Let’s talk.

We both know that the idea of going to therapy is something that’s been on your mind, you’ve been feeling like it’s time to get some help, and yet – you’re dreading it. The whole thing feels overwhelming, there’s so many different kinds of therapists and so many kinds of therapy to choose from, and it all feels like therapy-alphabet-soup.

Let’s make it simple, and just focus on one kind of therapy at a time.

In this blog, you’ll find out more about a type of therapy called Accelerated Resolution Therapy, or ART.

Navigating painful parts of life can feel really daunting, but you don’t have to go it alone, and with a therapy like ART, you also don’t have to be in therapy forever. It’s possible to get relief from anxiety and trauma without months (or even years) of talk therapy.

As you keep reading, we’ll cover:

  1. What ART is and how it works
  2. What an ART session is like
  3. What will and won’t happen during an ART session
  4. How an ART session helps the healing process

Let’s get into it!

  • What Accelerated Resolution Therapy is and how it works

Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) helps people learn how to think about events from their life in a different way, which then results in fast relief from anxiety and trauma. It’s a form of short-term psychotherapy, and it doesn’t need lengthy sessions or the sharing of deep, personal details. In fact, you don’t have to share at all if you don’t want to or don’t feel comfortable to. The focus in ART is to resolve emotional issues and traumatic memories or images by using eye movements that replicate REM sleep. The eye movements are guided by your therapist, through watching their hand move back and forth. There’s lots of options, and those can all be discussed with your therapist to find what you’re most comfortable with before starting. These eye movements serve the purpose of something called cognitive restructuring around experiences. That essentially means that the memory remains intact, but the thoughts and feelings about the memory get reorganized so that they feel less traumatic or anxiety provoking.

Another element of ART is the use of visualization and guided imagery to help the client process difficult emotions and physical sensations.

These approaches and techniques are incredibly helpful to receive as a client, as the goal is to keep you from having to relive traumatic experiences and ultimately be able to leave the past in the past.

What an Accelerated Resolution Therapy session is like

Knowing what to expect from an Accelerated Resolution Therapy session helps so much to demystify it. As with many different types of therapy, sessions are one-on-one between you and your therapist. During an ART session, you’re in complete control and your therapist is there simply to act as a facilitator, support, and guide. This is a very different approach to traditional talk therapy because it’s non-linear and doesn’t involve any long-term analysis or “homework.” The emphasis instead is on resolving your anxiety and trauma in a more efficient manner.

During an ART session, you’ll first identify what memories or issues you want to address, or what you’re looking to get relief from. This will involve either identifying something traumatic from the past or focusing on a current day-to-day anxiety. Your therapist will explain how the process of ART works, to help your mind and body learn how to work together again. Trauma and anxiety can ‘interrupt’ the relationship our minds and bodies need to have in order to work properly, and ART helps to restore that connection.

When the ART process begins, there’s a series of specific and purposeful eye movements your therapist will guide you through. This is supported by several different elements and other therapy modalities, all which help to move you towards resolution of the problem you identified at the start of your session. Overall, the result of an Accelerated Resolution Therapy session is a greater sense of calm and clarity, and resolution of the memory or topic you chose to focus on.

What will and won’t happen during an Accelerated Resolution Therapy session

During an ART session, there’s a few things you can expect that will and won’t happen.

  • Your therapist and you won’t be talking in this type of session like a traditional ‘talk’ therapy session. That’s not to say you won’t be talking at all, but there’s less talking and more focus on the problem memories and uncomfortable or distressing physical sensations.
  • Your therapist will ask you to identify the distressing memories, thoughts, or physical sensations you want to focus on resolving or managing.
  • You will follow your therapist’s hand with your eyes as your therapist guides you through a set of relaxing eye movements. This will happen often throughout the ART session.
  • You will always be in control. You can choose whether you want to share when something comes up, such as a different memory, thought, or physical feeling. You will always have the option to choose not disclose these things. Whether or not you choose to disclose anything does not have an impact on the ability of ART to still be effective for you.
  • You will learn how to reorganize your thoughts and emotions that happen in response to the distressing memory or physical sensation you choose to focus on in the session. This is a process called ‘rescripting,’ which your therapist will guide you through. Rescripting means that you get to visualize the story of what happened to you in a way that you would have liked for it to go, instead of the actual way it happened. This allows you not only to build more understanding about why you were affected by the event that happened to you, but also can leave you feeling more empowered and in control because you’re better equipped to identify the root of the issue and manage future stressors.

How an Accelerated Resolution Therapy session helps the healing process

ART helps the healing process by focusing on resolving anxiety or trauma in a more efficient way, focused entirely on you as the client. Because sessions are one-on-one between you and your therapist, it’s far easier to build a better understanding into the impact of your anxiety or trauma at a faster pace than in a group or family setting, which ultimately leads to the resolution of the anxiety or trauma, giving you peace of mind and the chance to improve your quality of life. Taking part in Accelerated Resolution Therapy is a great opportunity to make positive and lasting changes in your life.

So, what’s next?

If you’d like more information about Accelerated Resolution Therapy, please visit the following links:

The International Society of Accelerated Resolution Therapy


The Rosenzweig Center for Rapid Recovery


If you feel ready to take the next step towards healing and living truly empowered, on your terms, reach out today to https://yatespsychotherapy.com/ and schedule a free Zoom consultation.

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About the Author: Kimberly V. Yates
Kimberly V. Yates, LCSW-R is a Psychotherapist in Westchester County, New York. She is the Founder and Owner of Yates Psychotherapy LCSW PLLC. She is the author of Unmasking Anxiety-Thought Process Journal for Anxiety Relief. She specializes in Anxiety and Trauma and primarily uses Accelerated Resolution Therapy (A.R.T for short) in her practice. Kimberly is a certified Master Practitioner in A.R.T therapy. She works with Millennials and Generation X. Kimberly offers in person and Tele-health sessions. Kimberly offers free Zoom consultations prior to acceptance into her practice.

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