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Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for the treatment of trauma.

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for the Treatment of Trauma.

by, Dr. Elizabeth Merrill

You experienced a traumatic event. Now what?


For many, online counseling can help.

Young african american man walking with headphones in while zoning out | online therapy for anxiety treatment for teens & adults | Synergy eTherapy

A treatment called Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, otherwise known as PTSD.

What causes PTSD is typically a traumatic event you experienced, witnessed or even heard about from someone else. Maybe you’ve been in a natural disaster, or if in the military, deployed into combat or perhaps even been a victim of a sexual assault or rape.

For many people, the brain’s way of trying to cope with such experiences is to change the way you attend to your environment; you may have debilitating symptoms like re-experiencing the event, increased anger, changes in mood like depression and even avoidance of people, places or things associated with that traumatic event.

Cognitive Processing Therapy treatment focuses on specific activities including:

  1. Writing a narrative and looking at the social narrative and stuck points with handouts to focus on changing one’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors.
  2. Help find a different understanding of oneself and others.
  3. Increase self-esteem, increase intimacy, and in general feel safe and secure.

Let us help you start to find balance and work with your emotions. 

In the YouTube video above, Dr. Elizabeth Merrill talks a bit more broadly about Cognitive Processing Therapy. CPT is a form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

According to the CPT for PTSD website:

The Goals of CPT include:

  • Improve understanding of PTSD
  • Reduce distress about memories of the trauma
  • Decrease emotional numbing (i.e., difficulty feeling feelings) and avoidance of trauma reminders
  • Reduce feelings of being tense or “on edge”
  • Decrease depression, anxiety, guilt or shame
  • Improve day-to-day living

What Happens in CPT?

CPT lasts for 12 therapy sessions (50 minutes each) during which individuals will:

  • Get information on common reactions to trauma
  • Identify and challenge unhelpful thoughts with structured therapy sessions
  • Complete regular out-of-session practice assignments to apply what has been discussed in therapy sessions

Topics Covered During CPT:

  • The meaning of the traumatic event(s)
  • Identification of thoughts and feelings
  • Trust issues
  • Safety issues
  • Issues of power and control
  • Esteem issues
  • Intimacy issues

Begin online therapy for trauma.

Woman in a white sweater on a computer during an online therapy session for anxiety with a Synergy eTherapy counselor.

If you, or someone you care about, would like support for managing your trauma symptoms including anxiety/depression, Synergy eTherapy is here to help. We offer flexible, personalized, and convenient online counseling with licensed therapists in your state. With Synergy eTherapy it is easy to get the mental health care you deserve.

  1. Contact Synergy eTherapy.
  2. Meet with one of our online therapists in your state.
  3. Begin learning how to cope with your anxiety and find emotional wellness.


As an online counseling practice, our mission is to offer a variety of online mental health services to help you focus on you. Synergy eTherapy takes the stress out of getting the treatment you deserve with our flexible, convenient, and easy to use therapy services.  We offer online therapy in several states including MinnesotaIowaWisconsinSouth Carolina, California, Kansas, Maine, Illinois & Georgia. We also add new states to our list regularly.  Depending on the therapist you see, Synergy eTherapy can offer help with anxiety, trauma, depression, substance abuse, medical conditions and more.  Our therapists help teenscollege students, adults, and couples.  Also, we can offer psychiatric medication management in some locations.  Getting help doesn’t have to be complicated.  Online counseling may be the answer you’ve been looking for.

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