Both ART and EMDR use eye movements to facilitate visualization techniques focused on helping to reduce distress from traumatic memories. ART focuses more directly on how negative images are connected with emotional and physical reactions. The specific and unique way in which the techniques are delivered in ART tend to result in a more rapid and complete recovery. Clients find relief from distress by the end of a treatment session rather than having to wait for several sessions.
Specific Protocols for Different Problems
ART is a manualized therapy with specific techniques and protocols to use with different problems; whether the problem is trauma from sexual abuse, depression, anxiety or smoking cessation.
ART is a therapy with specific procedural steps that most clinicians find easy to follow. Therapists can successfully utilize the techniques in their clinical practice after a 3 day Basic Training. Once the fundamental skills are learned, there are many other creative and powerful ways to apply these skills to aid clients in experiencing relief from many different types of problems.
ART often resolves one presenting problem in a one to three session model. Clients may continue on in therapy to resolve other issues. In addition, clients may wish to use traditional talk sessions to process the changes and insights they have gleaned from ART’s eye movement sessions.
Clinicians guide clients in a way that prevents them from getting confused or “stuck” and allows clients to find their own solution to their problems.
Clients often comment that they feel comfortable because ART is so interactive. They report feeling the therapist is right there with them each step of the way. Conversation is a natural part of the therapy and ART techniques can be useful with traditional talk therapy.
Voluntary Memory Replacement/Voluntary Image Replacement (VMR/VIR)
ART’s powerful technique of the Voluntary Memory/Voluntary Image Replacement is a form of re-scripting similar to techniques used in some other treatments that are involved with other forms of cognitive therapy. When combined with desensitization through visualization (imaginal exposure), this intervention has a powerful effect on changing the clients’ relationship to their traumatic narrative.
Although clients know that the new image is not the actual image from their memory, changing the images affects the current level of emotional and physical functioning. The narrative will remain but the narrative will not trigger the problem symptoms.
Used to Process Dreams
ART can be used to process a dream sequence so that the dream does not occur again. This is very helpful with nightmares or dreams that cause distress or are repetitive. ART can also be used to help clients understand their dreams.
One of ART ‘s interventions, the Socratic Method can help with problem solving or expanding one’s perception of options. During an ART session, the clinician can ask clients to focus on a question and “see” what will float into their conscious minds from their inner “Oracle.” The ability to problem solve appears to be heightened and accessed quickly with the eye movements.
A Combination of Therapies
ART draws on a variety of different techniques including Gestalt, Cognitive Behavior, Guided Imagery, EMDR and brief psycho-dynamic and exposure therapy. ART combines elements of these approaches with eye movements so that the sum of ART is more than its parts. ART also uses metaphors which act as reinforcements for the changes made during treatment. The metaphors can lead clients to identify specific tools to help them in their daily lives.
Complete Training Tools
Provided to licensed clinicians who attend the Basic ART training. Included with be a detailed manual, a tool to measure the client’s distress level before and after a session, along with other helpful aids.