Studying CPT for the treatment of PTSD

CPT for PTSD Training


A lot of people have experienced trauma exposure in their life after being exposed to qualifying events making it a common occurrence.  Qualifying events in these cases refer to stressors such as the loss of loved one, being threatened or seriously injured, sexual threat, or actual sexual violence. A stressor can cause trauma in several ways;

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  • Where one experiences the event themselves
  • Being present and witnessing the event affect others
  • Learning of a stressing event that happened to another close person like friends or family such as accident or violence
  • Being repeatedly exposed to recurring details of the event(s).

The most common form of traumatic exposure is the death of a loved one. Generally, exposure to trauma occurs at a high rate within the US and tends to be more frequent in men than women. CPT is a Cognitive Processing Therapy which applies a particular type of behavior therapy to reverses PSTD SYMPTOMS. Exposure to a traumatic event creates a memory that can highly be retrieved in short periods after the event. As a result, it is vital to conduct psychoeducation to patients regarding emotions, thoughts, and PTSD. Education enables patients to relate by becoming more aware of the relationships between emotions and thoughts and the consequent automatic memories that could be promoting PSTD. The patient is then able to write or describe the current understanding of the traumatic event and how it has impacted the patient, others, and the general environment.

PSTD is associated with memory retrieval that is related to negative thoughts. The current mood has been identified to affect the development of a positive or negative memory of the event. As a result, using Socratic questioning and creating a positive mood environment for PSTD victims is essential in their treatment therapy. Creating a positive mood requires the building of a positive rapport, educate patients on the signs of PTSD, offer a treatment rationale, develop a treatment plan, and elicit patient’s compliance with treatment.

Besides, at this stage, the patient is capable of processing traumas more formally and can highlight the worst traumatic experiences. The patient then needs to read the worst accounts in the next session to help break the traumatic pattern of negative thoughts or feelings associated with PTSD. Using Socratic questioning will further help identify patient’s unhelpful thoughts like self-blaming and try to modify them to positive thinking.
ESTABLISH: Support the overall goal of the activity with at least two specific learning outcomes, keeping in mind how to use the outcomes in actual counseling,

Studying CPT for the treatment of PTSD is because;

  1. Understand the causes of PTSD and the importance of CPT. PTSD is a product of stressors and contributes to psychological and behavioral problems in patients. Using CPT is, therefore, critical because it applies behavioral therapies in PTSD treatment.
  2. Aim to establish essential concepts and skills of CPT in PTSD treatment. CPT essentially tries to help patients to develop skills that assist them in identifying and addressing negative thinking successfully. Therefore, creating a positive mood and educating patients to establish and avoid those unhelpful thoughts is paramount.




The rationale for using CPT in PTSD treatment lies in the fact that it tries to establish and address the links between behavior, emotions, and thoughts. It applies a direct approach that is structured, time-limited, and can be used to treat various mental disorders. It focuses on eliminating PTSD symptoms by establishing cognitions and behaviors that are more adaptive.




CPT is a manual-like therapy applied by medical professionals to assist people in recovering from PTSD and associated conditions. When counseling I will involve several CPT counseling skills like;

  • Diagnosing the patient for PTSD by using the best evidence-based approaches like establishing the re-experiencing symptoms, avoidance symptoms, reactivity, and arousal symptoms as well as mood and cognition symptoms.
  • Developing cognitive therapy techniques to help patients establish and address unhelpful thoughts related to the traumatic event. The techniques include helping patients document the traumatic event and listing its impact on their lives and that of others.




CPT provides a clear understanding of PTSD, causes, and related problems, which makes it relatively easy to diagnose patients. Besides, the list of symptoms acts as a guide in the establishment of suitable treatment therapy. The effectiveness of the diagnosis will be determined by the success/failure of the treatment therapy.

On the other hand, developing cognitive therapy techniques is critical in addressing the activity of establishing CPT concepts and skills in the treatment of PTSD. The techniques like helping patients’ document traumatic events will be essential to identify unhelpful thoughts about the event. The effectiveness will be measured by the ability of the patient to show full disclosure and improvement in reversing the PTSD symptoms.



CPT provides an evidence-based approach to PTSD treatment, where counselors apply cognitive and behavioral techniques. Patients are educated on PTSD awareness and how to relate thoughts, emotions, and behavior in reversing PTSD symptoms. Understanding CPT provides an outline for expected outcomes of CPT training that include understanding the causes of PTSD and acquiring the necessary skills and concepts to address the problem. The treatment therapy for PTSD patients depends on the severity of the symptoms and the skills and knowledge of the healthcare practitioner. As a result, as a practitioner, the training ought to provide me with the necessary skills and concepts that help improve patient outcomes. Lack of adequate skills and knowledge will hinder the effectiveness of treatment and the cognitive and behavioral adaptation of patients.



Every profession has personal and professional goals that guide their approach in day to day practice. An individual approach to CPT entails enhancing self-awareness and the understanding of PTSD to be able to make peace with me and my society, including my family. I intend to apply the knowledge and skills to be able to face and address personal traumatic events as well as do the same for those around me. Besides, my professional goal involves acquiring knowledge and skills that will enable me to contribute to the field from a practicing perspective and also adding knowledge to the practice. Pursuing further learning to a professor level will propel me to that goal.

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