The three most important ways that Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) differs from conventional talk therapy are:
1. ART clients do not have to re-create traumas by talking them to death session after session.
2. ART uses eye movements, which are the best way to interface directly with the specific part of the brain that involves PTSD.
3. It is exponentially more effective.
Freud developed the “Talking Cure” with clients who found that being able to share their darkest secrets felt like a release of some sort. The problem is that while it can feel good to finally bare yourself to a therapist after years of bottling it up, releasing your pain only does so much and ends up being rehearsing your pain. I have met so many people who have tried therapy and hated it. They dropped out because it was too painful.
Who wants to literally retraumatize themselves week after week and then have to pay for it? I stayed in therapy for 25 painful years because I was always told that therapy is supposed to be hard work and it is the only way to get better. By the time I stopped, I was getting so agitated re-living my traumas that I couldn’t drive home. I would have to go for a long walk and cool down before I was even safe to drive!
With ART you actually do not have to talk about what happened to you. I have cured (and I don’t use that word lightly) people who have told me almost nothing- they don’t need to. I only ask that my clients remember the event for less than a minute while doing the calming eye movements. People universally find that it is so much less painful than they thought it would be. Conventional therapy is good for some things but not for treating PTSD.
Talk therapy addresses the wrong part of the brain. It is the therapist’s logical brain talking to your logical brain about your emotional brain, in a roundabout indirect way. You have to try to make sense of your emotions (which is very difficult) and then try to translate them into words. Your therapist then tries to understand your private internal experience and shed light on your patterns of thinking and acting.
ART interfaces directly with the emotional fight or flight part of your brain. It has been found that eye movements are the best, most reliable way to do this. It replicates Rapid Eye Movement sleep (REM) to access the same part of your brain that involves dreaming, and calms your body much like your muscles are usually relaxed in sleep. ART is based on a treatment called EMDR which has been around for 20+ years but is much more effective.
Clients feel the changes inside of them, right away. What I find both comforting and fascinating is that clients heal themselves. Their minds take them right where they need to go; it’s not me the therapist telling them what to think or feel, and it never becomes overwhelming.
Shouldn’t the job of the therapist be to work oneself out of a job? Yet the majority of talk therapists see people for long spans of time, focusing on problems with limited success. It’s what I used to do before I learned how to do ART, and it was frustrating. In a way, ART ruined my practice because instead of coming week after week for years, my clients got better! Now I require a constant flow of new clients to support myself but I am happy to help people so profoundly.
I love seeing them shed years of pain and baggage right before my eyes. Isn’t that how it should be? You can think of talk therapy as “hard work” as you work yourself up into a sweaty anxious mess on the couch. Or you can do ART and actually get better, faster than you ever thought possible. It literally re-wires your brain. You can let go of the past effortlessly and permanently, and usually in just a few sessions! I have literally cured PTSD in people who were involved in Sandy Hook and 911 and those who have been molested, raped, shot, stabbed, you name it. ART works so fast to heal any type of trauma including tragic loss, accidents, abuse in all forms and more.
You have to see it to believe it. It really is the most incredible thing I have ever seen in my life. It feels like a miracle. I know it sounds too good to be true but it’s real.