In today’s volatile world of mass shootings and terrorist attacks, more and more people are suffering from painful memories and negative mental images because of the constant trauma that’s occurring daily. In fact, up to 70 percent of veterans suffering with chronic pain who have been treated within the VA (US Veterans Administrations) may be struggling with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder.)
People who struggle are unable to move forward and carry on with everyday life. Traumatic memories can be the result of witnessing or experiencing terrorist attacks, sexual or physical abuse, natural disasters, military combat and other types of life-threatening events. Fortunately, more and more therapists are discovering positive results from using a therapy known as Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART). If you’re a therapist, here are some of the benefits of using Accelerated Resolution Therapy with your clients, along with what involved with this type of treatment.
How Accelerated Resolution Therapy Works
Acceleration Resolution Therapy uses specific methods and procedures to treat various psycho-social issues caused from trauma, such as from anxiety, depression, sexual abuse or smoking cessation. One the main ways it’s used is for treating people suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.
This therapy combines several traditional psychotherapies. Basically, Accelerated Resolution Therapy reprograms how disturbing memories are stored in the brain, so these images stop triggering intense emotional and physical reactions. This therapy is designed to reduce or even totally remove physiological responses linked with traumatic memories.
ART involves patients visualizing traumatic experiences. This is done by using a method called “voluntary image replacement,” which is a type of talk therapy. Patients fluctuate between moving their eyes rapidly and verbalizing their traumatic memories and images. The rapid eye movements that are used are similar to those that occur in dreams.
- It works quickly—This is one of the main perks of ART as results can typically be obtained in only one to five sessions. In most cases, this is over a brief period of just two weeks.
- The patient is in control at all times regarding what’s occurring. In other words, clients can choose to share or not share traumatic scenes and experiences.
- It’s exceptionally interactive.
- Many people who have had the therapy have reported that they feel exceptionally comfortable during their sessions. One of the reasons is because their therapists were with them throughout every phase of their treatments.
- No homework is required.
- Clients are not forced to remember traumatic episodes between their treatment sessions.
- Hypnotherapy is not used.
- No medications are administered. But if a patient is taking medicines, the therapy can still be done.
- It can be used along with other types of medical treatments and therapies.
- ART has a considerably larger completion rate than that of traditional therapies used in treating PTSD.
- Other therapies are also used. These include those, such as cognitive behavior therapy, Gestalt therapy, exposure therapy, imagery re-scripting, guided therapy and brief psychodynamic therapy.
- Accelerated Resolution Therapy is more specific than other types of therapies that are used, and the approach is more direct.
- Results are faster for treating PTSD symptoms that have affected people who have suffered for many years.
Accelerated Resolution Therapy is relatively new as it first appeared in 2008. Laney Rosenzweig, a West Hartford, and Connecticut mental health clinician, saw the significance of using therapeutic eye movements in treating her patients. What’s more, she also made modifications in the way they were used and included them in other methods. As a result, Rosenzweig developed treatment methods that are easy to apply, besides standardized and directive for use in treating various types of conditions.
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