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Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) Worksheets

As a practitioner, having the right tools can help you more successfully deliver Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) to your clients.

Our Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) Worksheets (Editable, Fillable, Printable) are perfect for counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, therapists, and other mental health professionals. Our CPT Worksheets can be downloaded and used with all your clients, giving them the ability to fill it out on a digital device or print it out.

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Clinicians can use Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) worksheets to effectively treat their clients. These worksheets provide clinicians with the appropriate tools to effectively establish a treatment plan throughout the therapy process. Let’s review more about Cognitive Processing Therapy and how it can help your clients.

What is Cognitive Processing Therapy?

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) is a cognitive behavioral therapy that has been proven to be effective for reducing and treating symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It was developed in the late 1980’s by Duke University professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Patricia Resick. Her aim was to provide a clear pathway to combat symptoms of PTSD. Her approach has since been adopted by many organizations such as the American Psychological Association, the International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies, and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. The APA’s clinical Practice Guidelines for the Treatment of PTSD cites the use of CPT as well. 

How Does Cognitive Processing Therapy Work?

CPT is a short-term form of cognitive behavioral talk therapy. Typically the patient will complete the treatment plan within 12 sessions or less depending on the severity of their situation. CPT usually takes 12 weeks to complete containing 60-90 minute sessions. It requires the patient to engage in homework, so it is not recommended for individuals that struggle with literacy. Due to this, it is used to treat adults and some older adolescents. Furthermore, patients that struggle with comorbid bipolar disorder, substance abuse, and suicidal ideations may not be ideal candidates to undergo this form of treatment. Patients have to be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder in order to undergo this form of treatment. Patients that work in fields that anticipate continuous exposure to  traumatic events can benefit from this form of treatment. Career fields such as these include first responders, military personnel, photojournalists, healthcare professionals, and war correspondents. Due to prior traumatic experiences, patients tend to think very differently about themselves and their environment in the following areas:

  • Doubting their safety and ability to protect themselves.
  • Trusting intentions and judgment of others and themselves.
  • Feeling as if they can’t control their lives or affect the lives of important people around them.
  • Struggling with self-esteem, perceiving themselves as “damaged” or “broken.” 
  • Feeling unable to be understood or connect with others.  

In most settings a full treatment plan is conducted in the following order:

1. Overview of PTSD and CPT.

Clinicians discuss PTSD, CPT, roles of emotion in trauma recovery, review index trauma, and assign practice assignments and problem solve.

2. Examining the Impact of Trauma.

Patients examine connections among events, thoughts, and feelings. Upon completion clinicians distribute ABC worksheets and assign other practice assignments.

3. Working with Events, Thoughts and Feelings.

After reviewing worksheets, clinicians explain correlations between thoughts and emotions and assist in realization that change and thoughts can change intensity of those emotions.

4. Examining the Index Event

Clinicians identify the context of trauma. Next, clinicians explain the difference between responsibility and blame. Clinicians then implement Challenging Questions worksheet and more practice assignments.

5. Challenging Questions Worksheet

Clinicians and patients begin by reviewing the Challenging Questions worksheet and introduce and explain Patterns of Problematic Thinking worksheet.

6. Problematic Thinking Worksheet

Clinicians then review patterns of problematic thinking and introduce and review Challenging Beliefs worksheet.

7. Challenging Beliefs Worksheet

Clinicians review worksheets then progress into an overview of the 5 particular problem areas that are Safety, Trust, Control, Esteem and Intimacy.

8. Processing Safety

Clinicians review Challenging Beliefs worksheets and practice responses related to Safety and provide further practice if necessary.

9. Processing Trust

After reviewing responses related to trust, clinicians aid patients in confronting problematic cognitions and use alternative beliefs to combat negative thoughts.

10. Processing Control

Clinicians then use responses given over the course of the treatment to address any anger management problems if present and help patients find a balanced view of control.

11. Review of Esteem

Clinicians explore esteem with patients, reviewing feelings of permanent damage and the need for perfection. Finally, the clinician begins to discuss the termination of treatment.

12. Processing Intimacy and Therapy Termination

Clinicians focus on the development of relationships and their patients ability to calm themselves and self-sooth in a healthy way. Upon termination of treatment, clinicians help identify goals for the future and outline action plans to meet them.

Which Conditions can CPT Help With?

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) is specifically used to combat symptoms of PTSD. It can be used for conditions related to PTSD such as the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Psychological distress
  • Avoidance
  • Intrusive thoughts/memories
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Negative physical reactions
  • Disassociation

Symptoms stemming from PTSD can range in severity over time, and all symptoms are not required to be present to be diagnosed. It is common for more than a few symptoms to be present when an individual suffers from PTSD. Furthermore, feelings of hopelessness about the future are present. In turn, it can make it difficult for the individual to function day to day and can decrease their overall well being and life satisfaction. Many individuals that suffer from PTSD struggle with maintaining their lives, relationships, and interests before the traumatic event. A decrease in cognitive function can be present as a result of PTSD. Such as, memory and emotional functions. 

How Effective is Cognitive Processing Therapy?

Put into practice in the late 1980’s, clinicians have seen success along with longevity in practicing CPT. It has been found to be incredibly effective for military veterans as shown in studies conducted in both the United States and Australia. Moreover, studies conducted outside of military settings have shown PTSD patients that received CPT fared better than those that went without at a rate of almost 90% along with outperforming other methods on some non-PTSD scenarios. 

Final Thoughts on Cognitive Processing Therapy

Cognitive processing therapy is proven to be effective. However, it is important to keep in mind that it was developed specifically to treat patients that suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. While it can be used to treat depression and anxiety, it is not used to treat those disorders as they stand alone. First and foremost, PTSD is the main component and patients that experience depression and anxiety as a result can find CPT to be helpful in alleviating those symptoms as well. If you find an individual that exemplifies the characteristics of the conditions listed above, think of using cognitive processing therapy to treat them.

Why CPT Worksheets?

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) worksheets are tools used in therapy to help individuals identify and challenge negative thoughts and beliefs that can contribute to trauma-related symptoms.

CPT worksheets are particularly useful in helping individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other trauma-related conditions. They can help individuals process traumatic events and develop coping skills to manage their symptoms. Some of the key benefits of using CPT worksheets include:

  1. Identifying negative thoughts and beliefs: CPT worksheets help individuals identify negative thoughts and beliefs that are contributing to their symptoms. By understanding the underlying beliefs that are driving their reactions, individuals can begin to challenge and reframe these thoughts.
  2. Challenging negative thoughts and beliefs: Once negative thoughts and beliefs are identified, CPT worksheets provide a framework for challenging and reframing them. This helps individuals develop a more balanced and accurate perspective on their traumatic experiences.
  3. Developing coping skills: CPT worksheets also provide guidance for developing coping skills to manage trauma-related symptoms. This includes strategies for managing anxiety, reducing avoidance behaviors, and improving interpersonal relationships.
  4. Measuring progress: CPT worksheets can be used to track progress over time. By completing worksheets regularly, individuals can see how their thoughts, beliefs, and symptoms have changed, which can provide motivation and a sense of accomplishment.

Overall, CPT worksheets are an effective tool for helping individuals process traumatic events, challenge negative thoughts and beliefs, and develop coping skills to manage their symptoms. They provide a structured and evidence-based approach to therapy, leading to improved outcomes for individuals struggling with the after-effects of trauma.

Why Our Cognitive Processing Therapy Worksheets?

Our Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) worksheets are designed to help practitioners deliver Cognitive Processing Therapy to their clients more effectively.

Benefits of our CPT Worksheets:

  • Take in responses from clients on a digital device like a computer
  • Organize client documents in an easy to find folder on your computer or in the cloud
  • Search for specific questions and/or answers by using “CTRL + f” function on your keyboard when viewing your PDF
  • Legibly read your client’s answers
  • Print copies that are high in quality – (we made this form grey on purpose! Much easier on your printer)

Key Features of Our CPT Worksheets:

  • US letter size (8.5″ x 11″)
  • Fillable / Printable
  • Editable (If you need to make changes, we can provide you with a free editing website that will allow you to make changes to questions/statements)
  • Checkboxes
  • Longform responses
  • Short form responses

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