Accelerated Resolution Therapy | Client centered online therapy & mental health care from a certified trauma therapist in Denver, Colorado. EMDR therapy, CBT, Brainspotting, DBT, CBT |

What is Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART)?

Accelerated Resolution Therapy is a newer, evidenced based therapy developed by Laney Rosenweig. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) states ART is an effective psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress (PTSD), depression, and personal resilience. Equally important, it can also be useful to treat anxiety and phobias as well. Lastly, Accelerated resolution therapy combines techniques from different therapeutic modalities such as EMDR, Gestalt, Cognitive behavioral, and psychodynamic theories.

What do the eye movements do?

There is evidence that shows when you are awake rapid eye movements can help the brain process psychological issues. The left from right (bilateral) eye movements will help to create calmness in your body, just like when you are in REM sleep. A.R.T. uses short, about thirty seconds left from right eye movements to help process both sensations in your body and upsetting images.

What does a session look like?

An A.R.T therapist will ask you about the problem (scene) you would like to work on that day. They ask you to rate the emotions on a scale of 0-10, with ten being the most intense or hardest to handle.

The therapist will most likely sit off to the side of you and use their hand for your eyes to track from left to right. Some therapist may choose to use a light bar for your eyes to follow. The bilateral eye movements will last for about thirty seconds. Throughout the session a therapist will ask you to process both your body sensations and the problem you come in with.

Most importantly the goal is to have negative (anxiety, depression, tenseness, etc.)  emotions and physical sensations decrease while enhancing the positive physical sensations (happiness, relief, calmness, etc.). ART uses voluntary imagine replacement where you are replacing the negative images you have of a scene with positive images. However, this does NOT erase your memory of what happened, you will still have the facts. This will help to take away the distress attached to the images.

Summing it up, An Accelerated resolution therapy (ART) session can last between 60-90 minutes.

ART vs. EMDR comparison?

  • Has a fixed number of eye movements.
  • Directive/ guided approach
  • Averages 1-5 sessions.
  • ART uses body scans & sensations consistently throughout its treatment
  • Although changes in cognitions will occur during an ART session, they are not the primary focus in treatment.
  • When processing you will be asked to focus on the “scene” or the situation you come in with that day. You are asked to visualize the scene from beginning to end like a movie.
  • Proven effective in significantly reducing PTSD symptoms.
  • ART does not require you to go into detail about an event you are processing. Minimal details about what scene you will be processing is needed for ART. For example: “I had a car accident 10 years ago, I was 22 and still have a hard time driving” Instead of going into very specific details about the accident.
  • You are always asked to rescript the original targeted memory. This is part of the ART protocol and is called voluntary image replacement which has you replace or rescript the traumatic memories with a re-scripted positive image.
  • Uses variable number of eye movements
  • Engages free association (ie: speaking whatever comes into your mind)
  • Averages 6-12 sessions
  • A full body scan is not routinely part of the script. Instead, it is done in the beginning and the end of each session.
  • EMDR is heavily focused on cognitions both negative and positive. Additionally, one of the goals of EMDR is to install the positive cognition at a 7 on a validity scale of 1-7, with 7 being the highest. Validity means how true that positive cognition is.
  • When processing you will focus on the worst part of the event, the negative cognition about yourself that is associated with the event, and the emotions/sensations that you feel in your body.
  • Proven effective in significantly reducing PTSD symptoms.
  • Includes a history taking that involves detailed discussion of traumatic events that help a therapist determine what needs to be processed along with the optimal images, cognitions, and emotions attached to those images for processing.
  • A positive cognition may evolve at the end of processing only 40% of the time without further training or interventions such as a therapist using cognitive interweaves.

If you have suffered from trauma, anxiety, panic, or phobias, schedule a free 15 minute consultation today to see if ART is the right therapy for you.


Accelerated Resolution Therapy. (2015, November 22). SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices.

The difference between EMDR and ART.

Blog Disclaimer – These posts are not meant to treat, diagnose, or serve as a replacement for therapy. If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, please contact your local crisis center or dial 911. Here are more immediate resources as well.


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