Accelerated Resolution Therapy—What Is It?

Author: Jennifer Eyers, LPCC

Accelerated Resolution Therapy®, or ART for short, is a new form of eye movement therapy similar to eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). As an evidence-based form of psychotherapy—and the next generation of eye movement therapy—ART utilizes back-and-forth eye movements to help your brain focus on a problem, process emotions and sensations related to the problem, and find the solution to resolve it through memory reconsolidation. For clients who have found traditional therapeutic interventions to be unsuccessful, ART could provide the relief they are looking for. It has shown to be effective with those struggling with post-traumatic stress, anxiety, depression, phobias, grief, poor self-esteem, pain management, or any other emotional difficulty.

I was trained in Basic ART in November of 2019, completed advanced training in October of 2020, and have found ART to be one of the best trainings I have attended in over 20 years of my career as a therapist. I have completed over 200 ART sessions with patients and continue to be impressed with the effectiveness of this therapeutic modality. Research suggests that a problem can often be resolved in one to four sessions and many patients appreciate that they do not need to share about the issue they are working on, they do not need to talk out loud, they are in total control during the session, and that the problem can be resolved quickly. While there is often emotional discomfort at the onset of the session, patients find that this quickly passes, that the problem loses its hold on them, and they experience emotional relief. Research studies also find that these changes are long-lasting.

At the onset of the session, patients rate the intensity of their emotions related to the problem they will be working on. During the session, patients follow the therapist’s hand with their eyes while thinking about the problem, processing the negative emotions and sensations, and replacing negative images or thoughts with positive images and thoughts. Following the session, patients will often recall the positive images and thoughts, will think about their situation differently, and will feel more emotionally distanced from their problem. Patients often describe feeling as if a weight has been lifted off their shoulders.

If you are motivated to let go of your symptoms and are able to move your eyes back and forth, then I encourage you to contact PrairieCare Southern Minnesota at 507-218-3701 to schedule a Free Needs Assessment and determine if ART is recommended for you.