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portrait of a female soldier
We understand mental illness and the difficulties it creates for those who suffer from it. At our San Diego Mental Health Treatment Center we are sensitive to your challenges. Solara will find every possible solution to enable you to live the life that you are meant to live.

 While CPT has been shown to be highly effective for many veterans with PTSD, individual results may vary. A thorough assessment is necessary to determine the most appropriate treatment approach for each person.

 Some individuals may notice improvements in their symptoms after just a few sessions, while others may take longer to see significant progress. The duration of treatment will depend on the individual’s unique needs and goals.

  In some cases, medication may be recommended alongside CPT to manage symptoms and enhance the effectiveness of therapy. Your treatment team will work with you to determine the best approach for your situation.

During a CPT session, you will work with your therapist to explore and challenge unhelpful thoughts and beliefs related to your traumatic experiences. You may also engage in exposure techniques and learn coping strategies to manage your symptoms more effectively.

While the primary focus of CPT is on the individual receiving treatment, family members can play a crucial role in supporting their loved one’s recovery. In some cases, family therapy or psychoeducation sessions may be incorporated into the treatment plan to help everyone involved better understand PTSD and the recovery process.

Mental Health and Wellness

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for Veterans

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) is a specialized type of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) specifically designed to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and related mental health conditions. The primary aim of CPT is to help individuals process traumatic experiences and change the unhelpful thinking patterns that may have developed as a result.

Why CPT is Important for Veterans?

Veterans often experience higher rates of PTSD than the general population due to exposure to combat, traumatic events, and other stressors associated with military service. Traditional therapies may not always address the unique challenges veterans face, making CPT a valuable alternative treatment option.

Understanding PTSD and Its Symptoms.

PTSD is a mental health condition that can develop following a traumatic event. Symptoms of PTSD can be grouped into three main categories:

  • Emotional Symptoms: Intense emotions, such as fear, anger, guilt, sadness, intrusive thoughts, and nightmares related to the traumatic event.
  • Behavioral Symptoms: Avoidance of people, places, or situations that trigger memories of the trauma, social isolation, and irritability.
  • Physical Symptoms: Sleep disturbances, difficulty concentrating, increased startle response, and physical reactions to reminders of the event.

The Principles of Cognitive Processing Therapy.

CPT is based on three core principles that work together to promote healing and recovery:

  • Cognitive Restructuring: This involves identifying and challenging unhelpful thoughts or beliefs that contribute to PTSD symptoms. By changing these negative thought patterns, individuals can better manage their emotions and reactions to triggers.
  • Exposure Techniques: CPT helps individuals confront and process their traumatic memories in a safe and supportive environment. This can reduce the emotional impact of the memories and decrease avoidance behaviors.
  • Psychoeducation: CPT includes teaching about PTSD symptoms and the connection between thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. This education helps veterans better understand their symptoms and develop healthier coping strategies.

The CPT Process.

CPT typically involves an initial assessment, followed by individual or group sessions:

  • Assessment: A thorough assessment is conducted to determine the severity of PTSD symptoms and to establish a personalized treatment plan.
  • Individual Sessions: One-on-one sessions with a trained therapist allow for focused attention on the individual’s specific needs and concerns. These sessions often involve learning coping strategies, cognitive restructuring, and exposure techniques.
  • Group Sessions: Group therapy provides a supportive environment where veterans can share their experiences and learn from others who have gone through similar challenges. Group sessions also reinforce the skills learned in individual sessions and foster a sense of camaraderie.
  • Duration of Therapy: CPT typically lasts between 12 to 15 sessions, with each session lasting about 60 to 90 minutes. The exact duration may vary depending on the individual’s needs and progress.

Benefits of CPT for Veterans.

CPT has been shown to be highly effective in treating PTSD and related symptoms in veterans. Some of the key benefits include:

  • Improved Emotional Well-being: By addressing the thoughts and beliefs that contribute to PTSD symptoms, veterans can experience a significant reduction in distress and an improvement in overall emotional well-being.
  • Enhanced Relationships: As veterans learn to manage their PTSD symptoms more effectively, they often find that their interpersonal relationships improve as well. This can lead to stronger connections with family, friends, and fellow veterans.
  • Better Coping Skills: CPT teaches veterans valuable coping skills that can be applied to various aspects of their lives, helping them to manage stress and challenges more effectively.

Solara Mental Health and CPT for Veterans

Solara Mental Health specializes in providing comprehensive, evidence-based treatment for veterans struggling with PTSD and related mental health conditions. Our team of experts is highly experienced in delivering CPT and is dedicated to helping veterans achieve lasting recovery. We offer:

  • Expertise in CPT: Our therapists are trained in the latest CPT techniques and stay current on research and best practices to ensure the highest quality of care for our veterans.
  • Supportive Environment: At Solara Mental Health, we understand the unique challenges veterans face and strive to create a warm, welcoming, and supportive atmosphere where healing can take place.
  • Customized Treatment Plans: We recognize that each veteran’s experience is unique, and we tailor our treatment plans to meet the specific needs and goals of each veteran.

CPT at Solara Mental Health in San Diego

Cognitive Processing Therapy is a proven, effective treatment for veterans struggling with PTSD and related mental health issues. At Solara Mental Health, our team of skilled professionals is dedicated to helping veterans overcome their challenges and lead fulfilling, healthy lives. If you or a loved one is seeking help, contact us today to learn more about our CPT program and how we can support you on your journey to recovery.

Solara recognizes that each veteran is unique and should be provided a customized treatment plan for their symptoms. The trauma-based therapies we provide will be catered to the veteran based on what our qualified trauma therapists decide is best for the veteran.

Solara Mental Health is VA contracted as a community care provider to serve the veteran community best and provide help with their mental health and mental health needs.

For more information about Solara Mental Health’s CPT treatment programs in San Diego or about other treatments offered at Solara Health, please contact us.

Proudly Serving Veterans
with TriWest Insurance

TriWest Healthcare

What Our Clients Say


The Solara Treatment Program was a life-changing experience for me. To be able to heal in such a beautiful, peaceful environment, with such a terrific treatment team, was so amazingly positive. I have found my true self, again. I thank you and my family thanks you for helping me become the person I was meant to be.

M.P. – Father

Your program provided our daughter with the most masterful therapist we have ever encountered (and we have used many).  She has had an unbelievable ability to see the long-term trajectory of our daughter’s treatment and to approach her treatment in stages that fit where my daughter’s development was.  We can’t say enough positive about her.


The program has given me the tools I needed to really gain stability. For the first time in years - maybe for as long as I can remember, actually, I’m learning how to cope and manage my stressors and triggers. I now believe that I can find some relief and happiness.


The Solara program is truly amazing. I’ve never had more clarity or more good energy in my entire life. The attention the physicians and the therapists gave me was outstanding. I feel like they truly understood and addressed my issues, which had consumed my life for years. Thank you all.

Michelle Family

I want to thank you and the entire staff and support system at Solara for taking such good care of my sister. On behalf of my entire family, we want you all to understand that your patience and kindness stretches further than you can see… Thank you, again and again, from the bottom of my heart.

R.M. – Father

If not for Solara Mental Health, I am almost positive that our daughter would not be as advanced in her treatment, and would not have the almost miraculous confident and positive outlook that she has.


Solara was truly a life-changing experience for me and for our children, because of what you did for my wife! The treatment team was phenomenally supportive and perfect for helping her with her anxiety and depression. We are all now moving forward to put our lives back together and it started with you all in Pacific Beach. Thank you for what you do.


I have never felt better than I do now, since completing your program. The truly caring and supportive staff and the intensive program changed my life. What a neat place to stay for treatment - I love Pacific Beach! I have learned skills and behavior to move forward with my life thanks to you.


We are so grateful to you for the treatment and care you provided our daughter. She is doing unbelievably well now thanks to your program. We will gladly tell anyone we encounter that needs treatment about the wonderful work you do at Solara.


Even though I’m not religious, I realized when I got sober that for the first time in my life I wanted to explore my spiritual side. I benefited hugely from the individual spiritual sessions that I had with Chris. I’m really grateful for that aspect of the whole treatment experience.

Watson Family

Solara’s program was such a positive experience for our mom (and for us)! She had become almost impossible to deal with. Your entire staff was phenomenally supportive and kind and patient with her. We feel like we’ve got our mom back, now.


The therapists and counselors and really whole team were extremely beneficial to me and my understanding of my issues. The treatment plan they developed was exactly what I needed