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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. It can also be useful to treat anxiety and phobias as well. 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 rapid eye movements when you are awake can help the brain process psychological issues. The left from right (bilateral) eye movements can 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 and 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 sit off to the side of you and use their hand for your eyes to track from left to right. The bilateral eye movements will last for about thirty seconds. Throughout the session a therapist will have you process both your body sensations and the problem you come in with.

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 the scene with positive images. This does NOT erase your memory of what happened, you still have the facts, but helps to take away the distress attached to the images.

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

ART vs. EMDR comparison?

ART THERAPY
  • Uses a fixed number of eye movements.
  • More directive/ guided approach
  • Average of 1-5 sessions.
  • ART uses body scans & sensations consistently throughout its treatment
  • Although changes in cognitions occur during an ART session, they are not the primary focus in treatment.
  • When processing a person is asked to focus on the “scene” or the situation they came in with that day. They are asked to visualize the scene from beginning to end like a movie.
  • Proven effective in significantly reducing PTSD symptoms.
  • ART does not require a client to go into detail about the event they are processing. Minimal details about what scene a client is 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.
  • A client is always asked to rescript the original targeted memory. This is part of the ART protocol and is called voluntary image replacement which has a client replace or rescript the traumatic memories with a re-scripted positive image.
EMDR THERAPY
  • Uses variable number of eye movements,
  • Uses free association (ie: speaking whatever comes into your mind)
  • Average of 6-12 sessions
  • A full body scan is not routinely part of the script. It is done in the beginning and the end of each session.
  • EMDR is heavily focused on cognitions both negative and positive. 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.
  • When processing a person will focus on the worst part of the event, the negative cognition about themselves that is associated with the event, and the emotions/sensations that they feel in their 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.


Resources:

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

The difference between EMDR and ART.


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