Description of the App
CPT Coach is a mobile phone app for people currently participating in Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), an evidence-based psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The convenient interface of CPT Coach is designed to improve rates of patient participation in treatment and, as a result, treatment outcomes. This app is also intended to increase provider adherence to the published treatment protocol. CPT Coach was developed by subject matter experts from the Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD (NCPTSD), the Department of Veterans Affairs Sierra Pacific Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (VISN21 MIRECC), and the Department of Defense National Center for Telehealth & Technology (T2).
Trauma survivors often have ways of thinking about the world that can cause emotional distress and disrupt their daily activities, as they avoid various people, places, and situations in order to avoid thinking about their traumatic experience. In order to reduce symptoms of PTSD and improve functioning, survivors can work to process their thoughts and feelings about their trauma, so that they are more comfortable with difficult memories. This can help reduce avoidance of situations that were previously difficult. CPT focuses on enhancing processing of the trauma and reducing avoidance behaviors. The CPT Coach app augments therapy by making it easier for patients to complete the necessary practice assignments, as well as by providing convenient educational material, support, and reminders.
CPT Coach is based on the therapy manual Cognitive Processing Therapy Veteran/Military Version prepared by Patricia Resick, Candice Monson, & Kathleen Chard. CPT has been shown to be one of the most effective treatments for PTSD from both civilian and military-related traumas.
The features of CPT Coach include:
- An assessment tool for tracking symptoms and progress
- Cognitive Processing Therapy homework assignments and worksheets for each session
- Reminders for therapy sessions
- Educational materials about Cognitive Processing Therapy and its treatment components
CPT Coach is designed for people who are in Cognitive Processing Therapy and want to use a CPT app in conjunction with their therapy. This is not a self-help tool for patients. It is designed to be used interactively by both clinician and patient as an adjunct to face-to-face psychotherapeutic treatment using CPT principles. Similarly, a prerequisite for successful use of this app by healthcare providers is formal clinical training in Cognitive Processing Therapy. This app does not provide training in CPT and will not serve as an adequate substitute for this training.
Cognitive Processing Therapy
Cognitive Processing Therapy is one of the gold-standard treatments for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. For more information about CPT, see http://ptsd.va.gov