Dealing with post-traumatic stress? Try accelerated resolution therapy.
Story: Kelly Breeding
Recent hurricanes and floods have created high levels of anxiety that have affected thousands in the state of Florida. Similar to experiences of returning war veterans, events of this magnitude, where livelihoods, homes, pets, and loved ones were lost, can leave enduring traumatic memories and cause ongoing symptoms, called post-traumatic stress, or PTS.
PTS is a serious issue that prevents thousands of people from completing their normal life activities because the traumatic memories keep repeating like a loop in their mind. It is a debilitating health issue that creates feelings of isolation, anger, depression, anxiety, and confusion.
Individuals living with PTS need to know that there is hope. For many, accelerated resolution therapy, or ART, founded by Laney Rosenzweig, a licensed mental health counselor, may be the answer.
This proven therapy offers patients an evidence-based treatment psychotherapy that has produced dramatic improvements in patients who are experiencing symptoms of trauma. The therapy, which continues to gain popularity nationwide, incorporates a combination of techniques from other evidence-based psychotherapies to reprogram how distressing memories and images are stored in an individual’s brain so these haunting memories no longer trigger strong physical and emotional reactions.
The treatment program incorporates specific visualization techniques enhanced through the use of relaxing eye movements, similar to the rapid eye movement stage of sleep, and voluntary memory and image replacement. This treatment works in as few as one to five sessions with the average being four.
I became involved with ART International Training and Research through Chris T. Sullivan, co-founder of Outback Steakhouse and OSI Restaurant Partners. Through his philanthropic giving, he funded one of the first studies on ART through the University of South Florida and firmly believes that this therapy can and will save countless lives.
My background in social work and history in working with victims of trauma has been instrumental in my position as the executive director. At ART International, our mission is to provide education and training to mental health professionals nationwide and beyond in accelerated resolution therapy so this successful therapy is widely available to individuals suffering from mental health issues. Currently, there are more than 200 ART-trained therapists in Florida.
As we look to expand this treatment nationwide and increase the number of trained clinicians, I urge those who are suffering to visit artherapyinternational.org to see if ART is right for you. PTS has serious symptoms that can be treated effectively with the right care. Whether it’s through ART or another preferred treatment, there are options available to help you successfully overcome the trauma you have experienced.
About the writer → Kelly Breeding is a licensed clinical social worker and executive director of ART International Training and Research, based in Tampa.