It’s a rare person who goes through life without experiencing serious challenges or significant trauma at some point along the way. While some individuals have the resilience, support, and emotional strength to weather those experiences without needing therapy or other form of mental health treatment, others are not so fortunate. Trauma, in particular, has a way of turning your world completely upside down. Prior to trauma, life may seem safe, predictable, and comfortable – but in the aftermath, it can suddenly feel very scary, unpredictable, and even unbearable. It changes the way you feel about yourself, others, and everything around you. Therapy is often necessary in order to help you recover.
Rapid Resolution Therapy® (RRT) is a relatively new type of treatment for healing from trauma. Developed by Dr. Jon Connelly, RRT is designed to help individuals permanently overcome the negative effects of trauma with a fast and relatively painless approach. RRT is often touted as a revolutionary treatment for trauma recovery and emotional healing. The process – which often takes as few as 1 to 3 sessions – helps individuals get their lives back on track practically effortlessly.
RTR combines hypnosis, guided imagery, stories, and multilevel communication to eliminate the challenging effects of trauma. By quickly getting to the root of the problem, negative and troubling emotions, thoughts, and behaviors are quickly replaced with ones that are healthy and positive.
This treatment approach is beneficial for all types of trauma – whether it was a single incident or something that occurred repeatedly (e.g. ongoing sexual abuse). The trauma doesn’t have to be “huge” in order for RTR to help.
What to Expect
Rapid Resolution Therapy is a very short-term treatment. Most individuals require between 1 and 4 sessions for lasting results. The first sessions will typically last up to two hours. Subsequent sessions are usually shorter, lasting 50 minutes to an hour. It’s not uncommon for therapists to charge double their hourly rate for the first session (due to the length of time involved).
Important components of RRT
There are several key elements of RRT that help to make it beneficial for clients who are striving to recover from trauma or dealing with other challenging issues. They include:
Picturing the desired outcome at the beginning – In RRT, your therapist will instruct you to imagine how you want to change as a result of treatment. For example, if things were better, how would you be feeling? How would you think about things differently than you do now? How would you react to situations in your life different?
Hypnotic techniques and strategies will be implemented to help you clearly create this picture in your mind. You’ll not only be able to see how you want things to be, but also feel it deep within.
Staying emotionally connected to the present moment – Many people struggle with worrying or thinking about the future, or dwelling on the past. In RRT, one of the important elements is to help you feel safe enough to stay right in the present moment. Once that occurs, your therapist will help you identify the negative thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that have been keeping you stuck. This will enable you to resolve and release them so they no longer cause distress.
Your therapist will work with you to reprocess or reorganize the traumatic event without having to essentially relive it all over again. As you stay in the present emotionally, you can describe specific aspects of the event from a detached perspective. This allows you to feel safe, rather than re-traumatized all over again by therapy itself (which is not uncommon in other types of trauma recovery work). Staying present plays an important role in allowing you to finally break from the impact of the trauma.
Changing perspective with stories, symbolic imagery, and metaphors – Your therapist will use stories and metaphors to help you look at yourself, the world, and the things you’ve experienced from a healthier and more affirming perspective. An example of a metaphor that symbolizes trauma recovery is that of a butterfly finally emerging from its chrysalis. Once released from the trappings of the cocoon (which is symbolic of the negative impact and “stuck” feeling following a trauma), they fly away, finally free at last. As you see yourself within these metaphors and stories, you are able to look at yourself in a more positive and self-affirming manner – resilient, strong, and free.
Shifting to positive emotions with humor and playfulness – The use of humor and playfulness in RRT serves several purposes. For starters, it helps you lower your defenses so you’re more open to the process. It also helps reduce negative emotions typically related to trauma, such as anger, shame, and fear, that you likely felt at the beginning of treatment. This element of RRT will help you shift your initial emotional state from intense negative feelings to more positive ones. For example, if you’d been struggling with a profound sense of sadness, playfulness and humor can help shift it to happiness and joy.
This aspect of treatment is especially refreshing for clients who have tried other types of therapy to deal with the impact of trauma. It’s not uncommon to leave those sessions feeling emotionally drained – not to mention keenly aware of your internal pain – as you work through the deeply painful aspects of trauma. That’s not to say other treatment approaches aren’t beneficial or effective – many of them are – but few clients would ever perceive them as enjoyable and even fun, which is not uncommon with RRT.
Benefits of RRT
Following is a list of many of the potential benefits of Rapid Resolution Therapy®:
- Fast recovery from the troubling impact of trauma, including traumatic experiences and memories that have been repressed
- Improvements in self-esteem
- Reduction in stress
- Eliminate self-destructive behaviors
- Loss of previously stubborn unwanted weight
- Overcome bad habits once and for all
- Increase in drive and motivation to get things done and reach goals
- Decrease in negative emotions, such as grief, sadness, fear, distrust, and anger
- Overcome debilitating and irrational fears (phobias)
- Reduction in physical pain
- Experience lasting change
- A strong sense that you are in control of your life
Advantages of RRT
Brevity of treatment – Overcoming trauma and other painful life events can be a long, tedious process. However, RRT practitioners claim that many clients can experience substantial progress in as little as a single session. Others may require two or three, but even at that, RRT is a very brief form of therapy. This also makes it much more affordable for many people, especially for those who don’t have health insurance and will be paying for treatment out of pocket.
Relatively inexpensive and affordable (compared to many types of therapy) – As with other types of treatment, a one-hour session will often cost in the ballpark of $125 (depending on the clinician, as prices will vary somewhat). Even at 3 sessions at that rate, the total cost would likely be around $400. That’s much more affordable than months of talk therapy which would likely cost several thousand dollars.
Enjoyable/Less emotionally draining – Since RRT doesn’t require clients to re-experience or re-live the trauma, sessions don’t tend to be emotionally draining. In fact, as mentioned above, because of the nature of treatment many people find RRT a pleasurable experience.
Beneficial for many different problems – As you can see from the list below, RRT can be applied to the treatment of a fairly wide range of problems. While it was developed primarily for the treatment of the impact of trauma, its scope is broader than that.
Effective for repressed trauma – Often, many aspects of trauma are locked within the unconscious mind. RRT can help individuals recover from repressed trauma without first bringing it to conscious awareness.
One session can address multiple traumas – It’s not at all uncommon for individuals who seek treatment to be dealing with the impact of more than one traumatic experience. For example, adults who were abused as children may end up in abusive relationships and domestic violence situations as adults as well. RRT doesn’t require separate sessions to in order to resolve each specific trauma.
Disadvantages of RRT
Perhaps the greatest disadvantage of RRT is that the empirical evidence supporting the claims of those who practice it is limited at this point in time. Research that measures its effectiveness or that compares it to other forms of treatment appears to be scarce. Many health professionals – and potential clients who are exploring various treatment options – are understandably skeptical of the claims of such significant improvement after just one to three sessions.
That doesn’t, however, automatically mean it’s not a viable therapy. It’s a well-established fact that hypnosis – which is a major part of RRT – can be beneficial for a variety of issues, including trauma recovery.
As always, if you’re considering this particular type of treatment, make sure to find a practitioner who’s properly trained in the method. Training information, articles about RRT, and much more information related to this treatment approach can be found on the Institute for Rapid Resolution Therapy’s official website at www.rapidresolutiontherapy.com.
Disorders, conditions, symptoms, and life situations that can benefit from Rapid Resolution Therapy
Rapid Resolution Therapy® is beneficial for a vast number of psychiatric disorders, troubling symptoms and negative emotions, and challenging or traumatic life situations, including:
- Feelings of guilt and shame
- Low self-esteem
- Low self-worth / hating oneself
- Weight loss issues
- Panic attacks
- Anxiety disorders
- Substance use disorders
- Recovery from grief and loss
- Anger problems
- Specific phobias
- Social anxiety disorder
- Binge eating disorder
- Obsessive thoughts
- Compulsive behaviors
- Self-harm and other self-destructive behaviors
- Relationship problems
- Coping with the aftermath of an affair
- Sexual issues, including impotency
- Dealing with a serious medical condition or physical injury
- Chronic pain
- Overcoming heartbreak and rejection
- Recovery from trauma related to natural disasters, violent death of a loved one, sexual assault and abuse, physical or verbal abuse, domestic violence, and other traumatic events
Finding an RRT Practitioner
Therapists who offer Rapid Resolution Therapy® receive their training and certification through the Institute for Rapid Resolution Therapy. Some practitioners specialize in treating children and adolescents, while others focus on adults.
There are two levels of certification – Certified Practitioner (RRT-CP) and Master Certified Practitioner (RRT-MCP). Certified practitioners have at least 50 hours of training from the Institute. Master Certified Practitioners have at least 200 hours. The latter also has clinical work samples that Dr. Connelly has reviewed and personally approved.
You can find a list of practitioners in your area via the Institute’s website. The listings are limited, so you may not be able to find a practitioner in your area through the site. Another option is to search online using the above titles or related terms, such as “RRT therapist” or “rapid resolution therapy” followed by the name of your city.
It’s always wise to interview a practitioner to determine if he or she is 1) a good fit for you and 2) has experience treating the type of problem that has led you to treatment.
Rapid Resolution Therapy is definitely an option worth considering if you’re dealing with unresolved trauma or related issues. If other types of treatment haven’t worked, or have worked to some degree but you still feel you are struggling, then RRT may help you overcome the unresolved aspects once and for all.