Cognitive Processing Therapy

Never Stay Stuck Because of Trauma and PTSD

Traumatic events can hurt a teenager in more ways than one. Not only will they develop bad habits and poor coping skills, but they will also find themselves feeling ‘stuck’ due to their negative experiences. But through CPT (short for Cognitive Processing Therapy), a depressed or struggling teen can get unstuck by understanding their core beliefs and learning how to see the world in a more positive light.

What is Cognitive Processing Therapy?

Cognitive Processing Therapy was first developed in the late 1980s to help survivors of sexual assault. Thanks to how it can effectively treat people with trauma-related PTSD, CPT was later utilized to help teen survivors of childhood sexual abuse and more.

Cognitive Process Therapy for Teens can help teenagers understand their traumatic experiences so they can eventually change how they view the world. With CPT, a young teenager can go from thinking, “the world is not safe for me,” to “the world is a good place after all.”

By positively changing a teenager’s views of the world, they will no longer hold themselves back when looking to form new bonds with others. They will become more active and less crippled by negative “what ifs.” Teens will also be less critical of themselves and will remain open with their words.

4 Components of Cognitive Processing Therapy

Cognitive Process Therapy for Teens is made up of four components. These are typically seen during the 12 sessions a teen will have, which are then adjusted as needed by the therapist.


Treatment starts with the psychoeducation of PTSD and CPT’s approach to treating trauma. During the early sessions, a therapist will go over a teen’s symptoms and the treatment goals.

Understanding Thoughts & Feelings

In the next step, teenagers will learn to identify and understand how they emotionally respond to a traumatic event. They will get a chance to write a statement that explores their thoughts about their trauma.

Developing New Coping Skills

As teens progress, they’ll learn how to question and challenge their negative thoughts. They will also develop skills to recognize problematic ways of thinking.

Changing Your Beliefs

Lastly, teens will learn how their beliefs about the world can change upon experiencing trauma. Their beliefs are explored in 5 critical areas of their lives: self-esteem, intimacy, safety, power, and trust.

Cognitive Processing Therapy for Teens

At Innova Mercy, we offer CPT to help teens manage trauma-related symptoms like anxiety, depression, hopelessness, anger, and more. Teenagers will learn skills to deal with their trauma so they can become “unstuck.”

CPT is one of many treatment therapies offered at Innova Mercy. The other modalities are intended to treat all other aspects of a teen's recovery, such as the mind, body, and soul. You can learn more about our other therapies by clicking below.

Speak with Our Admission Specialist Today

Contact Innova Mercy today to learn more about CPT or our inpatient treatment center. All calls are free and confidential.