Behavioral health research and therapy is always evolving, leading to new treatment approaches. One more recent type of therapy is known as Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART), developed by Laney Rosenzweig, LMFT, in 2008.
ART combines several existing therapy techniques in a specific way. For example, ART uses some techniques used in eye movement desensitization reprocessing therapy (EMDR) to help reduce the effect of traumatic memories, negative images, and other psychological stresses.
ART supporters have promoted it for a variety of behavioral health concerns. These include:
Anxiety, phobias, and panic attacks
Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
While some types of therapy can take weeks, months, or even years to show results, proponents of ART have claimed that it can help clients achieve results in just a few sessions.
What happens during Accelerated Resolution Therapy?
For most ART sessions, the therapist will guide his or her client through a directive. The client visualizes either an event that caused distress or a symbol of that event. The client thinks about or describes the traumatic event while the therapist moves his or her hand from side to side and the client follows the motion. The client will imagine what he or she wishes would have happened in that event, instead of what really happened.
While the therapist moves his or her hand back and forth, the client’s negative imagery may be replaced by visualizations that inspire positive emotion. Like the eye movements and visualization techniques of EMDR, the eye movement in ART may help place traumatic memories within long-term memory, reducing their effects.
What does research show about Accelerated Resolution Therapy?
In a 2013 study, researchers looked at how well ART could help treat veterans with PTSD. Fifty-seven study participants received either ART or an attention control regimen. Those who received ART showed greater reduction in symptoms of PTSD. These favorable results persisted at 3 months. The study authors, writing in Military Medicine, noted that ART can be delivered in fewer sessions than other types of therapy.
In 2020, researchers found that ART could be an effective treatment for complicated grief, defined as severe grieving that lasts at least 12 months. Of the study’s 54 participants, those assigned to ART reported significantly greater reduction in complex grieving.
Several experts, writing in Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience in 2018, noted some ethical concerns surrounding the use of ART. Clients should be able to make fully informed decisions regarding their treatment. This includes understanding that ART is relatively new and may have unknown drawbacks or limitations. More established, first-line treatments may be recommended before using ART. In addition, clients may have trouble finding therapists trained in ART-based therapy.
Further research will help experts understand how ART works, and where it is most effective. So far, it appears that ART’s greatest advantage is its relatively quick effectiveness. This could make it an important tool for clinicians and clients with severe time or session limits.
Staying up-to-date on new developments is a must for any behavioral health practice. Besides new treatment approaches, that includes adhering to any regulatory, licensing, and accreditation requirements.
That’s why BestNotes EHR solutions automatically update clinical documentation to meet Joint Commission, CARF, and national/state/county standards. BestNotes stays on top of these requirements so you can focus on providing the best experience for your staff and clients. Contact us today to learn more!