Cognitive Processing Therapy
CPT is a type of cognitive-behavioural therapy, which focuses on disrupting negative thought patterns and regulating emotions to inspire positive behavioural change. Cognitive processing therapy was developed primarily to help those with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) but can help anyone who has experienced deeply rooted trauma. Cognitive Processing Therapy is effective in treating clients who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and childhood trauma. It is also beneficial to first responders who may have been through natural disasters, experienced violence, or seen war.
Cognitive Processing Therapy specifically looks at negative thoughts and triggers that have occurred following a traumatic event. It helps clients to change their thinking that causes them distress, which helps build self-awareness and resilience. It is based on how the brain responds to negative and positive thoughts and is underpinned by the idea that clients can learn how to influence or regulate this. Common outcomes of CPT are lower levels of self-blame, guilt, shame and anger.
CPT is effective in individual and group psychotherapy sessions. It’s important that clients work between sessions to get the best results.
Emotional Responses to Trauma
Cognitive Processing Therapy believes that an external stimulus, or trigger, reminds clients of a trauma event or events. The stimulus causes them to feel emotions, and their bodies respond with emotional and physical cues. This response comes from our thoughts, which are directed towards the traumatic event and urge us to react in some way. It’s a completely normal biological, emotional and neuropsychological way to operate, but when it is used to respond to trauma it can be exhausting, frustrating, or confusing to manage. This is because the emotions tied to traumatic events do not necessarily fizzle out over time, but they can be treated.
Clients who suffer from trauma are often hypersensitive to environmental changes, which means their emotional reactions are more charged. Having more intense emotional responses and thoughts that are induced by trauma tends to lean toward a negative self-image and beliefs about the world. These negative thoughts often center around issues like trust, control and safety. This causes people to behave in accordance with their negative beliefs, which may not be helpful or healthy.
Clients who suffer from trauma often resort to avoidance or escapist techniques. These can include acting out, behavioural addictions, substance abuse as well as withdrawal and isolation from friends and family.
If you would like to talk to one of the professionals at Simcoe Addiction and Mental Health about whether Motivational Interviewing (MI) is right for you or your loved one, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 1-833-304-8181.
Interested in learning about other treatment methods? Continue to our Treatment Methods page.