Brief treatments with Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) substantially reduce symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) including depression, anxiety, sleep dysfunction and other psychological symptoms.
An alternative to drug and talk therapy
ART is now being studied as an alternative to drug therapies and lengthy psychotherapy sessions. The two major aspects of ART include minimizing or eliminating physiological response associated with traumatic memories, and re-envisioning painful experiences with a new technique called Voluntary Image Replacement.
Response in the first session
For this latest study, University of South Florida (USF) researchers recruited 80 adults, both veterans and civilians. The patients were tested for PTSD and depression. About 80% tested positive for PTSD while 90% tested positive for depression. After receiving ART psychotherapy, there was a dramatic reversal in symptoms. After only four sessions, 17% tested for PTSD while 28% tested for depression.
Quick, safe and effective
“From this initial assessment, ART appears to be a brief, safe, and effective treatment for symptoms of PTSD ,” the report from USF concluded. The treatment uses no drugs, has no side effects and can improve symptoms in just a few sessions.
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Larger study now funded
ART is one of five substudies at the USF College of Nursing’s Research to Rehabilitate/Restore the Lives of Veterans, Service Members and their Families. “All the pieces are coming together, with published results on ART, effectiveness leading to Department of Defense approval t extend the scope of the study, and our first national study site in Las Vegas. It looks like we are closer to getting a more efficient evidence-based treatment into place that will actually eliminate the traumatic response to memories and bring relief to the troop[s and their families,” said co-principal investigator Carrie Elk, PhD, USF College of Nursing.