A Case Report of Cognitive Processing Therapy Delivered over a Single Week

Cogn Behav Pract. 2020 May;27(2):126-135. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpra.2019.07.006. Epub 2019 Aug 9.


Although evidence-based treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), such as Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), have been developed and widely disseminated, the rate of veterans engaging in and completing these therapies is low. Alternative methods of delivery may be needed to help overcome key barriers to treatment. Delivering evidence-based therapies intensively may address practical barriers to treatment attendance as well as problems with avoidance. This report details the case of a combat veteran who received 10 sessions of Cognitive Processing Therapy delivered twice per day over a single, five-day work week (CPT-5). Post-treatment, the veteran reported large and clinically meaningful decreases in PTSD and depression symptom severity as well as in guilt cognitions, which is a purported mechanism of successful treatment. These effects persisted six weeks after treatment ended. Despite the intensive nature of the treatment, the veteran found CPT-5 tolerable and could cite many benefits to completing therapy in one work week. In conclusion, CPT-5 holds promise as a way to efficiently deliver an evidence-based therapy that is both clinically effective and acceptable to patients, although more rigorous clinical trials are needed to test this treatment delivery format.

Keywords: Brief Therapy; Cognitive Processing Therapy; Intensive Treatment; PTSD; Veterans.