Dissemination and experience with cognitive processing therapy

J Rehabil Res Dev. 2012;49(5):667-78. doi: 10.1682/jrrd.2011.10.0198.


Clinical practice guidelines suggest that cognitive behavioral therapies are recommended for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). One of these treatments, cognitive processing therapy (CPT), is an evidence-based treatment that has been shown to be effective at treating combat, assault, and interpersonal violence trauma in randomized controlled trials. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Mental Health Services has implemented an initiative to disseminate CPT as part of a broad effort to make evidence-based psychotherapies widely available throughout the VA healthcare system. This article provides an overview of CPT and reviews the efficacy and program evaluation data supporting its use in a variety of settings. In addition, we report on survey data from individuals who have participated in the VA initiative and on outcome data from patients treated by rollout-trained therapists. Our data suggest that many clinicians trained in the rollout show good adoption of the CPT model and demonstrate solid improvements in their patients' PTSD and depressive symptomotology. Finally, we offer recommendations for using CPT in clinical settings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Mental Health Services / organization & administration
  • Program Evaluation
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / rehabilitation
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States
  • United States Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Veterans / psychology*