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One of the challenges when dealing with trauma is helping clients process it so they can begin to move on with their lives. While many trauma-informed therapies can help with this, a relatively new technique has emerged that can provide efficient relief from distressing memories, difficult emotions and past wounds. Known as accelerated resolution therapy (ART), this effective intervention incorporates principles from many other psychotherapies to quickly alleviate trauma-related symptoms.

What is Accelerated Resolution Therapy?

ART is an evidence-based treatment with roots in several other types of psychotherapy that helps to reduce the effects of trauma. It was established in 2008 by mental health clinician Laney Rosenzweig, who modified some of the practices used in eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy to enhance the healing process.

One of the main components of ART is bilateral stimulation, which activates both sides of the brain with rapid eye movements to help individuals process distressing memories. The technique is similar to that used in EMDR, but involves a more specific and directive approach based on multiple therapeutic frameworks to deliver faster results.

Image rescripting or voluntary memory replacement is another key part of ART. It helps individuals replace traumatic memories that still cause them pain with something more positive, usually a new image or association of their own creation. Although this technique cannot change the past, it does help people distance themselves from it and lessens the emotional or physical impact of recalling the details of a traumatic event.

Other modalities that ART is informed by include Gestalt therapy, psychodynamic therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure therapy and guided imagery. Together, these techniques treat mind, body and soul to heal trauma effectively and holistically.

Resolving Trauma with Accelerated Resolution Therapy

Trauma can continue to have an impact on our minds and bodies even years after the initial event has occurred. Often, these past wounds can resurface throughout our lives and manifest as mental health problems, compulsions, substance abuse and more. Yet without addressing the underlying pain, it can feel impossible to walk a path of recovery and escape from the cycle of maladaptive or self-defeating behaviors.

Trauma comes in different forms and can stem from things like mental and physical abuse, grief, severe illness or injury, a natural disaster and any other stressful event that leaves a deep, emotional impact. For those of us living with trauma, it can feel like a lightbulb moment once we learn it may be at the root of the challenges we experience. This realization opens the door for therapies like ART to help us finally begin to heal and move past it.

ART helps clients become aware of the physical sensations and emotional responses connected to a traumatic event, letting them reprocess them so they become less powerful. During treatment sessions, therapists also help individuals achieve new insights and shifts in their perspective to let go of feelings such as self-blame and guilt. The combination of eye movements, image rescripting, visualization and other techniques has been found to free clients from the troubling images and emotions that cause suffering, letting them experience positive growth and change that aids the recovery process.

Who Can Benefit from Accelerated Resolution Therapy?

ART is officially recognized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP) as an effective, evidence-based treatment for trauma and related disorders. Some of the concerns it has been used to address include:

  • Acute, complex and chronic trauma
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Substance abuse
  • Phobias
  • Family, relationship and intimacy concerns
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Developmental and attachment trauma
  • Self-esteem issues

Most self-defeating behaviors, beliefs and habits caused by underlying trauma can be helped by ART. At The Guest House, our highly trained therapists use this and other holistic, evidence-based techniques to help individuals uncover and heal from deep-seated trauma, providing support as they learn to process it and build a happier, healthier life.

Accelerated Resolution Therapy at The Guest House

The Guest House is a treatment center focused on holistic healing, so evidence-based techniques like ART are integral to our programs. We utilize a blend of proven therapies to help heal the mind, body and spirit from the effects of trauma and pride ourselves on developing highly personalized treatment plans that are tailored to the needs of each client. In addition to ART, some other modalities that we offer include:

During ART sessions, our therapists will guide individuals through a visualization of their traumatic experiences in a safe, supportive space. Some trauma can be very painful to recall, but ART helps them move rapidly beyond the place where they are stuck. Throughout the treatment process, relaxing eye movements, image replacement and other methods will be used to facilitate healing and change the way this trauma is stored in the brain. By the end, distressing memories will be less intrusive and no longer elicit a strong emotional or physical response, effectively reducing the symptoms of trauma-related issues.