Trauma comes in many forms and can affect anyone. It’s estimated that over 75% of Canadians have experienced a traumatic event at some point in their life. Impacts often continue to play out many years after the experience, contributing to various mental and physical health issues, as well as addiction and substance abuse. The opportunity to access therapists locally, who are trained in effective treatments can make a critical difference for those who are suffering.
“Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) is a method that helps people move rapidly beyond trauma,” says Monika Thompson, Manager of Mental Health and Addictions in Pictou County. “Our clinic had a limited number of therapists trained in ART and they were seeing very positive patient outcomes from this emerging, evidence-based treatment. We are excited that ART therapy will be available to support clients in addition to the other treatments we offer. We approached the Foundation for assistance to enhance our capacity to provide ART and with their funding were able to train and certify six additional therapists.”
ART training is available throughout the United States, however in Canada the only certified trainer is in Alberta. Foundation support allowed the Aberdeen Hospital team to bring the training here.
“This is a wonderful and very committed team,” Thompson says. “They’re determined to do the best they can for patients. Being able to provide the right, effective treatment in a timely manner goes a long way in reducing stress loads and boosting morale.”
ART is a form of psychotherapy with roots in existing evidence-based therapies but shown to achieve benefits much more rapidly. People suffering from trauma and other mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), addictions and substance abuse, and many other conditions can experience remarkable benefits starting in the first session.
The therapy is straightforward, using relaxing eye movements and a technique called Voluntary Memory/Image Replacement to change the way in which negative images are stored in the brain. The treatment is grounded in well-established psychotherapy techniques, and the end result is that traumas and difficult life experiences may no longer trigger strong emotions or physical reactions. Importantly, those suffering do not even have to talk about their traumas or difficult life experiences with the therapist to achieve recovery.
“Improving access to care is a top priority for the Foundation,” says Michelle Ferris, Aberdeen Health Foundation, Executive Director. “Being able to do so in the area of mental health was such an easy decision. ART is an innovative, evidence-based approach and this investment will increase capacity and timely care for those trying to regain their wellbeing. Thanks to the ongoing generosity of our community, we can say yes to opportunities like these when they come along.”
Foundation funding increases trauma therapy options in Pictou County