Processing severe and complex trauma is one of the most challenging aspects of substance use disorder recovery. Experiencing significant mental health issues often triggers the urge to self-medicate, causing a cyclical pattern of mental health crises and substance reuse.
Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) can be successfully employed to help clients confront and manage contributing issues with lingering trauma or emotional disorders.
At The Raleigh House, we are proud to be on the cutting edge of therapeutic interventions. With a team of master’s level clinicians providing evidence-based treatments for substance use disorder and co-occurring conditions, we offer the intensive treatment necessary to deliver exceptional outcomes for a diverse population of clients.
ART is a therapeutic modality that addresses a wide spectrum of mood disorders and traumas. It is used to help people address severe issues with mental health without danger of re-traumatization.
According to the most recent research, the treatment typically requires three or four sessions yet still yields positive outcomes in clients after several months. It is highly effective for people with dual diagnoses, making them more receptive to comprehensive psychoanalytic treatments.
The ART approach utilizes a construct called bilateral stimulation. Bilateral stimulation is a technique designed to activate the right and left hemispheres of the brain. This phenomenon has been found to regulate the rational and emotional parts of the brain and change how distressing memories and traumas are processed. Additionally, bilateral stimulation can help modify how the body responds to stressful circumstances.
During ART, bilateral stimulation is achieved through rapid eye movements and guided memory visualization. The traumatic experiences visualized during an ART session are reprocessed, which helps clients cope with the memories more effectively. ART allows the brain to essentially re-learn the traumatic memory as a non-traumatic memory.
The ART sessions are separate interventions that are often performed in tandem with other therapies. The client has complete control of the events that occur during the session.
The clinician guiding the process creates a safe space within the room, which helps the therapist and client establish trust. When the session begins, the client will be asked to follow the therapist’s hand as it moves laterally, back and forth. While the client’s eyes follow the therapist’s hand, the client will be asked to recall memories that trigger negative emotional reactions. As the client remembers the distressing memory, the therapist takes note of any emotional or physical responses.
The therapist guides the client during the visualizations. As the session progresses, the client will typically become more comfortable recalling the memory while engaging in the bilateral stimulation. As the client becomes more comfortable with a traumatic memory, the therapist guides them to another memory and gauges the physical and emotional responses.
While everyone responds differently, a typical session lasts approximately one hour. Most clients experience a significant reduction in stress surrounding at least one traumatic memory by the session’s end.
Like ART, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a treatment that addresses traumas and emotional disorders using bilateral stimulation. Though the two treatments are similar, ART’s focus on reprocessing negative images has been found to achieve faster recovery. EMDR, while effective, tends to require multiple sessions before memory reprocessing occurs.
At The Raleigh House, we offer a comprehensive range of treatments and therapeutic interventions that allow clients to address all of the issues that contribute to their substance misuse. Our treatments include cognitive-behavioral therapy, experiential therapy, medication-assisted treatment, family systems therapy, and much more.
Don’t let substance use disorder poison your relationships, professional aspirations, health, and finances. Let the team at The Raleigh House give you the support you need to heal your body, mind, and spirit.
Break free from addictive behaviors. Contact us today.