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Overview of Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD in Veterans and Military Personnel

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While most people who are exposed to a trauma recover naturally, a significant minority do not. Therefore, understanding and competence in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an important skill for mental health providers to have. In this course, you will be introduced to one of the most effective treatments for individuals who have PTSD, called Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT). An evidence-based, short-term treatment for PTSD developed by Dr. Patricia Resick and her colleagues, CPT is a form of cognitive behavioral treatment. This course provides an overview of the theory behind and empirical support for CPT. Through a session-by-session review of the CPT protocol, you will learn about the different phases of treatment, cognitive therapy techniques, and trauma-related themes. This course is intended for any mental health provider working with civilian or military populations. PLEASE NOTE: This course is an introduction to CPT and does not replace the in-depth training necessary to gain competence in conducting this treatment. For more information on how to obtain more in-depth training, please see the “Next Steps” section at the end of this course. DSM™ and DSM-5™ are registered trademarks of the American Psychiatric Association. The American Psychiatric Association is not affiliated with nor endorses this course.

  • Hour : 2.00 Hours
  • Price : $20.00
  • Media Type :


Hours: 2
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 1/31/2018
Learning Objectives:
Describe the psychological theories behind CPT.
Summarize the empirical evidence for CPTs effectiveness.
Construct an overview of the CPT protocol.

Section 1: Introduction
A. About This Course
B. Learning Objectives

Section 2: Theoretical Background
A. Meet Chris
B. Current Model of PTSD
C. Social Cognitive Model of PTSD: A Theory That Explains Clinical Observations
D. PTSD Pathology: What Hinders Post-Trauma Recovery?
E. Let’s Practice
F. Core Reactions, Cluster 1: Intrusive Imagery and Sensations
G. Core Reactions, Cluster 2: Cognitions, Cognitive Processes, and Mood
H. Types of Cognitive Errors
I. Meet SSG Martinez
J. Core Reactions, Cluster 3: Negative Affect and Arousal
K. Let’s Review
L. Model of PTSD: Natural Recovery
M. More about Natural Recovery
N. Core Reactions, Cluster 4: Escape and Avoidance
O. Effective Treatments for PTSD
P. The Goal of CPT Treatment
Q. How CPT Works
R. Let’s Practice
S. Summary

Section 3: Empirical Support for CPT
A. Clinical Trials
B. Impact of CPT on PTSD Comparing ITT and Treatment Completer Participants
C. Impact of CPT Treatment on Depression
D. Impact of CPT Treatment over Time
E. Comparing the Effectiveness of Different CPT Treatment Components
F. Comparing the Effectiveness of Different CPT Treatment Components, continued
G. Let’s Practice
H. Summary

Section 4: Phases of CPT Treatment
A. CPT Military/Veterans Version
B. Phases of Treatment
C. Preparing to Use CPT: Structuring Therapy Sessions
D. Phase 1: Pre-Treatment Assessment and Pre-Treatment
E. Meet MSG Smith
F. Phase 2: Education Regarding PTSD, Thoughts, and Emotions
G. Session 1: Psycho-Education, Treatment Rationale
H. Session 2: Continuing Psycho-Education
I. The A-B-C Sheet
J. Anticipating Avoidance Early In Treatment
K. Remember MSG Smith?
L. Session 3: Events, Thoughts, and Emotions
M. Events, Thoughts, and Emotions
Phase 3: Processing the Trauma
N. Session 4: First Trauma Account
O. First Trauma Account
P. Session 4: First Trauma Account, continued
Q. Session 5: Second Trauma Account and Challenging Questions
Phase 4: Learning to Challenge
R. Session 6: Challenging Questions
S. More about MSG Smith
T. Session 7: Patterns of Problematic Thinking
U. The Challenging Beliefs Worksheet
V. Returning to MSG Smith
W. Session 7: Patterns of Problematic Thinking, continued
X. Phase 5: Trauma Themes
Y. Sessions 8 – 12
Z. Phase 6: Facing the Future
AA. Session 12: Intimacy and the Final Impact Statement
BB. Let’s Review
CC. Summary

Section 5: Conclusion
A. Summary
B. Congratulations

Instructor: Laura Copland, MA, LCMHC
Laura Copland, MA, LCMHC, is a PTSD Treatment Trainer, with a focus on Cognitive Processing Therapy, at the Center for Deployment Psychology at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD. She received her Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from Antioch University New England in 1989. Prior to joining the CDP staff, Ms. Copland directed, designed, and implemented state programs to assist active-duty Service Members, Veterans, and their families during and post-deployment, including Maryland National Guard Outreach and Maryland’s Commitment to Veterans. She has trained both military and civilian professionals on working effectively with military behavioral health issues. Ms. Copland has more than 20 years of direct service experience working with military Veterans and other survivors of trauma and acute and post-traumatic stress issues. Additionally, Ms. Copland was a senior adjunct professor for five years in the Antioch University graduate psychology department. Ms. Copland was awarded the State of Maryland Meritorious Civilian Service Medal by the Maryland Army National Guard for her work in the design and implementation of the Reintegration/Yellow Ribbon Program for all returning Maryland Veterans and their families.  Disclosure: Laura Copland, MA, LCMHC has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Instructor: Holly O’Reilly, Ph.D.
Holly N. O’Reilly, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and Lead on Traumatic Stress and Sexual Assault at the Center for Deployment Psychology (CDP) at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. O’Reilly earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology with a minor in Women’s Studies from Northern Illinois University. While completing her dissertation on posttraumatic stress disorder, she served as a project manager at the National Center for PTSD, Women’s Health Sciences Division. Dr. O’Reilly completed her trauma track residency at the Charleston Consortium and completed rotations at the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center. She also was a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for the Treatment and Study of Traumatic Stress. Prior to joining the CDP, she served as the lead psychologist for a residential PTSD program at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Additionally, she worked in private practice and at the mental health clinic at Wright Patterson Air Force Base as a staff psychologist. While at Wright Patterson, she worked with service members and their families and also provided clinical training and supervision to military residents in psychology, social work and psychiatry. Dr. O’Reilly has served as a researcher or research clinician on several PTSD treatment studies and specializes in cognitive-behavioral treatments for trauma survivors. Her professional interests focus on the full spectrum of trauma recovery including: assessment and treatment of PTSD, sleep disturbance following trauma exposure, treatment of borderline personality disorder, gender studies and the consequences of repeated trauma exposure. Disclosure: Holly O’Reilly, Ph.D. has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Instructor: Priscilla Schulz, LCSW
Ms. Schulz is a Senior PTSD Treatment Trainer at the Center for Deployment Psychology at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD. She received her Master’s degree from the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to joining the staff of the CDP, Ms. Schulz was a trainer and consultant on the use of Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD for the National Center for PTSD, Boston VA Health System. At the same time, Ms. Schulz was clinical faculty at the Center for Trauma Recovery, University of Missouri - St. Louis. Ms. Schulz has provided clinical services to trauma survivors, as well as administered several grants and programs that served special populations, specifically war refugees and survivors of homicide. The focus of Ms. Schulz’ clinical work, supervision, and training is on reactions to and effective treatments for traumatic stress, as well as understanding and overcoming barriers to serving underserved or disadvantaged populations of trauma survivors. Toward this end, Ms. Schulz has worked extensively cross-culturally, and has been successful applying empirically supported therapies for individuals suffering from PTSD with limited English proficiency and in less-than-ideal clinical practice settings.  Disclosure: Priscilla Schulz, LCSW has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Staff Writer: Naju Madra, M.A.
Naju Madra, M.A. is an internal subject matter expert and clinical content writer at Relias Learning for the Health and Human Services library. She has her Master's degree in Psychology, with specific study in Clinical Neuropsychology. She brings with her a wealth of experience in clinical assessment, training, curriculum development, and research project management. She has over 15 years of behavioral health experience, including scholarly activities such as writing manuals and preparing manuscripts for peer-reviewed journals. Disclosure: Naju Madra, M.A. has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Target Audience:
The target audience for this course is: entry and intermediate level Psychologists; intermediate and advanced level Alcohol and Drug Counselors; intermediate and advanced level Marriage and Family Therapists; intermediate and advanced level Nurses; intermediate and advanced level Professional Counselors; intermediate and advanced level Social Workers; in the following settings: Health and Human Services; and the following practice categories: Addictions, General Nursing, Mental Health, Pain Management.
Course Topics:
Mental Health Conditions, Mental Health Interventions, Military Service Related
Learner Types:
Behavioral Health Assistants, Behavioral Health Professionals, Case Managers Or Service Coordinators, Corrections Behavioral Health Professional, Other Learner Type, Social Services Assistants, Social Services Professionals
Service Populations:
Age Group - Adult, Other Population, People With Mild To Moderate Mental Health Issues, People With Severe And Persistent Mental Illness, Veterans Or Miltary Personnel
Relias Learning will be transparent in disclosing if any commercial support, sponsorship or co-providership is present prior to the learner completing the course.
Relias Learning has a grievance policy in place to facilitate reports of dissatisfaction. Relias Learning will make every effort to resolve each grievance in a mutually satisfactory manner. In order to report a complaint or grievance please contact Relias Learning at support@reliaslearning.com.
All courses offered by Relias Learning, LLC are developed from a foundation of diversity, inclusiveness, and a multicultural perspective. Knowledge, values and awareness related to cultural competency are infused throughout the course content.
To earn continuing education credit for this course you must achieve a passing score of 80% on the post-test and complete the course evaluation.
Course Delivery Method and Format
Asynchronous Distance Learning with interactivity which includes quizzes with questions/answers, and posttests.


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