Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for PTSD


This intensive 2-day module provides training in CPT, an evidence-based treatment for PTSD. It presents theory underlying CPT, a brief overview of CPT’s empirical support, and step-by-step instructions in CPT protocol techniques. Throughout the workshop strategies for conceptualizing and dealing with co-morbidity, managing avoidance, and keeping patients optimally engaged are provided. Video clips of expert therapists demonstrate CPT skills, and participants are asked to do role-plays and other assignments to learn concepts and practice skills. Attendance on both days is required. Participants will receive Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD: A Comprehensive Manual by Resick et al., Dec 2016 (1st Edition) as part of the workshop.


  1. Implementation issues; CPT theory

  2. CPT treatment outcome findings, CPT manual, pre-treatment issues; structure of CPT

  3. Session 1: Patient psycho-education, identifying the index trauma, assigning the impact statement

  4. Session 2 and 2A (Traumatic Bereavement-optional): Processing the impact statement, identifying “stuck points,” reviewing cognitive model, introducing/teaching ABC worksheets; exploring issues working with traumatic loss within the CPT framework (optional session)

  5. Sessions 3 and 4: Reviewing ABC worksheets; modeling Socratic method, and assigning the first written account of the trauma; emotional processing of first written account and gentle challenging of stuck points

  6. Sessions 5 and 6: Processing second written account, introducing and reviewing the Challenging Questions worksheet; introducing Patterns of Problematic Thinking worksheet

  7. Sessions 7 to 11: Review Patterns of Problematic Thinking worksheets; introducing Challenging Beliefs worksheet; beginning exploration of trauma-related themes (safety, trust, power/control, esteem and intimacy); assign final impact statement; Session 12: Review  Challenging Beliefs worksheets; trauma-related theme, consolidate treatment gains through reading and exploring the final impact statement and review of skills learned through course of CPT

  8. Questions and wrap-up

Learning Objectives:

  1. Characterize symptoms of PTSD through the lens of CPT theory.

  2. Substantiate some of the empirical evidence of CPT’s effectiveness in reducing PTSD.

  3. Consider co-morbid psychological disorders, and personality and environmental factors.

  4. Include methods of assessing CPT treatment effectiveness.

  5. Implement the CPT standard protocol with individual patients diagnosed with PTSD.

  6. Articulate CPT practice assignments and rationale.

  7. Communicate role of avoidance in CPT.

  8. Present two primary types of emotions.

  9. Implement structured treatment protocol.

  10. Communicate the goals of treatment.

  11. Evaluate treatment compliance.

  12. Point out the concept of stuck points.

  13. Articulate the concepts behind the five themes.

  14. Practice the use of Socratic Dialogue.

Duration: 840 minutes (10 minute break required every 90 minutes). Course covers two days


Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for PTSD in Veterans and Military Personnel and Epidemiology of PTSD in Military Personnel and Veterans are recommended as prerequisites.  This module may include DVD / video clips that could be distressing to some audience members. Speaker will disclose this to the audience prior to the presentation. This module requires breakout sessions for participants to do role-plays, so room should be large enough to allow a minimum of 8 inch separation between breakout groups of two participants each.

*Continuing education credits are available for this course. Fees may apply.