What is Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART)?
Home/  Blog/ What is Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART)?

What is Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART)?





Table of Contents

(click on a question to be directed quickly)

What is Accelerated Resolution Therapy and How Can It You?

How Does Accelerated Resolution Therapy Work?

What to Expect in an ART session?

What Mental Health Issues Can ART Help With?  

How Does ART Differ From Other Therapies?

How To Find An ART Practitioner?






What is Accelerated Resolution Therapy and How Can It Help You?


Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) is an evidence-based form of therapy that uses eye movements to directly treat mental health disorders. It has been shown to be an effective treatment for mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, addiction, post traumatic stress disorder, relationship concerns, grief, and more.


On average, 1-5 sessions are needed to address one concern, considering it to be faster and more effective than traditional talk therapy.



Photo by josh wilink



How Does Accelerated Resolution Therapy Work?


ART has two main ingredients of its powerful formula; memory reconsolidation and eye movements. Together these aspects can help our brains form new connections so that when we recall a painful memory, the negative emotions are no longer attached. 


Memory Reconsolidation


When  we experience a negative event in our lives, the details and emotions surrounding that event become stored in our brains as a long term memory, through what is called the process of “consolidation”


When we later remember this negative memory, our brains search for a resolution or closure, often without one, leaving us ruminating and feeling stuck. The brain’s process of recalling a memory and being open to an alternative ending is called “memory reconsolidation”. During this process, the chemical bonds that tie emotions to that memory break down, leaving the connection vulnerable for editing. 


During this fragile state, known as the “reconsolidation window”, we are able to tap into our imaginations and visualize new images that are calming and positive to reconnect with that memory. You will be able to retain the factual information of the memory but the emotions with it will have changed. We can be freed from the feelings and sensations that cause our suffering. 


So far, there is evidence that the edited version of the memories and their positive feelings are still present as long as one year later. This suggests ART can have a positive long term effect. 


Eye Movements


There is evidence that repeated back and forth eye movements can have a calming effect on the brain. This is significant, because when we normally recall negative emotions, it can alert our nervous system of danger and our fight, flight, or freeze response kicks in. Using repeated eye movements can override the fear response and keep the brain in a state of relaxation. 


We do not know why repeated back and forth eye movements have the effect they have. Some suggest they are recreating Rapid Eye Movements (REMs) which happens while we sleep and dream. It is hard not to draw on the similarities of dreaming and harnessing the imagination to recreate memories.


ART incorporates both memory reconsolidation and eye movements to harness the power of imagination, to free us from the troubling images and emotions that cause suffering. 



What to Expect in an ART session?


Generally, when someone meets with an ART-trained therapist there will be an intake session. In this initial session, the therapist will gain information on the concerns you wish to resolve with ART.  An intake session usually lasts 50-90 minutes.  


After the intake session, the ART-trained therapist will guide you to come up with a “scene” of your concern. This could be several small memories strung together like a movie or you can see one incident in its entirety. The scene will serve as the focus of the ART session.  


Next, the ART-trained therapist will have you look straight ahead while following their hand with your eyes, beginning the back and forth eye movements, and you will begin to see your scene. Negative feelings and body sensations will also be processed with eye movements. 


As the session progresses, you will use imagery to edit your scene and make positive changes. Uplifting feelings and sensations will be enhanced and hope will be found. 


On average, those who participate in ART find relief from their symptoms in 1-5 sessions. 




What Mental Health Issues Can ART Help With? 


ART can help with a variety of concerns. According to the Accelerated Resolution Therapy Website, ART can help with the following issues:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Phobias
  • Panic Attacks
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Addiction/Substance Use
  • Performance Anxiety
  • Family Concerns
  • Low Self Esteem
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Relationship Issues/Infidelity
  • Codependency
  • Grief
  • Job-Related Stress
  • Pain Management
  • Sleep Concerns 
  • Memory Enhancement
  • Dyslexia


There are case studies that confirm the effectiveness of ART with grief and those with chronic pain associated with combat service



How Does ART Differ From Other Therapies?


Accelerated Resolution Therapy is different from other types of therapy in many ways. Unlike Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which challenges how you think about your concerns, ART uses visualization to imagine solutions that logic cannot. 


In traditional talk therapies, sharing the details of your traumatic or painful experiences is required, however, in ART, it is not. You are free to share your thoughts and feelings along the way but it is not required for the image replacements.  


Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) served as the inspiration for ART as they both use back and forth eye movements, however there are differences in their approach. ART focuses on the imagery and body sensations while EMDR focuses on the content of the concern. ART is more directive in nature, operating from a protocol and script while EMDR is more free flowing.  


The Accelerated Resolution Therapy website further explores why ART is unique. 




How To Find An ART Practitioner?  


Any licensed mental health therapist (LMFT, LPCC, LICSW, LMHC, etc) or those pursuing a license in mental health can be trained in Accelerated Resolution Therapy. An ART-trained therapist can be found at https://www.is-art.org/directory/ or https://acceleratedresolutiontherapy.com/therapist-directory/.  


PsychologyToday can serve as another resource to find a therapist in your area. 




Written By: Abbie Poush, MA, LPCC, CCTP

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Kyle Zrenchik, PhD, LMFT

Published : 12/26/2022



Disclaimer: ALL IN Therapy Clinic aims to improve people’s lives. We do this through providing effective mental health counseling by passionate professionals. Inspired by this, we write content for your own education. Also, our content is researched, cited, reviewed, and edited by licensed mental health professionals.  However, the information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Additionally, it should not be used in place of the advice of a qualified healthcare provider.






Written and reviewed by

Dr Kyle Zrenchik, PhD, ACS, LMFT

Dr. Kyle Zrenchik is the Co-Founder of ALL IN, the Creator of the Couples Erotic Flow model for treating sexual issues in individuals and couples, Designer of the Deep Dive programs at ALL IN, and is one of the most well-respected couples counselors in the Twin Cities.

Need Help ?