DIAGNOSIS: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
TREATMENT: Accelerated Resolution Therapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

2015 EST Status: Treatment pending re-evaluation Very strong: High-quality evidence that treatment improves symptoms and functional outcomes at post-treatment and follow-up; little risk of harm; requires reasonable amount of resources; effective in non-research settings

Strong: Moderate- to high-quality evidence that treatment improves symptoms OR functional outcomes; not a high risk of harm; reasonable use of resources

Weak: Low or very low-quality evidence that treatment produces clinically meaningful effects on symptoms or functional outcomes; Gains from the treatment may not warrant resources involved

Insufficient Evidence: No meta-analytic study could be identified

Insufficient Evidence: Existing meta-analyses are not of sufficient quality

Treatment pending re-evaluation

1998 EST Status: Modest Research Support Strong: Support from two well-designed studies conducted by independent investigators.

Modest: Support from one well-designed study or several adequately designed studies.

Controversial: Conflicting results, or claims regarding mechanisms are unsupported.

Strength of Research Support

Empirical Review Status
2015 Criteria
(Tolin et al. Recommendation)
Very Strong
Insufficient Evidence
Treatment pending re-evaluation
1998 Criteria
(Chambless et al. EST)

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Brief Summary

  • Basic premise: Post-traumatic stress can be caused by exposure to war, natural disasters, sexual assault, physical and emotional abuse, accidents, death and other distressing situations that leave lasting memories which can cause significant distress and interfere with everyday functioning. Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) is a therapy that fosters rapid recovery by changing how the brain stores traumatic memories and imagery. This approach can provide relief from the strong physical and emotional reactions associated with post-traumatic stress.
  • Essence of therapy: Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) incorporates principles from several forms of psychotherapy to reduce the effects of trauma and other psychological stressors. Using techniques such as rapid eye movement, in vivo exposure, and image rescripting, this approach works to recondition stressful memories. People do not have to talk about their traumas or difficult life experiences with the therapist to achieve recovery, and the client is always in control during the entire ART session. People are encouraged to replace the traumatic memory with a more positive one of their own imagining using voluntary memory/image replacement during the process. This approach helps people change the feelings associated with traumatic memories, but not the facts. At the end of treatment, they may recall the details of the trauma but no longer experience strong physical and emotional reactions.
  • Length: Approx. 1-5 sessions

Treatment Resources

Editors:Pauline Loh, LCSW

Note: The resources provided below are intended to supplement not replace foundational training in mental health treatment and evidence-based practice

Training Materials and Workshops

Training opportunities are listed and updated on the Accelerated Resolution Therapy and ART International websites.

Video Descriptions

Clinical Trials

Other Treatment Resources