Is There A Better Way To Treat PTSD?

Post traumatic stress disorder may be effectively treated with accelerated resolution therapy

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Traditional treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) involves hours in therapy and often trying different medications. Luckily, a new method of treatment may be able to help millions who suffer from PTSD.

According to a new study, Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART), a non-invasive therapy which uses no medication, may be an effective method for reducing or eliminating the symptoms of PTSD and depression.

"Ask your therapist about Accelerated Resolution Therapy."

"Early results are very promising," said Kevin E. Kip, PhD, professor and executive director of the USF College of Nursing Research Center. "Most people who came in to be treated had very high scores for PTSD, and after treatment, the majority had very large reductions. The treatment also reduced other symptoms, like depression, as well as improved sleep."

There were 80 participants in the study, whose ages ranged from 21 to 60 years old. The participants underwent between one and five ART sessions over a three week period. Of the 80 initial participants, 62 completed the ART treatment, and 54 attended a follow-up screening after two months.

The treatment involves a therapist asking the participant to focus deeply on their negative experience while looking at a moving object. This initiates a back and forth eye movement similar to that of hypnosis.

Researchers used the PTSD Checklist, the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, the Trauma Related Growth Inventory-Distress Scale, and others to measure the severity of symptoms for PTSD and depression.

Before the treatment, 80 percent of participants tested positive for PTSD and 90 percent tested positive for depression. After the ART treatment only 17 percent tested positive for PTSD and 28 percent for depression. The positive effects of treatment remained two months later during the follow-up session.

The study was published June 18, 2012 in the journal Behavioral Sciences and was funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Department of Defense, the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center, and the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

Laney Rosenzweig, a co-author of the study, is the developer of ART and has a commercial interest in its dissemination. She did not perform any cases or participate in data collection or analysis.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
August 1, 2012
Last Updated:
March 19, 2013