Accelerated resolution therapy and a thematic approach to military experiences in US Special Operations Veterans

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Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) is an emerging therapeutic intervention that has demonstrated effectiveness in treating post-traumatic stress, anxiety and depression. The ART protocol aligns with first-line trauma-focused psychotherapies and clinical guides in the USA and UK. This review addresses previous ART research that includes members of US Special Operations Forces. Observations from that research has led to a thematic conceptualisation of trauma through ART interventions. These include three clusters of traumatic memories and several themes relevant to individual distress but not necessarily symptoms that meet diagnostic criteria for PTSD. ART represents a movement in treatment away from the symptoms, to the individuals' story. Not only the story of an event, but how that experience becomes incorporated into one's sense of identity. The themes identified (and treated with ART) appear to have broader application to the entirety of one's military experience, not just PTSD. These themes may be helpful in directing treatment and may help to focus on significant aspects of service not traditionally associated with PTSD. Theoretically, some of these areas may have protective implications in suicide.

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