Effectiveness of Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD in serious mental illness

Pallavi Nishith, Gary Morse, Nathaniel A. Dell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The goal of the study was to conduct a pilot test of the effectiveness of Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for the treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Serious Mental Illness (SMI). Method: An open pilot trial was conducted at a certified community behavioral health center with 49 participants with major depressive, bipolar, or psychotic disorders to evaluate CPT which comprised of 12 individual weekly therapy sessions and included education about trauma and PTSD, emotional processing of the trauma, and cognitive restructuring of trauma-related stuck-point beliefs, with a specific focus on safety, trust, control, esteem, and intimacy. Results: The results demonstrated statistically significant changes in PTSD and depression symptoms and improvement in end-state functioning. Conclusion: Results demonstrate promising evidence of CPT in addressing PTSD and end-state functioning in the SMI population. Findings warrant rigorously designed trials with a focus on people with comorbid psychotic disorders and PTSD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100486
JournalJournal of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2024


  • Cognitive Processing Therapy
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Serious Mental Illness


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