New PTSD therapy helps soldiers and civilians

(CNN) – When it comes to finding a way to relieve stress, as the suicide rate among veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress continues to rise in the U.S.

The technique is called accelerated resolution therapy, and it involves using eye movements to desensitize a person to a memory.

ART requires little to no reliving of potentially painful life events.

A person visualizes their memory and the emotions linked to it, then follows the instructions of a therapist — following their hand movements with their eyes, which mimics REM sleep.

“The eye movements access a person’s natural problem-solving ability,” ART trainer Marsha Mandel told CNN. “The person thinks about the memory with the eye movements. The first time they see their scene it feels real. Then their brain starts to change it. So typically, a person is removed from the memory. It is further away.”

Some therapists say ART works beyond post-traumatic stress, helping with phobias, anxiety and grief.

For more information on ART or to find a therapist or training near you, click here.

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