Founded by Laney Rosenzweig, MS, LMFT in 2007, Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) is an eye movement therapy that aims to replicate the movements found during the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep. This stage of sleep is known to aid the body and/or mind in things such as problem solving ability, healing of pain, and calming responses. ART uses these same eye movements to facilitate lasting changes in the brain.
ART is focused and directive, allowing the therapist to use the eye movements in a very specific way to aid in the resolution of many issues, such as: PTSD, anxiety, depression, grief and loss, pain, and more. ART therapy can also aid the client in completely eliminating negative images, such as those associated with loss or death, traumatic memories, or phobias. These negative images are targeted during the session using an aspect of ART called Voluntary Image Replacement (VIR).
The eye movements seem to open a window of opportunity to make sustained changes in the brain. The body remains calm while the mind stays alert and engages in problem solving. By the end of the session a client can no longer retrieve negative images and the associated body sensations, such as any anxiety, grief, or stress. These sensations become more positive; the client can feel relief, happiness, peace, and safety. The client retains the facts of any memories or experiences, but loses the negative images and emotions associated with it.
“We say ‘Keep the Knowledge, Lose the Pain,’ because the client can recall their trauma or problem with little or no negative affect, and, in fact, the affect becomes positive in most cases. Natural endorphins are often triggered when we problem solve and the client leaves feeling they have resolution and feeling good,” explains Rosenzweig.
ART sessions follow a very specific protocol. It is not uncommon for a client to feel some of the usual unease and discomfort about his or her concerns initially. The goal is to quickly pass beyond these feelings to ones of calm and relief, as well as to have resolution of the problem or concerns; the evidence to date shows that the changes made will be permanent. Most clients feel relief in 1-5 sessions!
The overarching benefit is that the ART protocol works quickly. This is one of the main perks of ART as results can typically be obtained in only one to five sessions. Here are additional benefits of the protocol:
Brief treatment means a single clinician can work with a patient throughout every phase of treatment.
The patient is in control of the procedure throughout the session. The clinician acts as a resource and guide to assist the patient through the treatment process.
Patients frequently report feeling comfortable and relaxed during their sessions.
Discussion of specific memories is not required; the patient can choose whether or not to share traumatic scenes and experiences.The procedure is exceptionally interactive and directed collaboratively by both the client and the clinician.
Clients do not focus on traumatic episodes between their treatment sessions.
No homework is required.
The procedure is effective with or without medications.
It can be used along with other types of medical treatments and therapies.
The completion rate for ART is considerably greater than that of previously accepted therapies used in treating PTSD.
The procedure utilizes existing therapies. These include cognitive behavior therapy, Gestalt therapy, exposure therapy, imagery rescripting, guided therapy and brief psychodynamic therapy.
Accelerated Resolution Therapy is very specific and the approach is more direct, compared to other types of therapies.
Results are faster for treating PTSD symptoms for individuals who have suffered from symptoms for many years.
Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) can be used to treat these following conditions:
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Victimization/Poor Self Image
Job Related Stress
For more information, please visit www.acceleratedresolutiontherapy.com
Marianne Tomlinson has trained with the founder of Accelerated Resolution Therapy, Laney Rosenzweig, and is Certified as a Basic Practitioner of Accelerated Resolution Therapy.