Can A Six Week Therapy for PTSD Really Be Effective?

According to Patricia Resick, the progenitor of Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), the answer is "Yes!"  CPT is a specialized cognitive behavioral therapy model for the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). 

Components of CPT

  • Education and Understanding the Impact of the Event(s)
  • Therapeutic Exposure via Structured Writing and Reading Activities
  • Cognitive Reprocessing of Specific Thought Patterns
  • Practicing New Skills in Response to Triggers

The treatment typically includes 12 planned sessions.  It provides a structured roadmap for taking specific steps for recovery, and aims to reduce the impact of past events on a client’s present function by identifying and changing thought patterns.  CPT can be utilized by itself or along with medication therapy.  The model has strong empirical support and can be used to help people who have experienced different types of trauma.

I've personally observed several clients achieve positive results by utilizing this approach in therapy, which historically had been scheduled at one session per week over the course of 12-15 weeks.  However, I understand the rationale for speeding up the process.  It can be challenging for a client to complete any type of therapy for PTSD.  Shifting the schedule to 2 sessions per week over the course of 6 weeks appears to improve outcomes.  Check out Dr. Resick's explanation in her video.

Dr. Carter offers individual CPT for PTSD.

Note: Dr. Resick is not affiliated with SBH, nor has she endorsed SBH or its staff in any way.

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