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Changing Beliefs about Trauma: A Qualitative Study of Cognitive Processing Therapy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 December 2014

Jennifer L. Price*
Affiliation:
Georgetown College, Georgetown, USA
Helen Z. MacDonald
Affiliation:
Emmanuel College, Boston, USA
Kathryn C. Adair
Affiliation:
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA
Naomi Koerner
Affiliation:
Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada
Candice M. Monson
Affiliation:
Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada
*
Reprint requests to Jennifer L. Price, Associate Professor of Psychology, Georgetown College, 400 E. College Street, Georgetown, KY 40324, USA. E-mail: jennifer_price@georgetowncollege.edu

Abstract

Background: Controlled qualitative methods complement quantitative treatment outcome research and enable a more thorough understanding of the effects of therapy and the suspected mechanisms of action. Aims: Thematic analyses were used to examine outcomes of cognitive processing therapy (CPT) for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a randomized controlled trial of individuals diagnosed with military-related PTSD (n = 15). Method: After sessions 1 and 11, participants wrote “impact statements” describing their appraisals of their trauma and beliefs potentially impacted by traumatic events. Trained raters coded each of these statements using a thematic coding scheme. Results: An analysis of thematic coding revealed positive changes over the course of therapy in participants’ perspective on their trauma and their future, supporting the purported mechanisms of CPT. Conclusion: Implications of this research for theory and clinical practice are discussed.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies 2014 

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