EMDR v. ART

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy and Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) are both forms of psychotherapy used to treat trauma and related conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Both ART and EMDR therapy may be sought out by someone who has experienced a traumatic event or series of events, and is experiencing symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, depression, or feelings of guilt, shame, or self-blame as a result. These symptoms can be debilitating and can make it difficult for the person to function in their daily life. ART and EMDR can help the person process and integrate the traumatic memories, which can in turn reduce the symptoms and improve overall functioning.  

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Additionally, both methods can be used to address negative self-perceptions and self-esteem issues that may have developed as a result of the traumatic event(s). It can also be used as a preventative measure to help people who have recently experienced a traumatic event to cope with the event, and prevent the development of PTSD and other disorders.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a form of psychotherapy that aims to reduce the emotional impact of traumatic memories by having the patient recall the memory while simultaneously engaging in a guided eye movement or other bilateral stimulation (such as tapping

 or auditory tones). The theory behind EMDR therapy is that the eye movements or other bilateral stimulation help to “unblock” the processing of traumatic memories, allowing the brain to process and integrate the memory in a more adaptive way.

Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) is a form of psychotherapy that is similar to EMDR therapy in that it aims to reduce the emotional impact of traumatic memories. However, ART differs from EMDR therapy in the way that it uses eye movements or other bilateral stimulation. Rather than having the patient recall the memory while engaging in eye movements, ART uses a technique called “imaginal exp

osure” in which the patient is asked to imagine the traumatic event in a condensed and less distressing form. The therapist then uses eye movements or other bilateral stimulation to help the patient process and integrate the memory.

ART may also be sought out for its reported rapid treatment time, with some people experiencing significant symptom relief after just a few sessions. ART also differs from EMDR therapy in that it does not require the patient to speak in detail about the traumatic event, which can be beneficial for those who may be reticent to talk about the event or who may have difficulty verbalizing their experience. 

At the Counseling Center of Maryland, we offer both EMDR and ART. Both EMDR and ART are considered an effective treatment for conditions such as:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Acute stress disorder
  • Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD)
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • Phobias
  • Panic disorder
  • Grief and loss
  • Performance anxiety 

Both are used to treat similar disorders, but ART uses a unique form of eye movement that aims to make traumatic memories less intense, while EMDR uses bilateral eye movement to help process traumatic memories and integrate them in an adaptive way.

If you are interested in EMDR or ART, visit: https://www.counselingcenterofmaryland.com or call 888-604-6776 for more information about a consultation.

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