Cognitive Processing Therapy {CPT} in essence is a way of ‘witnessing’ your own thought process and a top performing technique in the array of such in Cognitive Behavioral Coaching and Therapy.

It’s based in the belief that thinking patterns impact your emotions and behavior. So, if you learn to catch negative thoughts early you can interrupt the pattern and end that emotional trigger.

Cognitive Processing Therapy {CPT} is currently one the most widely used and trending technique in Cognitive and Behavioral Coaching and Therapy.

One reason for this is the dramatic increase in the diagnoses of PTSD and CPTSD.

Have you or someone you know been diagnosed with PTSD or CPTSD?

According to the American Psychological Association (APA) PTSD is aided by CBT because it goes after the problem from three angles; thoughts, emotions and behaviors and how they affect each other.

Cognitive Processing Therapy can be very effective for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and CPTSD (Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

Nowadays, you’ve almost certainly encountered someone suffering from this type of trauma and didn’t realize it.

There are many reasons for the development of psychological trauma.

Not the least of which has to do with the societal, global and technological circumstances we find ourselves in.

The hard truth is, it’s not only war veterans with this condition anymore.

If you have or suspect you have a form of PTSD or CPTSD, this top performing technique (CPT) is much more effective when the patient is willing to work at it.

You’re still the one in charge. You just need some outside help for now.


Let’s take a look at the Top Performing Technique CPT….

The category of CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) encompasses various types of treatment which includes Cognitive Processing Therapy. Some of these techniques are;

  • Journaling – Keeping a diary or journal of your thoughts and moods
  • Unravelling Cognitive Distortions – This is where you identify what distortions you have in your thinking patterns. Then you challenge those thought when they come up. Eg. Thinking you’re fat when by observation and medical weight charts you are actually underweight for your height and age.
  • Cognitive Restructuring – Once you’ve identified your cognitive distortions, you can learn how those distortions originated. Understanding often breeds compassion.
  • Exposure & Response Prevention – This where you put yourself in a situation that triggers the negative thought and behavioral patterns. You then witness your thoughts and then put into practice the positive behavioral techniques you’ve learned to diffuse and eventually eliminate the desire to perform the negative habits. *This is especially good for those suffering from OCD.*
  • Interoceptive Exposure – This technique has a lot to do with a fear and anxiety response. It’s the understanding that there is no real danger and you can allow the fear to subside as a result.
  • Nightmare Exposure & Re-scripting – This technique involves exploring nightmares the client has had, examining the emotion attached to it and reframing or “rescripting” the reasons why the nightmare is terrible. Eg. Perhaps the nightmare is indicating an end to something unwanted or is perhaps cautionary instead of spelling doom.
  • Play the Script until End – This is a technique whereby you imagine the outcome of the fear or negativity to its worst-case scenario. Then appreciate the logic which is either highly unlikely or manageable.
  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation – This technique teaches you to relax a group of body muscles at a time thereby restoring peace of mind
  • Relaxed Breathing – This is a conscious way of breathing and allowing your body to relax and take in oxygen and release stress. Simple and very effective.

**There are actually many more CBT and CPT top performing techniques that are not mentioned here.**



The Process A Client Goes Through When They Begin Using The Top Performing Technique CPT

CPT is usually performed over 12 sessions with the therapist. This is based on a one hour once a week session. It’s this length of time that, on average, takes for a client to see improvement in breaking their negative thought and behavioral patterns.

  • First the patient begins to identify their “automatic thoughts” or those thoughts that swoop into the mind when we’re not fully present. These are the thoughts that maintain the PTSD symptoms.
  • Next, the patient writes an impact statement which details their current understanding of why the traumatic event happened. This includes the impact they’ve seen and felt in their belief system about themselves, other people and the world at large. It also includes any physical symptoms they may have experienced since the trauma.
  • After that, the patient writes down a detailed account of their worst traumatic experience. Then the patient reads it out loud to the therapist. This helps to interrupt the pattern of avoiding thoughts and feelings associated with the trauma.

The therapist uses Socratic questioning among other strategies, to help the patient question his or her unhelpful thoughts about the trauma (e.g., self-blaming thoughts) in order to modify any maladaptive thinking.

  • Finally, once the patient has developed the skills to identify and address unhelpful thinking, she or he puts those skills in to practice. They will continue to evaluate and modify their beliefs related to the traumatic events.


At this point, usually around the 12 week mark, the therapist has helped the patient develop a sense of safety in their lives, an ability to trust their own instincts, a sense of their own power, a sense of self-control and self-esteem and the ability to invite intimacy into their relationships.

These are all areas of our psychology that are most often affected by traumatic experiences that CBT and CPT help to alleviate.

Thank you for reading. I wish you much imagination.

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