Accelerated Resolution Therapy, also known as ART, is a form of therapy that blends the techniques from different traditional psychotherapies to diminish the impact of psychological trauma and other stressors. Utilizing techniques like rapid eye movements or image-rescripting techniques, this technique helps to rebuild memories of stress and alter the way they are stored within the brain to enhance the overall health of your mind. Individuals seeking therapy to decrease the symptoms that are linked to stress-inducing or trauma-related memories or improve their capacity to be resilient within the shortest timeframe could be able to benefit from ART.
Theoretical and Fundamentals of ART
Art incorporates elements from various treatments, such as the EMDR technique, Gestalt, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as well as brief psychodynamic therapy (BPP). Based on these therapeutic frameworks, ART utilizes methods like rapid eye movements exposure, imagery rescripting and guided imagery. Utilizing these techniques, ART practitioners can help to alter the way that stress-inducing images can be stored within the brain and thus reducing the negative emotional and physical impact. To learn more about the accelerated resolution therapy, seek Online Counselling at TalktoAngel.
To understand the basic principles of ART it is important to know how it’s applied. Interventions in ART can be utilized in conjunction with other treatments, like the use of pharmacotherapy. The individuals in therapy determine the pace of the sessions, deciding which memory is shared, and the time when they share them. Even though the use of quick eye movements is similar to the movements in dreams, ART doesn’t require hypnotherapy. Therapists also do not assign homework and ART doesn’t require clients to remember or process painful memories during sessions.
The person who starts an accelerated resolution therapy program is typically told that they are in charge of the outcome. For the first part of an therapy session the therapist might begin by asking the client to perform a complete body scan. Once they have established a baseline of their physical condition the therapist can request that the person recall the painful memory or the image. Patients are instructed to picture the traumatizing incident in all its entirety without worrying about the gaps in their memory. The rapid eye movement is employed at this time in order to assist visualization of the event, but also to ease any physical or emotional sensations that arise in this phase during the procedure. The memory recall part of the session could be anywhere between 30-minutes to 10 hours.
If emotional and physical stressors become apparent Therapists working with ART may employ the process of desensitization to lessen the emotional and physical effects of the trauma. They might stop the visualization and request the person they work with to perform a second body scan in order to lessen down the response to stress. For instance when a woman experiences breath shortness and tight chest muscles while imagining the experience of sexual assault. The therapist could advise her to forget about the image and concentrate on breathing until she feels relaxed again. Paying attention to the bodily sensation will help to ease any emotional and intense reactions that arise during visualization. If the person is in a calm state it will be a process that continues and repeat. It may even alternate between processing of memories and bodily awareness. This manner the stress response will be diminished slowly.
In the course of visualization it is also possible for the therapist to help the person they’re working with to consider solutions to their specific images or their memories. This process, known by ART practitioners as voluntary replacement, is accomplished through fast eye movement, using metaphors, gestalt techniques as well as other methods that create positive feelings. The process of rescripting images can be compared to EMDR as well as other treatments that deal with disorders like anxiety, nightmares or insomnia. It’s an aspect of the session that is crucial to its effectiveness. Research suggests that when trauma-related experiences are integrated with positive memories, the distressing memories are less invasive.
How can art be beneficial?
The fundamental ideas behind Accelerated Resolution Therapy include memory reconsolidation and smooth-pursuit movements of the eyes. Together, these methods assist patients with issues such as anxiety, trauma insomnia, depression or other sleep issues.
- Memory Reconsolidation
When we recall an emotional memory one of the natural processes that occur inside our brains is “unfixing” or malleability of the memory. Scientists describe this natural phenomenon by the name of “Memory Reconsolidation.” Science has proven that memory is “malleable” in a period known as the Reconsolidation Window up to six hours after recalling it.
In this time, under supervision of a psychotherapist, the patient would create images that are serene or bring pleasant feelings. They replace old images that had previously been associated with anger, fear or any other unpleasant emotions.
The research shows that the new images as well as the positive emotions that accompany them remain a part of the memory after a follow-up period of four months after treatment has ended. Other studies that have been published that show the images that were replaced and the positive emotions are present for up to a year later. These changes suggest that the therapy could last for a long time.
- Smooth-Pursuit Eye-Movements
Another key ingredient in ART is its application to use “smooth pursuit” eye movements. Imagine a crowd watching a tennis game and their eyes moving around and back while they watch the ball move from one end on the court and the opposite This image shows the smooth pursuit of eye movements. Evidence suggests that this type of eye movement, when observed over some time, triggers a relaxation response within the brain.
The ART therapist uses their hands, moving it effortlessly back and forth, keeping an appropriate distance from the client and then ask the client to remain still and focus on the hand. This will result in the use of smooth-pursuit eye movements.
- Eye-Movements Hypothesis
Although eye movement has been extensively examined, there is no absolute “proof” of how they perform other than creating relaxing responses. One theory that is popular is that when a person is performing smooth-pursuit motions, it is mimicking Rapid Eye Movements (REMs) that happen while we’re in a dream. It is intuitive that dream simulation may be utilized to resolve issues and make you feel better about them as shown by expressions like “sleep on it, you will feel better in the morning.”
But, when we’re sleeping and dreaming the majority of the rational/thinking component of our brains are asleep. It is possible that this is the reason our capacity to solve problems while asleep is restricted. Many suggest that while we work on art, the entire of our brains are awake and engaged in the process of replacing images. The idea behind image replacement is to cause us to feel peaceful or positive emotions that come when we see the new images that are selected.
If you or your partner is facing any such issues, feel free to seek help from the Top Psychologist in India at TalktoAngel.