CPT Session Outline

Thank you so much for your interest in CPT.

I have sent you enrollment forms and handouts through our client portal.

CPT terms are used below. Here is a glossary of CPT terms.


Please read the contract for engaging in CPT. If it is a fit for you, please sign it. Please complete the additional consents, questionnaires, and assessments.

Handouts and manual

Clients find CPT easier logistically if they have the manual in front of them, either in an electronic or print version.

Although the CPT manual is written for counselors, when we met in my office in-person, I had copies on hand for all of us so we could follow along together. I am sorry I am unable to provide copies for you.

If at all possible, please procure a print version of the manual. Here’s the publisher’s link to the manual. Here’s the Amazon link. You are welcome to purchase the manual from other vendors as well.

Through the client portal, I have provided a .pdf of the needed handouts and some particularly relevant sections of the manual.

Prior to Session 1

  1. Please be open to self-kindness.
  2. Please examine this diagram entitled Approaching vs. Avoiding Reality.
  3. Prior to completing the task in #4, please make a list of 3 activities you find soothing and restorative. Plan time to complete the task in #4, approximately 1 hour, and to complete at least one restorative activity, at least 30 minutes.
  4. Please draft a trauma timeline. Please begin to hypothesize about what might serve as the index trauma. Here is a handout that may be helpful: Preparing a trauma timeline and beginning to determine the index trauma.
  5. Engage in the restorative activities you identified in #3.
  6. Please take and score the PCL-5 Monthly and the PHQ-9 assessments. Copies of these assessments are included in the .pdf of handouts.
  7. Please open an email and entitle it “CPT Session 1.” Identify and list your scores. Please copy and paste this text in quotes into the body of the message: “Today, I learned __________. So far in CPT, I have learned _________. I think what I have learned will be of value to me because it will __________.”
  8. Please save this email in your drafts folder. At the end of each session, you will be asked to take two minutes to reflect on your experience, open this email, back over the underlines, and fill in the blanks. After sharing your insights aloud, you will email your scores and this statement of progress to me.
  9. Please enter your first PCL-5 score on the PCL-5 Score Sheet (Handout 3.1 p. 7 of 7)

Prior to each subsequent session

  1. Focusing on the index trauma rather than on current stressors, please take and score the PCL-5: Weekly (Handout 3.1).
  2. Please take and score the PHQ-9 (Handout 3.2)
  3. Please be ready to answer the questions in the Check-In/Check-Out Sheet.
  4. Please update your PCL-5 Score Sheet (Handout 3.1 p. 7 of 7) and prepare to display it to discuss.
  5. To “begin with the end in mind” and orient our work during the session, please turn to the homework assignment that will conclude the current session.

Prior to Session 2

  1. Please write an impact statement (Handout 5.3). The handout in the link in #2 may be helpful as you begin to jot down notes, organize your thoughts, and consider areas of your life affected by thoughts and beliefs about the index trauma.
  2. Here are sample notes for selecting the index trauma and writing an impact statement.
  3. After completing an impact statement, begin to become aware of, and track the interrelationship between events, feelings, thoughts, and words/actions. Begin to differentiate between thoughts that are beliefs vs. facts.

As soon as you can, and prior to Session 3, begin to compile a Stuck Point Log (Handout 6.1).

A “Stuck Point” is the CPT term for what is termed in cognitive theory a “cognitive distortion.” From page 95: “A Stuck Point is a thought that you probably formed during or shortly after the trauma about why the trauma happened or what it means about yourself, others, and the world. It serves to keep you stuck in place and stops your recovery and growth.”

Here are helpful readings about Stuck Points and cognitive distortions:

Looking ahead

During Session 2, the ABC Worksheet is introduced (Handout 6.3).

You are encouraged to spend 15-30 minutes per day on CPT homework assignments and/or reading and/or training.

Here is a session outline from the founders of CPT.

If you will participate in a CPT group, here is our Group Protocol.

Here is the page of links to Zoom groups.

Here is an overview of CPT offered online.

Here is our in-house CPT guide and glossary.

Here is our main CPT page which includes links to self-guided training.

Here is the description of the CPT group.

Here is our in-house Expanded ABC Worksheet which is the foundation of the work we do in the CPT Enrichment Group.

Last updated 9/5/21

This page is intended for clients’ use only. This content is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical or professional advice. Consult a qualified health care professional for personalized medical and professional advice.