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Accelerated Resolution Therapy

Where you may have gotten stuck in traditional talk therapy, body base therapies like EMDR and ART (Accelerated Resolution Therapy) can help you get unstuck and find redemptive resolve. A Christian Therapist's Experience When I learned that many presenting issues can be resolved in 1-5 sessions with ART, I thought about the women I counsel and decided I needed to get trained! I started rolling out this therapy modality to my clients immediately and already seen lots of positive results and received great feedback. Clients are reporting a decrease in disturbance around their presenting concerns, with many experiencing a reduction of disturbance levels of 7-10 down to 0-2 in just one session. By God's grace, every client has reported positive shifts in body sensations and in mood by the end of the session. Ladies who started the session feeling "depressed, anxious, embarrassed, confused, worthless, or powerless" have ended their sessions stating they feel "calm, confident, empowered, hopeful, peaceful, relaxed, and renewed!"

What is ART? "Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART)is recognized as an evidence based therapy modality." Research has been conducted around the effective use of ART for PTSD, depression, OCD, acute stress, panic attacks, trauma, chronic pain, addictions, complicated grief, and other mental and physical concerns. ART is a drug-free, non-hypnosis therapy that can treat many mental and physical conditions in adults and children in a very short time.

Trauma from specific events is often able to be "resolved in one session, so that triggers for your issue are gone. On-going problems like substance use, OCD, or anxiety disorders may take more sessions, but can still resolve more quickly than other modalities." Anecdotally, other therapists have shared that individuals struggling with attention deficit-related symptoms have experienced positive effects after participating in Accelerated Resolution Therapy that was specifically targeted at improving focus and reducing distractibility. These individuals have reported lasting benefits from their sessions.

How does it work? During an ART session the client's brain, while focused on a problem, will also be noticing eye movements as the therapist moves their hand back and forth in front of the client's range of vision. This process has been shown to develop new neurological connections, strengthen problem solving abilities, calm parts of the brain, like the amygdala, that has been over activated by difficult or traumatic experiences, and facilitate more effective communication between the right and left hemispheres of the brain. The client is in total control of the session. For example, the therapist provides the client with options throughout the session: to share or not to share, to process a sensation further, or to opt to move on. While the therapist offers metaphorical ideas or tools, they ensure the client has the freedom to choose whatever resonates most with them. The client is presented with a 0-10 scale, also called an Artometer, towards the beginning of the session and will be asked to indicate the intensity of the emotions related to their problem by sliding an indicator on the scale. Physical sensations, along with images, will be processed with calming eye movements. Disturbing sensations can be reduced or eliminated, and positive feelings can be enhanced. Client's will often be able to replace a negative image with positive images, which eliminates triggers, and when clients think about their problem, it is the positive images they will recall. Creative visualization is used to aid in the resolution of the presenting problem. Clients often find that after an ART session they leave feeling as though a weight has been lifted off their shoulders, even though they spent time during the session remembering troubling events or issues. ART tends to work best with longer session times like 75 - 90 minutes versus shorter 50-60 min sessions. Training Therapists can receive basic and advanced training in Accelerated Resolution Therapy.

Non-licensed professionals and parents can be trained in SĀF-T , which uses eye movements for sensation processing only. ART and the Christian

God has created us with an incredible body capable of feeling sensations and a mind capable of imagination. It's awe-inspiring to witness how our Great Physician, has designed our bodies to heal physically and emotionally. Leading trauma therapists have discovered how the body stores trauma and traumatic memories. Therapy modalities like ART practically harness what God has already allowed our bodies to do: sense bodily sensations, experience eye movements, and engage in imaging scenes. These tools when used by a trained professional can effectively aid in redeeming and restoring what has become trapped or cyclically replayed in the brain from past instances of physical or emotional injury.

ART harnesses our God-given ability to imagine creative metaphors, which function much like mini personal parables, and eye movements that mimic those in REM sleep. These techniques aid the body in processing negative sensations associated with difficult life events. For information, research and empirical evidence behind eye movements and how they help the body process emotional content, go here.

As a Christian based therapist, whatever therapy I use with ladies who enter my office, it is always done with prayer and the humble understanding that it is the Holy Spirit who will guide us and evoke lasting change, the acknowledgement that it is the Great Physician who will make our path straight, and the Wonderful Counselor who is sovereignly completing the work He has begun in each body, mind, and heart. Visualization and the Christian

If you have some reservation about using visualization in Christian counseling, consider this: you are visualizing and often catastrophizing all the time! Your imagination is in full swing on a daily basis, just think about the last time you were extra anxious about something. Whether it was imagining the worst case scenario, rehashing a conversation, traumatic event, or just thinking repeated negative thoughts, your imagination was working overtime. Using therapy styles that harness imagination for positive purposes is a beautiful way to witness the Creator of imagination redeeming, reclaiming, and restoring it for your good and God's glory. Think Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Since Accelerated Resolution Therapy uses a plethora of metaphors, let's chat about it. I don't know about you, but I am a huge fan of metaphors! The Bible is full of them and Jesus often taught using parables and stories to explain matters of the heart. One of the metaphors used in Accelerated Resolution Therapy makes me think of the scripture that says, "But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14). John 7:37-38 says, "On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, 'Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.'"

Side note: slowing down and really noticing an object or scene that is real or imagined with all of your senses is a common grounding tool that is incredibly helpful for anxiety. Adding eye movements, or slow self administered bi-lateral tapping on the chest, arms, legs, or with the feet during these exercises has been shown to aid in grounding and calming the nervous system because it taxes your working memory. Grounding exercises aide the body in moving from the fight or flight, or sympathetic nervous system response, to the rest and digest, or parasympathetic nervous system response.

Practice Redeeming the Imagination

If you are feeling parched, dry, or in a stuck place around the things you have experienced or are continuing to experience, my hope for you is that the good Shepherd's voice would rise above any lies you have been hearing to direct your steps in such as way as to encounter Jesus in fresh new ways this week. I pray you would metaphorically take the invitation to drink from the fountain of life!

Maybe take a moment right now with me to consider what a fountain of life might look like. Would the water be sparkling like confetti or diamonds? Would the sound be melodic, soft and soothing, or grand, loud, and mesmerizing? Would you be close enough to let the coolness of the water spray your face with it's mist? How about the smell of the water, would it be fresh and clean, or maybe mixed with a nearby hint of floral, evergreen, or citrus? Would it taste refreshing and cold, assertively sinking it's coolness deep into your chest cavity as it travels down your throat? Pause and consider this prayer with me, "How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light" (Psalm 36:9). Holy Spirit remind me to stop alongside the "river of delights" and drink deeply from the fountain of eternal life provided by Jesus. As I sink safely into the refuge of the shadow of your wings, Heavenly Father, illuminate my mind with your light of truth as you are the way the truth and the life! If you are a woman age 25-65 who is curious if Accelerated Resolution Therapy could work for you, send me an email I offer free 20 min phone or video consultations for potential clients. Carrie Breedlove MS, LPC, EMDR Certified, ART trained

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Are you able to do ART via telehealth?

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Great question. Yes you can! - Carrie Breedlove MS, LPC

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