International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies

Trauma and Diversity: Understanding and Providing Culturally Sensitive Cognitive Processing Therapy

03/29/2019
by Nicholas Holder, Ryan Holliday and Amy M. Williams
Worldwide lifetime prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is estimated to be approximately 4 percent (Kessler et al., 2017), and numerous factors are associated with elevated risk of diagnosis (e.g., trauma type, military/veteran population, gender; Gates et al., 2012; Kessler et al., 2017; Lehavot et al., 2018). Additionally, individuals diagnosed with PTSD are at greater risk of physical (e.g., cardio-respiratory and gastrointestinal complaints) and mental health (e.g., depression, substance use) comorbidities, which are associated with poorer psychosocial functioning and quality of life (Brady, Killeen, Brewerton, & Lucerini, 2000; Pacella, Hruska, & Delahanty, 2013). Evidence-based psychotherapies have been developed to effectively treat symptoms of PTSD and improve quality of life and psychosocial functioning.
 
One effective psychotherapy for PTSD is cognitive processing therapy (CPT), which was initially developed as a brief intervention for female survivors of rape (Resick & Schnicke, 1992). CPT is a manualized version of cognitive behavioral therapy during which patients are provided psychoeducation regarding PTSD and taught cognitive restructuring techniques with a focus on trauma-related beliefs (Resick, Monson, & Chard, 2017). Since initial development, CPT has been shown to be an effective treatment for a wide variety of individuals diagnosed with PTSD (e.g., active-duty military personnel, veterans, female survivors of interpersonal violence, etc.; Asmundson et al., 2019). 

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