HEALING TRAUMA WITH IMAGERY
Counseling for those who are ready to harness their bravery to heal
You still find yourself asking if it was all real or if you just imagined how bad it was. You feel on edge and out of sorts and have been living this way for so long you aren’t even sure what is underneath it all anymore. You struggle through reminders, flashbacks, and nightmares so much that it is hard to stay focused and get restful sleep, much less be able to be invested in meaningful relationships.
You often ask yourself why it had to happen to you. Why couldn’t you just have been able to live the way everyone else gets to live when that or those things happened? Breaking the cycle feels impossible and quite frankly, you’re exhausted with trying.
You just want to be able to move forward and don’t know how to.
You aren’t alone in this struggle! These are common themes for people who have experienced trauma, whether it was a single incident or multiple, though of course everyone’s exact experiences are unique.
If left untreated, the symptoms will likely continue to impact your life the way it has been or possibly even wrose;
why continue to struggle when you don’t have to?
Being able to process your trauma without saying much about it
Learning about the how and why so you can effectively manage when you’re activated
Being able to feel fast relief (results in 1-5 sessions) from events that have bogged you down
Being able to rewrite your memories so they feel positive
Sound too good to be true? It’s not!
It’s Accelerated Resolution Therapy
Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) is an evidence-based form of psychotherapy that utilizes back and forth eye movements to help clients address common problems such as depression, anxiety, phobias and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It is not the same as Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), however they both use eye movements. In experiencing ART, you may find that you connect pieces of information that are already stored in your memory to help you resolve your issues. The brain, while focused on a problem and concurrently using eye movements, makes new connections with a person’s strengths and problem solving abilities.
ART is a very focused eye movement therapy and, as such, has produced quick, effective and safe results in treating anxiety, depression, phobias, relationship issues and grief, to name a few. ART is effective with adults as well as children.
When initially thinking about your problem during therapy, you may feel some of your usual unease about it. Clients quickly pass beyond their anxiety or sadness to first experience calm and then, as their problem loses its hold on them, relief. At the completion of ART treatment, the evidence to date shows that the changes you make will be long-lasting.
About the Technique Itself
You will be in total control of the therapy. This is not hypnosis and you will be speaking to me just as you would during a session that does not involve eye movements. I will ask you to use ART’s Degree of Intensity scale to indicate the intensity of the emotions related to your problem by sliding an indicator on the scale. I will sit slightly to your left or right and have you follow my fingers with your eyes while you think about your problem. I will ask you to describe to me what you experience during the brief time of moving your eyes.
Physical sensations will also be processed by using the eye movements so that disturbing sensations can disappear and positive feelings can be enhanced. In fact, using ART interventions, clients have often been able to replace a negative image with positive images. Subsequently, when clients think about their problem, it is the positive images they will recall.
I will be asking you to notice any body sensations as we go along.
Do not worry about whether you are doing ART correctly as the eye movements tend to relax you and they do the work. I may ask you a direct question that you can focus on while using the eye movements. You may be better able to answer questions while using ART’s eye movements because they increase your ability to solve problems. We may also use some creative visualization to aid in the resolution of your problem. As we begin ART, you may notice you are becoming calmer - and that happens even with my most anxious clients. ART, although it is looking at troublesome events or problems in your life, often has a calming effect and the norm is for clients to leave the session feeling like a weight has been lifted off their shoulders.
You might be thinking…
There’s no way this works that well
It really does! Not only am I certified to treat people using this technique, I’ve also experienced it myself! Lots of single-incident traumatic experiences can actually be processed in one session. More complex issues tend to take more time, but I have never had a client who didn’t drop their distress rating about the memory significantly
I feel weird about rewriting my memories
Understandable. This is a common concern. It sounds weird, but you will still have the facts about the memory so you won’t actually lose the memory. You are just changing the imagery around it so that it doesn’t cause flashbacks, nightmares, and other distressing posttraumatic stress symptoms. If this is a barrier, we can also discuss other ways that you can interact with the memory to make it more positive.
How is it possible to not talk about my trauma?
Everything that we will be doing is based off of imagery that you have in your mind (that only you can see). I will ask throughout the process if there are specific things you want to share about what you’re experiencing, but you always have the option to say no. It gives you a ton of autonomy to decide what you are comfortable with me knowing about you.
I’m not sure this is the right therapy for me
For some, it’s not! You know yourself best. For situations like this, I have a couple of other techniques that I like to use to work through traumatic experiences that improve brain-body connection.
What are you waiting for?
Set up a complimentary consultation today and let's map out your journey!
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