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Innovative therapy rescues first responder with PTSD

Security guard found help with
Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) after trauma

After security guard Brian Burns experienced a traumatic event at work, he was haunted by disturbing thoughts.

“It stirred up a lot of emotion,” said Burns. “When I closed my eyes to try to rest, I would envision the scene, the individual, how they appeared. It was hard to rest or even go to sleep at night.”

Like many first responders, Burns routinely encounters troubling situations in his work. Many states are currently considering legislation would enable first responders to receive worker’s compensation for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that they develop as a result of trauma on the job.

As a first responder, “you can’t really talk to anyone about what you’re experiencing, because you’re afraid they’re going to say, you’re weak or what is your problem,” said Burns.

Burns received treatment from Estefana Johnson, LMSW at Right of Way: Accelerated Resolution Therapy in Phoenix, Az. Johnson led Burns through a series of eye movements while talking him through the process of substituting positive images for painful memories. Unlike traditional talk therapies, ART does not require clients to rehash troubling events. Most clients who undergo ART report a substantial reduction in their PTSD symptoms in an average of four sessions.

After just one ART session, Burns felt dramatically better. “Those overwhelming emotions went away. I was able to sleep normally again. Even months later, I still feel so much better,” he said. “After ART there was real sense of closure.”

ART has been proven effective in numerous scientific studies, is classified as a preferred treatment by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMSHA) and is employed by the Department of Defense. Restauranteur Chris T. Sullivan established the Tampa-based nonprofit ART International to expand the availability of this life-changing treatment.

ART has been studied extensively in both veterans and civilians. Developed more than a decade ago by Connecticut clinician Laney Rosenzweig, ART is similar to EMDR, another therapeutic technique that uses guided eye movements to help clients resolve traumatic experiences. Clinicians in more than 40 states currently employ ART with their clients.

For more information about ART, you may also visit

Source: ART

Published May 21, 2019

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