Cognitive Processing Therapy

for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Status: Strong Research Support


Cognitive Processing Therapy, or CPT, is designed to challenge and change distorted beliefs and self-blame through Socratic questioning. CPT also contains an exposure component, through writing about the traumatic event; however, the primary focus of therapy is to modify beliefs about the meaning and implications of the traumatic event.

Key References (in reverse chronological order)

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, 898-907.

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, 965-971.

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, 867-879.

Clinical Resources

Resick, P. A., & Schnicke, M. K. (1993). Cognitive processing therapy for rape victims: A treatment manual. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Training Opportunities

The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies has previously offered workshops with training in cognitive processing therapy for PTSD at its annual conference.

The Institute for Disaser Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz offers trainings and a training DVD in cognitive processing therapy for PTSD.