealth: A pilot cohort. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 24(4), 465–469. https://doi.org/10.1002/jts.20661
Morland, L. A., Mackintosh, M. A., Rosen, C. S., Willis, E., Resick, P. A., Chard, K. M., & Frueh, B. C. (2015). Telemedicine versus in-person delivery of cognitive processing therapy for women with posttraumatic stress disorder: A randomized noninferiority trial. Depression and Anxiety, 32(11), 811–820. https://doi.org/10.1002/da.22397
Pearson, C. R., Kaysen, D., Huh, D., & Bedard-Gilligan, M. (2019). Randomized control trial of culturally adapted cognitive processing therapy for PTSD substance misuse and HIV sexual risk behavior for native American women. AIDS and Behavior, 23(3), 695-706.
Resick, P. A., Galovski, T. E., Uhlmansiek, M. O., Scher, C. D., Clum, G., & Young-Xu, Y. (2008). A randomized clinical trial to dismantle components of cognitive processing therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder in female victims of interpersonal violence. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 76(2), 243–258. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-006X.76.2.243
Resick, P. A., Monson, C. M., & Chard, K. M. (2016). Cognitive processing therapy for PTSD: A comprehensive manual. Guilford Publications.
Resick, P. A., Nishith, P., Weaver, T. L., Astin, M. C., & Feuer, C. A. (2002). A comparison of cognitive-processing therapy with prolonged exposure and a waiting condition for the treatment of chronic posttraumatic stress disorder in female rape victims. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 70(4), 867.
Resick, P. A., & Schnicke, M. K. (1992). Cognitive processing therapy for sexual assault victims. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 60(5), 748-756. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-006X.60.5.748
Resick, P. A., Wachen, J. S., Mintz, J., Young-McCaughan, S., Roache, J. D., Borah, A. M., Borah, E. V., Dondanville, K. A., Hembree, E. A., Litz, B. T., & Peterson, A. L. (2015). A randomized clinical trial of group cognitive processing therapy compared with group present-centered therapy for PTSD among active duty military personnel. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 83(6), 1058-1068. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/ccp0000016
Resick, P. A., Wachen, J. S., Dondanville, K. A., Pruiksma, K. E., Yarvis, J. S., Peterson, A. L., ... & STRONG STAR Consortium. (2017). Effect of group vs individual cognitive processing therapy in active-duty military seeking treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA psychiatry, 74(1), 28-36.
Resick, P.A., Wachen, J.S. Dondanville, K.A., LoSavio, S.T., Young-McCaughan, S. Yarvis, J.S., Pruiksma K.E., Blankenship, A., Jacoby, V., Peterson, A. L., Mintz, J; for the STRONG STAR Consortium (advanced online, 2021). Variable-Length Cognitive Processing Therapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Active Duty Military: Outcomes and Predictors, Behaviour Research and Therapy, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2021.103846.
Schulz, P. M., Huber, L. C., & Resick, P. A. (2006). Practical adaptations of cognitive processing therapy with Bosnian refugees: Implications for adapting practice to a multicultural clientele. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 13(4), 310–321. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpra.2006.04.019
Manual Available Only to ISTSS Members
CPT Manual in Hebrew
CPT Manual in Spanish
CPT Manual in Chinese