Cognitive Processing Therapy


Cognitive Processing Therapy is a short-term treatment approach for individuals who have experienced adversity/trauma regardless if it was recent or earlier in life. The counselor helps the client look at how the adverse experience(s) impacted their life and helps challenge unhelpful thoughts and beliefs. Uplift Counseling Center is offering a Cognitive Processing Therapy treatment package that provides a discount from typical session prices. 

Contact Sara Bowe to Schedule

The Treatment Approach

Cognitive Processing Therapy typically consists of an intake session and 12 treatment sessions. During the intake session the counselor spends time getting to know the client and the symptoms the client is experiencing. At the start of treatment the counselor will provide psychoeducation around how adversity affects the brain/body. Clients will write a brief statement describing how they think the adversity impacted how they see themselves and the world. It may not be necessary for the client to describe the details of the trauma, if they find it difficult to share, because that is not the primary focus of CPT. The focus of CPT is for the client to talk about their thoughts about the trauma in terms of how it has impacted their life. The client learns how to examine their own thinking and get unstuck in unhelpful thoughts connected to adversity. 

Benefits of Cognitive Processing Therapy

  • Understand how trauma and adversity impact mental health
  • Identify the impact of the adversity on thoughts and feelings about self and others
  • Decrease avoidance or numbing behaviors
  • Learn skills to evaluate thinking and modify unhealthy behaviors
  • Redefine the trauma, viewpoint of self and/or others
  • Reduce levels of distress and unwanted emotions

The Research

Cognitive Processing Therapy is an evidence-based approach for the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This means that it has been researched multiple times in well-organized studies and found to help people with PTSD heal. However, not everyone who endures an adverse or traumatic experience develops PTSD symptoms to a level that meets diagnosing criteria. CPT research has found that this treatment approach is still appropriate for clients who experience subclinical symptoms from the adverse experience(s). In more simple terms, CPT has been found to help many people who have experienced adversity in their life regardless of current diagnosis** (see section on who CPT is not for). Research has also found that some people can complete fewer than 12 sessions with full recovery. A small percentage of clients required more than 12 sessions or were not responsive to this style of treatment. 

Contact Sara Bowe to Schedule

Who Cognitive Processing Therapy Is For and Not For

The counselor will offer a free 15 minute consultation to make sure you are an appropriate fit for CPT prior to getting started. You also can stop treatment at any time and will be reimbursed for the remainder of the unused sessions. The list below is not all encompassing and are general guides. The counselor will provide specific feedback during the consultation or intake session on the appropriateness of this treatment. 

CPT is for:

– A person  with a history of adversity or trauma (i.e. physical/sexual assault and abuse, neglect, combat experiences, disasters, accidents, workplace trauma, etc). 

-A person diagnosed or experiencing subclinical levels of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This can be also combined with other disorders such as anxiety, depression, etc.**Please do not self-diagnose! A counselor will discuss if this is an appropriate treatment option for you during the consultation or intake.

-A person who is motivated to feel better, even if they are hesitant to discuss their trauma in detail. CPT does not require a detailed narrative  of the trauma(s) to be discussed. 

-A person who can commit to a 45 minute, weekly counseling session for around three months. It is okay if occasional weeks have to be missed, but research shows higher levels of treatment success when sessions are close together. There is also ‘homework’ outside of the session (example: a daily thought log completed 1 x day). 

CPT is not for:

  • A person who is engaging in behaviors that are higher in risk and would require a different form of treatment prior to starting CPT (i.e. suciciality with intent to end life, clients benefiting from detox from substance use, a minimum of three months free from self-harm, intent to harm others). This is so that the client can be supported in managing their symptoms to profit more fully from CPT later on. 
  • A person who experiences symptoms of mental illness that is currently significantly interfering with their ability to engage in daily living (not able to leave the house/get out of bed, currently experiencing psychosis/mania/paranoia


Thirteen Session Package (Intake + 12 Treatment Sessions) $865 

Original Price $1060

** You would be reimbursed $65 for any unused session for early cancellation. We will honor the rate of $65 session for up to six additional sessions using the CPT method (for a total of 18 treatment sessions). After that, the counselor will discuss treatment options for continuation and discounts will not be applied to session rates. This offer is not to be used in conjunction to any other discounts or reduced rate agreements.


Contact Sara Bowe to Schedule


More information can be found here.

If this does not sound like the right approach for you, other treatment options for PTSD to explore include:

  • Prolonged or Titrated Exposure
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Narrative Therapy
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)
  • Medication
Phone: 715-559-9428
4330 Golf Terrace, Suite 202
Eau Claire, WI 54701
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