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Any of you veterans ever use the 14 weeks of (or longer) CPT  therapy Sessions with the VA MH? 

IF Yes how did you do or how better off are you now? did it help you?

or stay about the same? or what?

Thanks in Advance.

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On 9/30/2018 at 5:09 AM, Buck52 said:

Any of you veterans ever use the 14 weeks of (or longer) CPT  therapy Sessions with the VA MH? 


Have you looked into, seriously looked into, what CPT does or is expected to do, and how?

The reason I ask is two fold, one of which is that much of CPT depends on the idea that you have a sense of responsibility for the event, which can include survivors guilt and other things. With my experience with VA MSW's I asked about CPT and the three MSW's I spoke to provided indications that the path they put you on may depend on their own view of your events, not yours.

What that means to me is that if the MSW or Doc "thinks" you feel guilty that is the tact they are going to push and will expect you to come to a conclusion you are not guilty of anything to demonstrate "success". Not everyone who has PTSD feels guilt about the events. We know and feel that the events happened are/were outside our own influence.

The other reason is that CPT requires you essentially "relive" the trauma over and over again to desensitize you to it and alter your views and outcome-related behaviors. They start in an oblique manner but the process builds to you "facing" (my word not theirs) your trauma in a detailed way for the CPT to be considered successful.

For me I relive things every night and have manifestations of it every day during waking hours. I know and feel that the events were not of my doing, that I had no influence over the outcomes for myself and the others involved. Having some jackhole try to 'guide' me through a conversation just pisses me off and makes matters worse.

The short version is that for me CPT is not the right therapy.

This could be, in part, because for decades the VA refused to even acknowledge my claim and I had to figure out how to deal with things on my own. I admit to being stubborn and pig headed about somethings, but having found a "way" that I can generally function and knowing that reliving the experiences and talking about them leads me to not functioning, I will continue to be pig headed on the subject.

If you are considering CPT, look into it deeply before you commit or attempt it. I don't know your personality or your situations but I do know that the last thing you want is to make your life "worse" or undo whatever levels of control you have established.

On a more personal note, and this may be paranoia or may just be a result of my experiences with the VA, I SUSPECT veterans with PTSD who have a non-permanent rating may get reevaluated for a lower rating if their VA CPT records show some level of success. I am now 100% P&T for PTSD, but that jump just happened and I know that even for P&T designations there are time frames that effect exactly how "Permanent" the P&T designation may actually be.

With that in mind, if you can afford it, maybe try the CPT with a civilian doctor at your own expense instead of letting the VA build a record to justify reducing your rating.  I don't know this or that it applies to you, it's just my two-cents.

Hopefully if you try CPT it helps you. The research says it does help "some" people with PTSD.


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I understand what you mean, I am into CPT sessions right now  I am in my 5th session Most of the sessions was what you had mention they try to desensitize your correct on that which so for It has not changed my way I see things..in other words they try to change your behavior pattern in 14 weeks  from the past to living in the present. kinda like how cognitive l therapy works or logic thinking.

 I have been diagnose with chronic PTSD 70% and /part depression but mostly PTSD from Trauma events..I can Handel Depression  with the Med's but the PTSD Med's Seem to work differently  or knocks me out for about an hour then I am up most of the night and don't sleep during the day, I still have N/M;s  sweats, jumpy, grouchy, no what people are thinking and avoidance very bad (unsociable)  I just choose not to be around people family friends  don't matter


and I have to do home work with what they call PCL 5 test to see if you circle the same answers weekly for any change ,so I mention to my therapist that I will be honest with my answers and answer them according to how I think and feel  rather its my thoughts or my feelings   she agreed..so for its all still about the same after 5 weeks.

Also they have what they call abc worksheets with Levels of Responsibility handout sheets & Challenging Beliefs Worksheets  where put your thoughts down on questions like your beliefs  thoughts or facts  habit or fact,  jumping to conclusions,  ect,,,ect,, and this week I have to do about 10 pages of problem thinking  that consist of  things like  evidence for, evidence agianst, ex-stream exaggerated, over generalizing , over simplifying ,Mind Reading,  emotional  reasoning,

She said I may have the same answers  but if one thing changes it will change a lot of things and at the end of the therapy she said she will point it out...???

I am not sure about all what she puts in my progress notes  other than just general therapy counseling and the CPT Therapy were into now.

I been in therapy for the last 4 years  mostly the cognitive therapy.

 This CPT is more intense and makes me remember the stressors and events and I should not feel guilt b/c I was doing what I was ordered to do...but I told her well that still don't make it ok in my way of thinking..she said were working on that.

I am going to give this CPT A chance and see if it helps me but so for no cigar  but she said it will help me it just takes a lot of time   I am scheduled for 17 weeks of this CPT. Theraphy 

I do get tired of the same homework to have to do  even if I write the same thing down each week  I refuse to sugar coat anything and tell them the things they want to hear  I am going to be truthful about the way I feel and the way I think about things...I need a HOBBY!!! To me if I can find something that I Love to do and  comfortable with it  I think that's what I need and to stay busy with it..but so for I have found no interest in anything......material things or people.

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With all this damn Homework maybe I should tell my Therapist to watch it ....> I mean I could take her Job away  if this sh*** helps me  eh!

Although she has a MasterDregree and I only have an Associates. eh!

I have wonder why she is a LCSW BPH S-W4  And has a Masters..maybe incase the therapist job don't work out she can go to a higher paying job  but to have a Masters and doing a L.C.S.W. job is beyond me.

And please excuse my spelling and bad grammar  I fluck those courses  and of course typing skills...eh!

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Theory Behind CPT CPT is based on a social cognitive theory of PTSD that focuses on how the traumatic event is construed and coped with by a person who is trying to regain a sense of mastery and control in his or her life. The other major theory explaining 376'LV/DQJ¶V2 (1977) information processing theory, which was extended to PTSD by Foa, Steketee, and Rothbaum3 (1989) in their emotional processing theory of PTSD. In this theory, PTSD is believed to emerge due to the development of a fear network in memory that elicits escape and avoidance behavior. Mental fear structures include stimuli, responses, and meaning elements. Anything associated with the trauma may elicit the fear structure or schema and subsequent avoidance behavior. The fear network in people with PTSD is thought to be stable and broadly generalized so that it is easily accessed. When the fear network is activated by reminders of the trauma, the information in the network enters consciousness (intrusive symptoms). Attempts to avoid this.


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12 minutes ago, Buck52 said:

In this theory, PTSD is believed to


This is the most salient point and the operative words are "theory" and  "believed".

I have nothing against CPT or any theory. I just have my own experiences with my conditions, life, and the jarring reality that theories and beliefs are multitudinous and rarely applied in real life as they are in the text-books.

I am sure your therapist and other folks are nice people with great intentions. I say that because I don't know them and I am not interested in accusing them of a anything.

What I do know is that most MSW's are desperate to get their PhD's and the typical VA MSW is using veterans as guinea pigs for their Doctoral research.

As someone with lots of formal education, including a Doctorate currently on hold, I can tell you most "research", particularly in the areas of mental health, involve small scale studies on limited scopes of specific type candidate profiles.

Additionally a lot of current and in process PhD holders in mental health do what are called "Meta-Studies" to earn their degree. These studies amount to collecting a bunch of other studies and massaging the findings to fit their particular narratives predicating their thesis.

What this means is that even if that PhD eventually does large scale studies their underlying credentials are based on recycling other peoples works to bolster their preferred view point. You have to understand that now Universities don't really allow open ended research for PhD students in mental health and other degree programs. They have limited and prescribed scopes of what they can and cannot do in their PhD thesis and limited time in which to do it.

Did you know you can "buy" study participants from some mega-profitable marketing companies? That should scare most sane people about the results of the studies.

I truly hope it works for you.





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      At least I am still around. and plan to be tell my old age dying day.
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