One of the biggest challenges as a trauma therapist, is being inundated with the next best intervention that will make a huge difference in the lives of your clients. It’s very seductive, as we tend to love our clients and want them to feel better as soon as possible. No one says they want to be a trauma therapist so they can bear witness up close to intense human suffering. We choose it because we want to be a part of the healing process.
But there are many days when healing seems far off and we struggle when we can’t help you in the ways we truly want to.
I’d always wanted to get trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and finally in the Times of Covid-19, I was able to find a reasonably priced training. We know it’s the leading intervention for trauma, but it is not a cheap intervention to be trained it, so it has eluded me for years. I was also contacted by an individual out of Lexington, KY who encouraged me to take a training with him called Accelerated Resolution Therapy, or ART. I opted to sign up for both. I attended EMDR training in August and ART training in November.
I have not done EMDR since I returned from my November ART training. Here’s why. ART works better. And faster. And with less trauma revisiting. It’s better for the client. It’s better for the therapist. And I have seen more therapeutic miracles in the short time I’ve been doing ART than I have in my whole career as a therapist.
Accelerated Resolution Therapy does not require a client to share their narrative of events. What that means is no reliving for the client in the telling, and no exposure to the details for the therapist. When I completed a first responder training a few weeks ago with the Beck Institute, my trainer asked how many clients on our caseload were trauma cases. He gave the high end as “10+.”
Every single one of my clients is a trauma case. Way more than ten.
Oftentimes we stop being aware of how details we hear effects us. But they do. Because we’re humans and despite being trained to have a shield, hearing difficult stories of people’s lives does impact us.
So Accelerated Resolution Therapy doesn’t require the client to verbally relive the trauma, and doesn’t require the clinician to hear all the details of the trauma. Win-win. Accelerated Resolution Therapy provides your brain a way to get relief from the images, sensations and thoughts that come up when the trauma is triggered or recalled. It allows the brain to heal as it desperately wants to, but healing can feel, to your brain, as unsafe, putting you back in harm’s way if it doesn’t stay vigilant. So this is the best of both worlds. Your brain can see that you are safe, and it heals itself. In turn, the nervous system heals, and while you never forget the details of what has happened, it isn’t painful any longer.
If you are curious about if ART can work for you, please contact Whole House. In February, Cinnamon will be assisting with a training and Diana will be attending, so we will have two trained clinicians. And trust me when I say this is a game changer, no matter how long you’ve been struggling.