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Cognitive Processing Therapy

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two people on a bench discussing cognitive processing therapyCognitive processing therapy (CPT) is a unique type of cognitive-behavioral therapy. It is mostly used in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a mental health disorder following an intense experience of trauma such as front-line combat, sexual or physical abuse, a natural disaster, or a severe accident. Cognitive processing therapy works by helping people challenge and ultimately change unhealthy beliefs related to their trauma. For instance, an application could be helping someone understand the physical abuse they experienced as a child was not their fault and not something they deserved.

Our AssuraSource team strives to make cognitive processing therapy widely available, so our telehealth services allow people to receive treatment from the comfort of their own homes. Learn about the full scope of behavioral health therapy programs offered by AssuraSource when you call 972.233.1010 or reach out to us online.

What a Cognitive Processing Therapy Program Entails

Cognitive processing therapy is usually delivered across 12 sessions. Early sessions focus more on education. Clients are equipped with knowledge related to PTSD as a mental health disorder, how the brain processes trauma and the regulation of thoughts and emotions. Following this learning period, patients are directed to write about their trauma and how it has changed their beliefs about themselves, other people, or the world.

Once those early phases are complete, formal processing begins. The therapist will interrogate the beliefs a person shares related to their trauma. Over time, these unhelpful thoughts are eliminated or replaced with supportive beliefs. That could look like self-blame about someone’s involvement in an accident being replaced with acceptance that the accident was out of their control.

One of the major goals of cognitive processing therapy is to aid people in developing the skills to identify the thoughts and beliefs that hold them back on their own. Adaptive strategies can be taken beyond the confines of therapy to help people deal with their past trauma while also making them more likely to be able to handle the possibility of future trauma in a mentally healthy way.

Cognitive processing therapy is similar to exposure therapy, which is often deployed to combat phobias and related anxiety disorders. CPT confronts trauma and its associated memories. One key difference is that exposure therapy focuses less on challenging the unhelpful thoughts at the root of the disorder. It merely desensitizes a person to their phobia. CPT aims actually to alter the negative beliefs driving PTSD.

Cognitive Processing Therapy’s Emotional Focus

Treatment providers of cognitive processing therapy near Dallas, Texas, like AssuraSource, tend to offer both individual and group options. Group therapy presents unique opportunities to process and overcome trauma in a communal setting. People who share similar traumas can mentor and support each other in ways that those who do not share that trauma cannot.

Most cognitive processing therapy programs focus on the emotions and thoughts that trauma damages most. These include: 

  • Safety
  • Trust
  • Power
  • Control
  • Self-esteem
  • Intimacy

In addition, the writing down of trauma at the outset of the 12 sessions is a vital component. Journaling has long been recognized as a form of self-care and positive emotional expression. Putting thoughts on paper kickstarts the emotional processing necessary to receive the greatest benefit from cognitive processing therapy. Nonetheless, certain programs are beginning to opt for allowing patients to verbally share their trauma instead of including the written practice in the scope of the 12 sessions.

Choose AssuraSource for Cognitive Processing Therapy in Dallas, Texas

AssuraSource is a leading provider of cognitive processing therapy in Dallas, Texas. AssuraSource offers in-home counseling and telehealth services to deliver behavioral therapy designed for the digital age. Processing and dealing with trauma can be lonely and isolating. If not dealt with properly, trauma can also cause untold problems. But help is available now at AssuraSource. We accept Medicare and Medicaid insurance so that people can receive the care they need and deserve. Reach out to us online or call 972.233.1010