- Anger Management
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Dual Diagnosis
- Family Conflict
- Life Coaching
- Self Esteem
- Women’s Issues
- Relationship Issues
- Trauma and PTSD
- Mood Disorders
- Personality Disorders
- Thinking Disorders
What Is 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).
Clients suffering from trauma and other mental health problems such as:
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Addictions/ Substance Abuse
Victimization/Poor Self Image
and many other mental and physical conditions can experience remarkable benefits starting in the first session.
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.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a trauma therapy that helps to relieve affective distress, reformulate negative beliefs, and reduce psychological arousal. During the EMDR therapy the client focuses on emotionally disturbing material in brief doses while simultaneously refocusing on external stimulus. Lateral eye movements are used as external stimulus (although other methods can be used). Reprocessing information from the trauma occurs and therefore new associations are created between the traumatic memory and more adaptive memories of information. EMDR enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences.
EMDR therapy involves attention to three time periods: the past, present, and future. Focus is given to past disturbing memories and related events. Also, it is given to current situations that cause distress, and to developing the skills and attitudes needed for positive future actions. With EMDR therapy, these items are addressed using an eight-phase treatment approach.
Phase 1: The first phase is a history-taking session(s). The therapist assesses the client’s readiness and develops a treatment plan. Client and therapist identify possible targets for EMDR processing. These include distressing memories and current situations that cause emotional distress. Other targets may include related incidents in the past. Emphasis is placed on the development of specific skills and behaviors that will be needed by the client in future situations.
Initial EMDR processing may be directed to childhood events rather than to adult onset stressors or the identified critical incident if the client had a problematic childhood. Clients generally gain insight on their situations, the emotional distress resolves, and they start to change their behaviors. The length of treatment depends upon the number of traumas and the age of PTSD onset. Generally, those with single event adult onset trauma can be successfully treated in under 5 hours. Multiple trauma victims may require a longer treatment time.
Phase 2: During the second phase of treatment, the therapist ensures that the client has several different ways of handling emotional distress. The therapist may teach the client a variety of imagery and stress reduction techniques the client can use during and between sessions. A goal of EMDR therapy is to produce rapid and effective change while the client maintains equilibrium during and between sessions.
Phases 3-6: In phases three to six, a target is identified and processed using EMDR therapy procedures. These involve the client identifying three things:
- The vivid visual image related to the memory
- A negative belief about self
- Related emotions and body sensations.
In addition, the client identifies a positive belief. The therapist helps the client rate the positive belief as well as the intensity of the negative emotions. After this, the client is instructed to focus on the image, negative thought, and body sensations while simultaneously engaging in EMDR processing using sets of bilateral stimulation. These sets may include eye movements, taps, or tones. The type and length of these sets is different for each client. At this point, the EMDR client is instructed to just notice whatever spontaneously happens.
After each set of stimulation, the clinician instructs the client to let his/her mind go blank and to notice whatever thought, feeling, image, memory, or sensation comes to mind. Depending upon the client’s report, the clinician will choose the next focus of attention. These repeated sets with directed focused attention occur numerous times throughout the session. If the client becomes distressed or has difficulty in progressing, the therapist follows established procedures to help the client get back on track.
When the client reports no distress related to the targeted memory, (s)he is asked to think of the preferred positive belief that was identified at the beginning of the session. At this time, the client may adjust the positive belief if necessary, and then focus on it during the next set of distressing events.
Phase 7: In phase seven, closure, the therapist asks the client to keep a log during the week. The log should document any related material that may arise. It serves to remind the client of the self-calming activities that were mastered in phase two.
Phase 8: The next session begins with phase eight. Phase eight consists of examining the progress made thus far. The EMDR treatment processes all related historical events, current incidents that elicit distress, and future events that will require different responses (EMDR Institute).
Reiki services are offered (by appointment only) for your own personal need or to use in addition to traditional therapy. I like to incorporate Reiki services as a mindful means of connecting one’s attention to their physical body. This aids in temporarily soothing mental health symptoms and being mindful but also in becoming more self-aware of somatic (body) sensations, which I will bring attention to when using trauma therapy.
“Reiki is a Japanese technique for reducing stress and relaxation that also promotes healing” (Reiki.org). It has been used to reduce anxiety and pain, promote relaxation, improve fatigue, and help to alleviate depression symptoms through the use of energy source. Reiki is not a cure for any ailment but rather a complimentary form of healing to use in addition to traditional medicine and psychotherapy services and is practiced in many hospitals and medical care settings.
Other Services Available