by Michael D. Anestis, M.S.
A few days ago, I received notice of what appears to be a remarkably valuable resource. The Medical University of South Carolina has developed a website entitled CPTWeb, funded by the United States Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, that provides free instruction on how to implement cognitive processing therapy (CPT) for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). CPT is an empirically supported treatment for this disorder (although it is not the only one) and a number of trials we have discussed in earlier PBB posts have demonstrated its efficacy and effectiveness in treating the disorder.
Here is some basic information about the site:
- There is no charge for using this program
- The entire course requires 9-hours, but clinicians can learn the material at their own pace
- Patricia Resick, who developed CPT, played an integral role in the development of CPTWeb
- The material is focused primarily on military populations, however, it should generalize well to civilian clients as well
- Clinicians who complete the online course can receive 9 contact hours of continuing education from the Medical University of South Carolina (from the publicity materials I have seen, it is unclear if this only applies to clinicians treating military clients; however, I suspect this generalizes regardless of the population being treated).
The course consists of a number of modules covering different components of CPT and each module includes:
- Video introduction to the technique
- Pre- and post-tests of knowledge of the treatment component
- Overview of module's learning objectives
- Description of the technique of the treatment component
- Step-by-step instructions for how to implement the technique and sample scripts for introducing the technique to clients
- Multiple video demonstrations of the technique
- Suggested practice assignments for clients
- Discussions of common obstacles to implementing the technique in "real world" practice
The URL for the online course is http://cpt.musc.edu/index
Although I have not taken the course myself, at first glance it appears to be exactly the type of translational product that this field needs. By making instructions in empirically supported treatments free and available online, we enhance the likelihood that a greater proportion of people involved in mental health will approach psychotherapy from a scientifically-minded stance. Only good can come from that type of shift and Joye and I wholeheartedly support the efforts being made here by MUSC and those involved in funding and developing the project.
If any readers end up taking part in this course, we would love to hear about your experiences, good and bad. Readers would definitely benefit from that information.
If you would like to learn more about PTSD and its treatment, we also recommend the following items, each of which is available through our online store for scientifically-minded psychological resources:
- Prolonged Exposure Therapy for PTSD: Emotional Processing of Traumatic Experiences Therapist Guide by Edna Foa, Elizabeth Hembree, and Barbara Rothbaum
- Cognitive Processing Therapy for Rape Victims: A Treatment Manual by Patricia Resick and Monica Schnicke
- Prolonged Exposure Therapy for Adolescents with PTSD Emotional Processing of Traumatic Experiences, Therapist Guide by Edna Foa, Kelly Chrestman, and Eva Gilboa-Schechtman