Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART)Accelerated Resolution Therapy, often referred to as ART, is a form of psychotherapy with roots in existing evidence-based therapies but shown to achieve benefits much more rapidly (usually within 1-5 sessions). Find a Therapist
Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART)
Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) incorporates a combination of techniques used in many other traditional psychotherapies. ART works directly to reprogram the way in which distressing memories and images are stored in the brain so that they no longer trigger strong physical and emotional reactions.
ART accomplishes this through the use of rapid eye movements similar to eye movements that occur during dreaming. Although techniques similar to these are used in other types of therapies, ART’s very specific and directive approach can achieve rapid recovery from symptoms and reactions that may have been present for many years. ART combines long respected, sound treatment practices with safe and effective methods validated by current scientific research studies conducted by the University of South Florida.
What is ART?
The client is always in control of the entire ART session, with the therapist guiding the process. Although some traumatic experiences such as rape, combat experiences, or loss of a loved one can be very painful to think about or visualize, the therapy rapidly moves clients beyond the place where they are stuck in these experiences toward growth and positive changes. The process is very straightforward, using relaxing eye movements and a technique called Voluntary Memory/Image Replacement to change the way in which the negative images are stored in the brain. The treatment is grounded in well-established psychotherapy techniques, and the end result is that traumas and difficult life experiences will no longer trigger strong emotions or physical reactions. Importantly, clients do not even have to talk about their traumas or difficult life experiences with the therapist to achieve recovery.
Frequently Asked Questions
What makes Accelerated Resolution Therapy® (ART) Unique?
Both ART and EMDR use eye movements to facilitate visualization techniques focused on helping to reduce distress from traumatic memories. ART focuses more directly on how negative images are connected with emotional and physical reactions. The specific and unique way in which the techniques are delivered in ART tend to result in a more rapid and complete recovery. Clients find relief from distress by the end of a treatment session rather than having to wait for several sessions.
ART’s powerful technique of the Voluntary Memory/Voluntary Image Replacement is a form of re-scripting similar to techniques used in some other treatments that are involved with other forms of cognitive therapy. When combined with desensitization through visualization (imaginal exposure), this intervention has a powerful effect on changing the clients’ relationship to their traumatic narrative.
Although clients know that the new image is not the actual image from their memory, changing the images affects the current level of emotional and physical functioning. The narrative will remain but the narrative will not trigger the problem symptoms.
How is ART different than EMDR?
Like EMDR, ART relies on guided visualizations and eye movements to facilitate desensitization and processing of distressing memories, in-vitro exposure to future feared triggers, practicing future preferred behavior through visualizations, and eliciting improvements in physiological arousal, emotional reactivity, and beliefs. Both EMDR and ART may be used for a variety of mental health problems, not just PTSD, based on the fact that a great many problems can be traced to events that were encoded as traumatic, often in childhood, even if they did not meet the formal Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) Acriterion definition. Both EMDR and ART have been reported to be capable of producing rapid resolution of long-term distress stemming from trauma or other adverse life events, sometimes within just a few, or even at times a single treatment session.
However, there are a number of key differences that distinguish ART from EMDR that offer the potential to improve processing of traumatic memories, achieve rapid results more reliably, and lower the risk of experiencing heightened trauma-related distress shortly after
beginning treatment (well-known to occur with EMDR and other trauma therapies). While both ART and EMDR techniques facilitate clients coming to their own solutions/resolutions, ART has a simpler more experiential approach to desensitization and reframing (what EMDR calls “installation”), including ensuring that clients conclude each treatment session with positive imagery to take the place of intrusive distressing images.
– Charles W. Hoge, M.D
How many sessions do I need?
ART often resolves one presenting problem in a one to three session model. Clients may continue on in therapy to resolve other issues. In addition, clients may wish to use traditional talk sessions to process the changes and insights they have gleaned from ART’s eye movement sessions.
What training is required for professionals to practice ART?
The use of ART is limited to health care providers who have completed training appropriate to their professional mandates. Many professionals receive and refine their training through continuing education workshops.
You may find local associations in your state which include psychologists, dentists, medical doctors or nurses, counselors, social workers, and marriage and family therapists with training in hypnotherapy. Your primary care physician may also be an excellent referral source.