Living with PTSD is an uphill battle every day. Activities such as sleeping, driving, writing an email, or even talking with your boss, while simple for some, are anxiety filled actions for others. Imagine feeling anxious while at work, fearing you will make a social faux pas and upset another employee, silently judging and constantly shaming yourself for any presumed mistakes made, and coming home to face yet another sleepless night full of fitful dreams… The vicious cycle persists until you decide to do something about it!
Readers, please take a moment to thank yourself for taking the first step towards your recovery from trauma. You are seeking help! Acknowledge the power in that! If you feel like nothing is working or you’ve exhausted more traditional treatments, perhaps it’s time to journey the road less traveled!
Neurobiology and cognitive science are revolutionizing how therapists and psychologists are treating trauma and abuse survivors. Cognitive behavioral therapy and neurological-linguistic programming opened the door to new perspectives, allowing the client to explore new ways of thinking and being! Reduce negative thought patterns, strengthen positive paths!
Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART), a form of neurological reconditioning, uses rapid eye movements and image re-scripting to help alleviate PTSD symptoms. Recognized as an evidenced-based-therapy to treat veterans with combat related PTSD, behavioral healthcare practitioners are working on implementing this new therapy to treat other psychological pathologies. During a session the client rapidly moves their eyes back and forth, while relating stressful events, choosing to voluntarily replace any negative image(s) with a positive one(s). You anchor a good feeling with a new image; creating and enhancing neurological pathways that support heightened tolerance! Your therapist will guide you through the steps one needs to acheive relief, dispelling any residual emotional charges or triggers. You are learning how to detach your negative emotions from past events, mindfully. “Keep the knowledge, lose the pain!”
Voluntary image replacement helps eliminate emotional and physical responses associated with painful memories. Through a process known as image re-scripting, an ART trained therapist will ask you to develop your own solution to replace distressing scenes with positive images. With the help of your practitioner, you begin re-shaping painful experiences through a set of eye movements to help process physiological sensations tied to the problematic memory. When you repeat this process, over a short time period, you can build and strengthen neurological pathways, leading to a reduction in your symptoms from leftover trauma.
One obvious and major benefit of image re-scripting: no drugs! Some pharmaceutical treatments are less effective in treating psychological pathologies, yet other disorders require medications for effective therapy. Today, neurological research is revolutionizing mental healthcare and new treatments continue to develop. Healthy ideas change the world!
Sessions are generally one hour per scene, and the number of sessions depends on how many other traumatic scenes exist and need image re-scripting. When a client expresses relief from symptoms related to the problematic memories, therapy successfully concludes. Remember, there is no wrong way to recover. Everyone heals differently! If you are looking for a highly effective treatment for your PTSD or major depressive symptoms, Accelerated Resolution Therapy may help you. Stop letting unpleasant memories live rent free in your head! Become a mindful landlord and begin monitoring your mental tenants!