Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Ande Nesmith


Social Work


Military sexual trauma is a growing problem in the United States military. With the integration of women in the infantry units in all military branches it is even more of a concern. Military sexual trauma though does not happen to only women. The purpose of this research project was to take a known evidence based therapy used by the Veterans Health Administration Department of Veterans Affairs, and see if it is effective in the treatment of post traumatic stress disorder in military sexual trauma victims. The VA uses many evidence-based therapies from Prolonged Exposure, cognitive behavior therapy, EMDR, and also the use of medications when further assistance is needed. The literature review is the first of its kind to study the effectiveness of cognitive processing therapy (CPT), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and military sexual trauma (MST) together. The question asked was “is cognitive processing therapy more effective when treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Military Sexual Trauma victims?” The findings show that CPT is effective in the treatment of PTSD in MST victims, and that it is also effective in reducing depressive symptoms, and lowering PTSD symptoms in those who had not experienced MST, but military related PTSD.

Included in

Social Work Commons