What Should You Do After An ART Therapy Session?

Amazing things are still happening in your brain even after an Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) session!  

Through ART, your brain rescripts traumatic images so that you leave with a ‘positized’ version of your traumatic memory. The term “positiziation” refers to what ART Developer, Laney Rosenzweig calls the process of transforming a negative memory into a more positive one. Through a process called ‘reconsolidation’, your brain changes how your memories are stored so that you can form new beliefs and perspectives. Researchers call this “rescripting.”

Your brain is creating new connections that didn’t exist before!

ART stimulates your brain’s innate capability to process and integrate traumatic memories. Some believe the changes that occur with ART may be likened to changes made during the Rapid Eye Movement sleep phase when your brain consolidates memories and works through emotions. This process makes traumatic memories less distressing and stores them in a more adaptive and integrated way in the brain.

Even after just one ART session, you’ll often experience a whole new lease on life.  You’ll feel more energetic, hopeful, and inspired. However, remember, even after the session, your brain is still working to “positize”, reconsolidate, and rescript for long-lasting results.  

Positive Things You Can Do for Yourself after an ART session

  • Indulge in Relaxation:

Before your ART session, you might have been living in a state of hyperarousal, as your amygdala has been overactive. 

Now that you’ve calmed this part of your brain, you’ll be able to rest deeply. The bilateral eye movements you performed during your session, a key component of ART, have been shown to create a deep state of relaxation. These movements stimulate both sides of the brain, promoting balance and relaxation.

Take this time to rest and allow yourself to process the emotions and experiences that arose during the ART session. Engage in joyful, calming activities such as reading a favorite book, spending time in nature, taking a warm bath with relaxing magnesium salts, or enjoying a cup of herbal tea. 

  • Engage in Gentle Movement:

Engage in gentle movements such as stretching, yoga, or a leisurely walk in nature. These activities can further support the work accomplished in an ART session as they encourage you to be present in your body. Relaxing walks may help you process emotions further as your eyes move similarly to the bilateral movements in an ART session.

  • Get Creative:  

There’s a reason it’s called ‘ART.’  Accelerated Resolution Therapy helps develop and engage the creative side of your brain. Studies have demonstrated that the bilateral eye movements in ART induce theta waves in the brain. Theta waves are associated with a deeply relaxed state, creativity, intuition, and daydreaming, all of which can enhance the therapeutic process.

If you’ve been in survival mode for too long, you may have found it challenging to do more than the bare minimum to get through each day. Now that you have moved from a state of “surviving” to “thriving” you may enjoy exploring your creative side.  

Creative expression can be a powerful outlet for processing emotions, encouraging unconventional thinking that stimulates both the left and right sides of your brain. Making art can help you rediscover the self you thought you lost due to trauma.

Art-making has an alchemical effect on the imagination. It awakens the senses and sharpens insights, teaching us to think in symbols, metaphors, and to de-code complexity, so we can perceive the world in new ways.

— Linda Naiman

  • Journaling

You may have noticed memories and sensations that surprised you during your ART session. In your journal, write about thoughts, feelings, and insights from the session.  Journaling helps you remember images, narratives, and cognitions that came up during the session.  It also allows you to reflect on these experiences, which can aid in the processing and integration of ART.  Writing works with both the rational and creative sides of the brain to help process your specific findings.  Now that ART has helped your brain create new neural pathways, writing may help you discover even more new perspectives.

  • Mindfulness or Meditation:

Mindfulness can put you in the observer’s position as you notice sensations and thoughts after a session. Engage in your environment slowly and intentionally. Your ART session has created an incredible mind-body connection, a state where your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations are all in sync. As you are now more connected with your body and emotions, you can be in touch with your wants and needs.   Being in a mindful state may provide insight into your needs and how to give yourself comfort in future moments. Focus on your breath, meditate, or be present in the moment.

Find an ART trained therapist near you. 



Brain Serotonergic Receptors and Control of Fluid Intake and Cardiovascular Function in Rats – Neurobiology of Body Fluid Homeostasis – NCBI Bookshelf

5 Benefits of Journaling for Mental Health

Brief treatment of co-occurring post-traumatic stress and depressive symptoms by use of accelerated resolution therapy®