Scott DeLuzio: [00:00:00] Thanks for tuning in to the Drive On Podcast, where we are focused on giving hope and strength to the entire military community. Whether you’re a veteran, active duty guard, reserve, or a family member, this podcast will share inspirational stories and resources that are useful to you. I’m your host, Scott DeLuzio, and now let’s get on with the show.
Hey everybody. Welcome back to Drive On. I’m your host Scott DeLuzio, and today my G guest is Brooke Bralove. Brooke is a psychotherapist, a licensed clinical social worker, and an advanced. Accelerated resolution therapy practitioner with over 20 years of experience. Um, we’re gonna be focusing this episode on treating trauma and P T S D through the ex, the accelerated, uh, resolution therapy, uh, practice that I just talked about there.
Um, so with that, welcome to the show, Brooke. I’m glad to have you here.
Brooke Bralove: Thanks, Scott. Thanks
Scott DeLuzio: for having me. Yeah, absolutely. So. Before [00:01:00] we jump into this episode, for the listeners who maybe aren’t familiar with you and your background, uh, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Brooke Bralove: Sure. Um, so my name is Brooke Bralove and I’m a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist.
Uh, I’ve been in private practice for about 19 years in Bethesda, Maryland, which is right outside Washington DC and I specialize in working with adults, couples groups, um, Around relationship issues, trauma, depression, anxiety. Um, I’m also a facilitator of Brene Brown’s, uh, daring Greatly curriculum and a sex therapist.
And, uh, this, this newest wonderful thing that I’m here to talk about today. I, uh, practice accelerated resolution therapy. You
Scott DeLuzio: know, and before we started recording, I, I was telling you that this form of therapy only recently came onto my radar, uh, only i, I would say maybe a month or so ago. [00:02:00] Um, and it just so happened that as I was learning about what this is, I happen to come across your profile on, on one of these, I forget which site it was on, but one of these podcast, uh, guest matching kind of services.
Um, and I read that and I was like, like, oh my gosh, I can’t believe that. I just found out about this. I was wanting to find somebody to talk about this because I thought it was mm-hmm. Something. Relatively new. I’ve never heard about it, and I assume that maybe some guests maybe haven’t heard about it.
And I wanted to get somebody like yourself on the show and boom, you popped up. So it was like this, I don’t know if it’s, you know, someone out there serendipity, you know, someone, someone’s out there listening in on my conversation through my phone, I’m sure. And they’re, they’re hearing what I wanna have.
So that’s how it showed up. But, uh, yeah, probably serendipity too, you know. Um, but yeah, it’s, I mean, really, it’s great. Um, That you’re here, definitely have some experience with it. How old is this? This, uh, form of therapy? Mm-hmm. [00:03:00]
Brooke Bralove: Yeah. So art was created, it’s also called art or a r t, however you wanna do it.
I, I started with art, so I’m sticking with it. Um, and, uh, art began in 2008. Uh, a wonderful therapist named Laney Rosenzweig, uh, took an em d r training and loved it. But thought, oh, I think I could tweak it and make it a little bit better. And Art was born and she’s spent a lot of years perfecting it, revising it, and um, yeah, it’s really exciting.
They’re about, uh, I think between six and 7,000 practitioners of art in, uh, the world, mostly in, uh, the US and Canada. Um, some in Europe. So it’s, um, growing pretty rapidly, the number of people who are trained in it. Um, but yeah, that’s about, uh, so it’s, I I usually say it’s kind of a, um, a lesser well known cousin of E [00:04:00] emdr, r.
Scott DeLuzio: Right. And, and so for the listeners who aren’t familiar with emdr, we’ll, we’ll get into some of the differences, uh, a little bit later in this episode. So, um, but first we’re gonna cut to a quick commercial break here, and, uh, when we get back, we’ll get into, uh, a little bit more about art, uh, therapy, um, and, and some of the, the background on that.
And then, uh, we’ll, we’ll get into some of the differences in, uh, other forms of therapy. So stay tuned. So Brooke, I’d like to get a little bit more information about art, uh, therapy. And it’s funny the way, the way you, uh, phrased it, uh, you, you call it art, um, a r t is other otherwise that people could, uh, refer to it.
But when I first heard about it, I, I, I actually was thinking to myself that it was more along the lines of art therapy, like, Painting or pottery or that type of thing, because that’s the way it was first introduced to me was art, uh, you know, as, as a form of therapy. And I was [00:05:00] like, okay, well yeah, I’ve heard of that before.
People, you know, painting and sculpting and whatever else they, they might do. But that’s not what we’re talking about here at all. Um, so. Can you, I know previously you said it’s kinda like a, a cousin of, uh, emdr, but can you tell us a little bit more about what it actually is when, when someone, uh, goes through this therapy, what, what is it that they’re experiencing?
Brooke Bralove: Yeah, so art is an evidence-based treatment modality, um, that, uh, changes the way the brain stores distressing images and sensations. It uses rapid eye movement and bilateral brain stimulation to basically, Help the brain, the two sides of the brain, um, speak to each other in a very healing way. And so, um, what’s I think super exciting about art is it only requires one to five sessions.
[00:06:00] So it is extremely brief. And I think people hear that and they go, I don’t, I don’t know. That sounds too easy. And of course, most people say that sounds too good to be true. So the creator of Art, Laney Rosenzweig, her book is called Too Good to Be True because we do understand that it sounds a little crazy, right?
Because when we think of trauma therapy and we think of ptsd, we think of. A really hard, long slog, you know, through, and I’m not saying it is not, I don’t wanna be, um, cavalier at all about that, but, In terms of really changing the brain and what it has access to in the moment in terms of getting triggered, this is really miraculous in many ways.
I mean, I, I honestly feel sometimes that when I’m sitting with [00:07:00] clients that I’m wit, I’m certainly witnessing healing and lifetime of healing, but it does sometimes. Feel like a miracle what’s going on? And people will describe it as that. And certainly the word magic comes up with a lot of, of my clients who come in and, and experience art for themselves.
Um, but yeah, I mean it’s, it’s, um, it’s a really different kind of therapy, right? So I’m a talk therapist. I’ve been doing talk therapy, you know, for over 20 years and. It doesn’t require much talking at all, which is why um, it’s so preferable in many ways cuz a lot of people with a trauma history. Of course a lot of people, your listeners who are in the military or supporting people in the military know that, um, Talking about it over and over, the trauma, over and over and over again doesn’t necessarily provide [00:08:00] the relief you’re looking for.
It’s not that it’s not helpful, but I think as we move into different kinds of psychotherapy, whether it’s psychedelics or brain spotting art, emdr, R Somatic experiencing, we’re really seeing the limitations of talk therapy and art really addresses that.
Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And for someone who has gone through various forms of therapy, even, you know, like prolonged exposure therapy, which I, I don’t think we’ve mentioned yet, but, um, that’s basically going reliving through that trauma over and over and over.
And, and if it’s something that you’re, you’re going through and talking through, um, That could, that could be wearing on you? Uh, in my experience, it, it, it kinda wore, wore me down. Um, it was like, I kind of don’t want talk about this. Yeah.
Brooke Bralove: Right. And not just where you down, but actually re-traumatizing. Uh, you know, really, I mean, [00:09:00] that’s, you know, sometimes.
And so, and so, what I tell people is I, I see them, I do an intake session to find out what’s bringing them in, what they, what their goals are, what they really wanna heal and work on. And then I tell them, this is the most, you’ll be talking about it with me ever again. Um, because in art there’s not a lot of talking.
It’s a lot of paying attention to images in your brain and then, um, paying attention to sensations in your body. And those are the healing components. And the other part is voluntary image replacement. So we use calming eye movements to relax the body because we have the person, you know, call up the trauma or.
You know, think about or see, you know, their depression or whatever the issue they’re working on. A lot of times it’s trauma related and we, through the calming eye movements, their body gets less and less triggered by thinking about the [00:10:00] images. And then we help, uh, the client replace those images through voluntary image replacement.
They come up with what they want to store in their brain, and, and that’s pretty much what happens. So you’ll see people, and I, I I, I do wanna say, wow, this is not. At all. Re-traumatizing. There is a very short period of time where you will be activated in a negative way, but that really only lasts minutes and you do it once and you don’t have to do it again.
Scott DeLuzio: It’s kinda like, like ripping off that bandaid and just getting, getting it over with. Right. And then, then getting back into it, you know? Yes,
Brooke Bralove: yes. So what I say to people is, I’m asking you to be brave, but I’m asking you to be brave for a very consolidated amount of time and you will feel better. Never have I done a session where someone felt worse ever.
Whereas guess what? Sometimes in talk therapy, people feel a little worse before they feel better. You know, [00:11:00] which I also warn them of. But in this, that, that’s never happened. And I’ve probably done, I don’t know, 150, 160 hours of art. So a lot. And, um, it, it really does, uh, Change those sensations so I can have someone in my office who’s practically having a full blown panic attack as they’re thinking about whatever their, the trauma they’re working on.
And within literally minutes, not 10 minutes, a few minutes, they are peaceful, relaxed. They don’t have, you know, the lump in their throat or feel nauseated or the tension. It’s all gone. And often it gets replaced with. You know, excitement. So what used to be anxiety in the stomach can be changed to excitement.
That happened yesterday in a session. Uh, and at first the woman wasn’t even sure what to call it cuz she was so used to the anxiety. But she said, well, [00:12:00] there’s something in my stomach, but it’s not what it was. And she said, I think it might be excitement. I said, I bet you it is. Let’s spread that throughout your body.
I. Yeah, so it’s, I mean, as you can tell, I’m a little, I, I know I sound like a, you know, snake oil salesman, but, um, you know, it is what it is. It this, the facts speak for
Scott DeLuzio: themselves well, and for someone who’s been traumatizing in them dealing with that trauma for so long throughout their life, um, you might run into a situation where you start to forget what excitement or happiness or, you know, joy and, and all those other more positive emotions.
Yes, might feel like, and when you start to experience those again, it’s, it’s like, what is this strange feeling? I haven’t experienced this in a really long time. What’s going on here? And so, um, so, but to me, I think it’s, it’s great because you, you get this, this new wave of, uh, you know, positive emotions [00:13:00] in, in a very short period of time.
Now, outside of the length of time, and you know, obviously the differences in talk therapy and things like that, um, what are some of the. The differences between art and other therapy treatments like, like maybe emdr. I, I know that they’re similar. Mm-hmm. There’s some differences there too. Yeah.
Brooke Bralove: Yeah. Um, so again, I think we already spoke to one difference, which is, uh, you’re not talking about it very much.
You’re not being retraumatized. Um, and the thing that certainly differentiates art from M D R, there, there are a few things. One is, um, it is a briefer treatment. It’s one to five sessions, and I will be honest, I. Almost never have had to see someone for five sessions around the same incident. It may be that we’ve worked on something and then they decide that they actually worked so well.
They wanna go work on something else, and then I’ll see them for more sessions. But I’ve, I’ve really never. [00:14:00] I don’t even know if I maybe once or twice seen someone for five sessions around the same thing. So it’s very brief. Um, the other thing is that it’s much more scripted than emdr. There’s a real protocol and what we find is the brain likes pattern routine and predictability.
And Art really provides that. So I find that if someone’s struggling in the first session to get the eye movements down or you know, something, or, um, by the second session they come in and they’ve just, if they’ve got it, they know what’s coming next. They know the next step. So there’s a predictability.
And once or twice even, um, I didn’t, it was a first session with someone. And their brain predicted the next step. And so they went ahead to the next step. Their brain knew what was going to be healing for them. And I will say, you know, in some ways, well the first time it happened, I [00:15:00] thought, have I done this session with this person?
And I forgot like, how does this person know that that’s exactly what we’re gonna go and do next? But it just shows how intuitive this is, this treatment, and how it just goes in the flow of what the brain wants to do. The brain wants to heal, it wants to hold on to good images and sensations, but you have to relax it enough through the eye movements to do that.
So I’ll, I’ll get back. I’m sorry I got off track. But the difference is between art and e emdr R Um, so again, it’s a little more scripted or more of a protocol. Um, it also has more of a fixed set of number of eye movements, whereas EMDR can be a little bit more meandering, um, and can change and be variable.
Um, another difference is that EMDR R focuses on beliefs and feelings and emotions. And art focuses on images and sensations. [00:16:00] So there are definitely, um, you know, some differences. And of course EMDR is a wonderful treatment. Um, and, you know, I support it wholeheartedly, but, um, but, but this is also worth a try, I think, too.
Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, absolutely. And I, I think for the listeners who are out there, uh, who might be. On the fence between EMDR and art and any other maybe talk therapies, more traditional talk talk therapies. Um, I don’t think anything that, that either of us are saying or is, um, you know, knocking any of the other forms of therapy.
This is, this is really just. Informational about one more option that maybe you’re not familiar with and mm-hmm. Maybe you feel like you’ve, you’ve hit the end of the line. You’ve tried everything that you know of. Well, here’s just one more option. And I, I think that’s kind of the, the point that I wanted to get across with this episode.
Um, I know this, this form of therapy, you said it’s been around for, for a little while, but it’s new to me. Um, I, I’ve never heard of it prior [00:17:00] to, like, maybe a month or so ago. And, um, you know, I’m, I think. Uh, for the listeners who maybe haven’t heard about it, don’t know about it, this is worth a shot, and why not?
Um, you know, absolutely. Really, what do you have to lose? Like you said, nobody is left feeling worse. So even if you, you walk out feeling the same that you did walking in, you haven’t really lost anything other than, you know, the hour or so of your time. Um, but. Yeah. To me that’s worth it. And that’s what I
Brooke Bralove: say.
I just, you know. Exactly. Oh, absolutely. And, and, and I think you’re right. And there’s a few things to point out too. So art, there’s no homework with art. So, you know, sometimes in talk therapy or, or um, you know, c b T, there’s lots of homework and people, you know, don’t do it and then feel guilty they don’t do it.
So there’s no homework. Between sessions. That’s great. You don’t have to stop any other kind of therapy. There’s no, um, it can be an adjunct or whatever. You don’t have to stop anything or do anything differently. So, um, great. It really [00:18:00] is just a great add-on.
Scott DeLuzio: Well, that’s awesome. We’re gonna take a quick commercial break here, so stay tuned.
So, uh, Brooke, when we were talking about the differences between art and EMDR and other types of therapies and stuff like that, um, one of the things that you mentioned earlier was, uh, that it. AC actually, you know, changes how the brain thinks and, and, you know, um, processes through trauma and, and all that kind of stuff.
So how does art therapy help change the, the way the brain works with regards to the trauma or PTSD or whatever it is that, that you might be treating through this?
Brooke Bralove: Mm-hmm. Well, so I think, you know, if we all go back to, uh, you know, uh, psych 1 0 1, um, we know that there. Um, you know, there’s, well actually it’s sort of just brain 1 0 1, but you know, there’s the parasympathetic nervous [00:19:00] system and the sympathetic nervous system.
And when we are triggered in a trauma, which as I’m sure many of your listeners know, is can be. I mean, 20, 30 years later or a week later after a trauma, you know, you hear a loud noise, you jump, you get fearful, your heart starts racing, you feel, you know, sick, all those things. That’s all the sympathetic nervous system, you know, basically activating the fight, flight, freeze, or fawn response.
And so what happens is, um, and that’s why you feel like you have no control over it. Um, because it’s your brain, you know, the, your brain is offline in those moments in many ways. So, um, what happens is that the calming eye movements. Um, which again are bilateral. So they stimulate both sides of the brain.
They basically calm the, that sympathetic nervous system [00:20:00] and allow the parasympathetic nervous system to turn on. And so I’m, I’m imagining you’ve probably talked about vagus nerve at some point in your, have you guys. Have you done that show on that yet? Yeah,
Scott DeLuzio: I think we’ve, we’ve probably touched on it, but for anyone who touched on it, maybe didn’t, didn’t catch that, the, the episode that we might have talked about that, um, I think it was a little while ago.
So, um, would you mind kinda just explain, just briefly like what, what it is that you’re referring to? Yeah,
Brooke Bralove: so the vagus nerve. Yeah. The vagus nerve is a huge wandering nerve in the center of your body, basically that, um, That when it’s activated can completely calm the nervous system. And again, you know, kind of turn on that parasympathetic nervous system.
Okay. And so there are lots of exercises to do that, but bilateral eye movements are a very, you know, important part. But there are lots of, actually, it’s really cool if you just go to YouTube and type [00:21:00] in. Vagus nerve exercises. You get lots of videos on all these cool, really somewhat strange, um, things you wouldn’t think about.
Right? You know, we all know deep breathing. We all understand that. We’ve been told that forever just breathe, which sometimes makes me wanna punch someone in the face because of course, in that moment, that’s the last thing I feel like I’m able to do. Right. Right. And, and, and of course breathing is amazing and I just wish I were better at it.
Um, but this, you know, there’ll be interesting ones. Like, put your fingers in your ear and turn forward 10 times and backward 10 times. That activates the vagus nerve. Or, um, you know, we know about these. This, the tapping, different kinds of tapping. So, um, what happens again in art is that that system, uh, goes online and then you’re able to access not just the [00:22:00] part of your brain that’s in the fear and, you know, flight and all that, but also the part that can think creatively and create images and then, Those two parts talk.
We also, um, think that what happens in art with the eye movements is that it’s, um, simulates rem sleep, which is where memories are reconsolidated. So that’s actually sort of like, it makes what you naturally do at night happen. You know, during the day. And then that’s also healing for the
Scott DeLuzio: brain. And that’s an interesting point too, because sometimes, uh, people who are struggling with traumatic memories, they have trouble sleeping and they don’t, don’t get to that point of REM sleep, uh, very easily.
That’s exactly right. So if they are able to, uh, let’s just say artificially produce that, that same type of, uh, experience, um, and [00:23:00] I say artificially cuz it’s not like they’re sleeping while they’re doing this. They’re going through some other, uh, you know, exercise here, but they’re, if they’re able to produce it, uh, some other way and get.
The same or very similar benefits, uh, to getting that, that good restful sleep where you get into that rem uh, state, then that may help them because they’ve, their brain has been able to process it that may, uh, eventually help them to get them to sleep right.
Brooke Bralove: Absolutely. Yeah, it’s such a great point. Um, I’ve, I’ve actually not made that connection in some ways myself, so I think it’s a really great point and absolutely true.
And you can, you know, you can do art for sleep. I mean, I think one thing I wanna say is that art, I now am at the point where I don’t think there’s anything art can’t help with. But when I was first trained, I didn’t feel that way. I thought, oh, this is good for trauma. You know, we’re done. That’s amazing.
But it’s trauma. The, the number of different [00:24:00] issues that I have treated is really remarkable. I was actually thinking about making a list of them cuz they’re so specific and different. But, um, you know, so it trauma, P T S D, um, complex P T S D, which often is very difficult to treat, but it works with depression, anxiety.
Body image. Um, I had someone just want to change the way she interacted with her ex-husband while they were co-parenting. I. We worked on that for 60 minutes. It’s, she’s been completely different in that, not triggered at all. Um, it works on eating disorders, addiction, phobias. It works really well on phobias.
So it’s, it’s sort of endless.
Scott DeLuzio: And that, that, that actually kind of led into what I wanted to ask next, um, was how, how I was able to work with other conditions, um, which clearly you just. Went through that and, and said that it does [00:25:00] work with other conditions. Now, are you able to treat, uh, these conditions simultaneously or is this, this something like, let’s pick one the, you know, let’s prioritize, let’s pick one.
Do that one, and then we can come back and hit the next one.
Brooke Bralove: So it’s a great question. Um, I would say it depends on the, the client, but in general, that is what I’m there to assess in that first session is, first of all, why are they there and what’s their priority, right? Because if someone tells me, you know, they had.
You know, a terrible, traumatic, you know, incident while they were in the military. Um, it’s not my job to say that’s what they’re there to work on. Right? Sure. They may be there because they’re, you know, They’re using and they wanna stop using drugs or alcohol. So it really depends. But as you can imagine in that situation, and many those of course are related, right?
Right. So the substance [00:26:00] abuse would be a coping mechanism for the trauma, but I start where the client wants to start. So we might start with this substance abuse and you know, sort of, um, play some scenes out. Uh, with that, working on that, changing those images to positive ones, calming the sensations, getting rid of urges, things like that.
But oftentimes, It’s likely to lead back to the original trauma, but some people, they sort of have to ease their way into working on their trauma and so I start with them where they are. But I will say that in my mind, I hold the space for, it will probably show up in the art session or will, will actually, you know, Need to.
Um, but, but you know, it’s not my job to tell people why they’re there to work. Um, and I’d rather get them in. And have success at something and then we can go, um, back and, [00:27:00] and you know, tap into maybe the original origin. But I mean, I’ll have people, you know, this is important. Like I had a, a young woman in the other day and she was having very violent, intrusive thoughts in sort of an O C D way, obsessive compulsive disorder way.
They were very upsetting to her. She just did not want to be thinking at about them. And we were doing a session and. And so I, I, something wasn’t quite clicking in the session. And so we went back, um, and she realized that the first time she’d experienced those sensations in her body was, um, when she found inappropriate text messaging be between her father and another woman.
And you think, what in the world do those things have to do with each other? At 13, she was very upset by something she saw on a text, and now she’s having intrusive [00:28:00] images that won’t go away. We would never actually, in talk therapy, probably figure out that in her body those were linked. But in art, we figured it out in 20 seconds.
Scott DeLuzio: Wow. Yeah. And that, that’s just incredibly powerful to be able to figure stuff out like that, out just so quickly and able to, um, get to the root cause of whatever the problem is. Like you mentioned earlier, and this is just kind of a simple example, but you know, someone who has trauma, who uses substances like, you know, alcohol or you know, other drugs to.
Uh, kind of as a coping mechanism for that trauma. Um, and so if they come in saying, Hey, I, I wanna, you know, quit drinking, or, you know, uh, you know, stop doing any of that kinda stuff, um, you know, eventually you, you figure out, well, this is the trauma that’s causing that. And if you can hit the root cause, then it, it makes it so much easier.
But I wanna get more into that. But I want to take a, a quick break here, and when we get back, we’ll, we’ll talk a little bit more about this and, [00:29:00] and more about the, the power of, uh, art therapy. So stay tuned. So, uh, Brooke, when we’re talking about here, veterans who have. Maybe experience traumas through combat or, uh, maybe sexual assault or, you know, this, this really, the show is focused on veterans, but I feel like this is a type of thing that can work with, uh, just about anyone who’s experienced any kind of traumas.
It could be, like I said, sexual assaults. It could be, uh, you know, uh, you know, a loss of, you know, a close friend or a loved one, you know, in mm-hmm. Whether it’s in combat or a family member or something like that. Some, some traumatic event that took place. Um, and a lot of times, You go to the VA as a veteran, and first thing is let’s, let’s go into some sort of talk therapy.
It could be, you know, C C B T, it could be, you know, prolonged exposure. Some various others that, that we’ve talked about throughout this episode. Uh, emdr, r even. Um, and they’ve, they’ve tried these, [00:30:00] these different forms of therapies and just, it doesn’t seem like it, it’s clicking with them. It’s just not working.
Um, And so why in some cases are, is the, the talk therapy just not as effective as what art is able to, to pro provide?
Brooke Bralove: Mm-hmm. Yeah, that’s a great question too. So I think, again, I really believe that people need people and I think people need to be witnessed and heard. So I wanna state that, to me, that’s the foundation of act, you know, connection.
So I think talk therapy has a very clear place and is very important. But what happens is that when we talk about, think about and give, um, real estate in our brain to traumatic incidents, they actually worsen over time. Our memory worsens them. [00:31:00] And so that is clearly not helpful, right? But every time we tell it, it gets worse.
It gets more solidified in the brain. And so something, you know, a um, something like art basically breaks that connection and says, um, you know, so. Let’s change the images related to that and then we’ll store those in the brain. And so it basically provides it’s, it provides new neural pathways. And when you keep talking about it and keep thinking about, in the same way, I always like to think about neuro pathways as kind of like a groove, right?
So that groove just gets deeper and deeper and deeper. So actually you need to pause in talking about it. Maybe stop all together, but I mean, at least temporarily, and work on the brain and the body connection, and then you actually will be able to talk [00:32:00] about it. But talk about it as facts, not emotionally.
And that’s what people say when they, when they give me feedback, they say, you know, I. I can tell you what happened that brought me in here. I can report it, but I have zero emotional connection. I don’t feel any negative sensations in my body when I tell you about it. So with art, we say keep the knowledge, lose the pain.
We cannot and really wouldn’t want to change the knowledge that we’ve. Had from all the incidents in our lives, all the experiences, we can’t change that. We don’t change the facts, but we absolutely change our relationship to the facts, how we feel about them, and how we’ll feel about them. In, you know, three years from now when, you know there are fireworks.
I mean, we’re, you know, coming up on July 4th and I, I’m actually holding more awareness and almost more [00:33:00] fear about it because I’m so aware of how difficult, uh, fireworks can be actually for animals too, but obviously for people, right? And so, you know, There was a school shooting and I about a little bit over a year ago in the DC area, and I worked with a bunch of people from the school, parents, children, teachers, and many of them were saying, you know, when a car door slams, I just hear the gunfire.
And so with art, when the car, by changing the images and sensations, um, You can hear a car door and feel absolutely nothing and not even, you know, not even notice it happened. Whereas when you’re in the trauma and reliving it, it feels as if you are back to the original place. Not just, oh, that’s a disturbing car, but I am in danger.
I have to get out of here. And. I don’t [00:34:00] want people to feel that. I want, you know, I want the people who I’m sitting with in my office to have a beautiful life where they are at peace and at ease and art. Basically helps you find ease in your own body that you are creating. No drugs, no hypnosis, you are healing yourself, and I’m just there to, to watch you do
Scott DeLuzio: it.
Right. And so, uh, I just wanna circle back on some of the things that you, you just talked about there. Um, cause I think for the listeners, this might be kind of important the way, the way that you, uh, The way that you referred to the neuro pathways, like grooves that kinda get deeper and deeper. The way it it’s been explained to me is it’s almost like a, a.
Uh, rolling through an area and it, it gets deeper and deeper and deeper. And eventually you got the Grand Canyon. Uh, you know that with the water going through it eventually, and it gets deeper and deeper and deeper and deeper. And so [00:35:00] eventually, if you don’t want that pathway to continue getting deeper, um, you’re gonna have to cut the water off.
You’re gonna have to build a dam somewhere and, and, Make it so that it doesn’t continue, uh, to, to get deeper and maybe even divert it someplace else to maybe a happier thought if, if that is, yeah. Uh, that’s my understanding anyways. Um, and, and something else that you, you mentioned about not wanting to lose the, the facts of the things that had happened.
Those, those traumas that occurred, um, you know, think about. Any little kid who has touched something hot for the very first time, you know, touched the hot stove or, or something like that. Um, at the time that’s, that’s probably pretty traumatic. I mean, it’s probably one of the more traumatic things that had happened up to that point in their lives.
Um, but. You don’t want to be afraid of the stove and never be able to, you know, make pasta on the stove or boil a pot of water, you know, or, or soup, or, you know, whatever else you do on the stove, right? You don’t [00:36:00] wanna be so traumatized that you can never approach a stove again. But you also don’t wanna not, you also don’t wanna go put your hand back on the hot burner either.
So it’s keeping the facts of, Hey, this is, this is a bad thing. Don’t touch it. It’s, that’s not good. Yep. But it’s okay if you are smart and safe about it. And just like the, the school shooting with the, the gunshots and the car door slamming, knowing that loud noises. Could be gunshots, but they also could just be car door slamming or a dump truck, uh, dumping off what, whatever its load is or mm-hmm.
Um, you know, construction site with a jackhammer or something, knowing that those things are okay. Things, they’re normal and they’re, they’re perfectly fine to be around. Um, but also being aware that yes, gunshots being around gunshots, if you’re not in a, you know, at a shooting range where it’s a safe place to be doing it, like that’s probably not a good thing.
So you’re aware of that. But it doesn’t have to be the sole focus of every loud noise that you ever hear, ever. [00:37:00] Right?
Brooke Bralove: Yeah. I think, yeah, it’s, yeah, that’s totally true. And I, and, and I think the point you make is that the brain then can. Think more about other possibilities. It could be, yeah. Right. And again, I just look at it as like, you’re helping your brain get back online.
And so it can do what it normally does, which is, you know, problem solve and connect. Right. And all the things we want your brain to do, which is, huh. That could be three different things right now, you know, instead of Sure. The literally automatic response, it just changes that Yeah. You cause and, and people are just amazed.
Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And, and with what you’re just saying, those, those people who, um, Just automatically jump to the worst case scenario they go to, uh, in instantly they hear that loud noise. Boom, that must be gunshots, or there must be an explosion or something. And, and they’re going back and they’re reliving that trauma all over again.
Whether it’s at school, [00:38:00] shooting that you were talking about or combat in. You know, in Iraq or Afghanistan or any other place that people may have been deployed to, um, they’re going straight back to that place. And just jumping to that conclusion that this must be the thing that’s happening, but when you’re walking down Main Street in your town, what’s the likelihood that an i e D is going off?
Or that there’s Yeah. You know, terrorists coming around the corner, you know, ambushing your, your minivan as you’re driving down the street. You know, it, it’s, it’s very unlikely to happen. Um, So, yeah, opening yourself up to those other possibilities of things like, um, like maybe someone dropped something, you know, you know, I was at a, a place, uh, couple days ago where, where a, uh, big metal pole fell down and it made a big, loud crashing noise.
Mm-hmm. And I, I kind of like, it startled me cuz it was a loud noise, a loud noises typically are startling, but I looked over and I’m like, oh, it’s just a metal pole. It’s not like, You know, you know, war is coming to the streets of Phoenix where, [00:39:00] where I was at. You know what I mean? Like, it, it, it was okay.
It, I mean, nobody got hurt. Every, it was just a pole that, that fell down. So, um, you know, but that type of thing does mean.
Brooke Bralove: Right. And I think, you know what, what you’re really speaking to is this idea that I will have more control over my reactions and then my moods and everything that generates, right.
Because if you’re in that trauma and you think you, you hear that and your entire body gets activated. It’s not, you know, it’s, it’s. This is a relational issue because yes, you’re in a terrible place, but think about how are you gonna go talk to your spouse? How are you gonna go talk to the, the waiter at the restaurant?
Right? Right. So it it, it’s not, I mean, It’s, of course it’s enough that you, yourself are traumatized and want help. But I also think it’s like, it’s the gift that keeps on giving because you can’t have [00:40:00] access to any good thoughts or, you know, um, ability to self-soothe in those moments. And so with art, we just get rid of the reaction.
And I mean there, it’s just remarkable. Some, I hear myself say it, I’m like, how do we even do that? And yeah, that’s what I do every day. It’s, it, it, that’s why it feels like a miracle sometimes. Um, can I tell a quick story about a veteran? Would that be okay?
Scott DeLuzio: You absolutely could. Actually, my, my next question was going to be, you know, are there any other examples that you might have that that could help?
Uh, you know, any of the listeners who are kind of on the fence on this and, and maybe aren’t so sure, but maybe a, a story of another veteran who’s gone through this, uh, maybe that might be just enough to, to kind of push people in in the right direction.
Brooke Bralove: Yeah. So, um, I saw a man, um, who had, uh, done I think several, I think it was Iraq.
He’d been there several times, and, uh, he [00:41:00] was in long-term talk therapy with a colleague and they were doing great work together. And, you know, he was getting better in many ways, but the one place he wasn’t getting better was specifically around, um, how, uh, Three incidents of trauma were really negatively impacting him.
Nightmares, um, intrusive thoughts, startle, reflex, all the things we would imagine right from, you know, P T S D and um, He had seen a friend, uh, die, um, and there were a couple other images he just really wanted to get rid of, but that was the predominant one. And we only did two 60 minute sessions and all three of those images were completely gone.
And I think this is really important to talk about when you’re talking about veterans and, and military. Many people [00:42:00] feel resistant to changing the way they think about especially death, you know? Um, because what they think is that is my fallen comrade. It would be disloyal to not think about him. Her, them.
Okay. And I really wanna honor that. That is a lot of the way people feel, and it makes a lot of sense to me. And those comrades don’t want you to suffer. They want you to honor them and actually you can’t really honor them when they’re so intrusive. You can’t access the loving. I miss them. They were wonderful people.
Instead, all you can access is the replay, the guilt, the survivor’s guilt. And again, I wanna be clear, you know, I am not. In the military, and I really [00:43:00] don’t, I don’t have personal, you know, sort of reactions to this, but uh, when I’ve seen people say, I can’t let go of their death, I’m not asking you to let go of the fact that they died.
I’m asking, and knowing that you can let go to all the trauma related to that death. Right, and it is not disloyal. It is the most honoring thing you can do is to heal yourself. And what people can do, they don’t understand is, well, the person’s dead. There’s nothing I can do about that. So what’s gonna get better?
Everything can get better. When you work with art to change those images and you create the ending you want with that comrade, you say goodbye. You let them say goodbye to you. You do it. Of course, we can’t change the facts. That person is gone. But when you change the way it ends in your brain, Then you can access all your loving [00:44:00] feelings toward them and not sit in the survivor’s guilt.
And this is very specific to your audience, and I really wanna honor that. I understand that they don’t think they should let go of the survivor’s guilt, but your, your friends, your people, they want you to let go of it. They want you to move forward and, and be okay. And
Scott DeLuzio: another aspect of that too, and I, I, I want to.
Uh, just kind of wrap this part up cause we get, we have a commercial break coming up here. But, um, another aspect of that that I’ve found through talking to other people is it almost feels like, like the Stockholm syndrome, where it’s like, I, I got so comfortable with being in this negative place. I don’t know how to be any other way.
And this is just where I, where I’m gonna be and. Yeah, it’s almost like they may not want to get out of that, um, that, that situation, that, that traumatic memory or, or things like that. And it’s, it’s not a great place to be. And so [00:45:00] you, you definitely want to try to work to correct that and get to that better place where you can be happy and you can still honor someone’s memory, but not be, um, you know, shackled down by that, not able to continue living your own life.
Right. And, and that’s, you’re,
Brooke Bralove: Yeah, one thing you wanna honor their memory, not the way they died.
Scott DeLuzio: There you go. That’s a great way to put it. Uh, with that, we’re gonna cut to a quick break, and when we get back, we’ll, uh, we’ll find out a little bit more about where, uh, what, uh, Brooke does here and, um, where you can go to find out more information.
So stay tuned. So Brooke, uh, this has been a great dialogue on. You know, the art of this new therapy new to me anyways, it’s not totally new, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s new. Um, as far from my, uh, my knowledge anyways. Um, you, you talked a little bit about, you know, honoring the memory of people [00:46:00] who may have.
Been lost in combat or, you know, other situations. Mm-hmm. Uh, and, and continuing to move on. I think to me, that is just such a strong message. Um, because I know having lost, uh, you know, people close to me, uh, I know the type of people that they were, they were the type of people who wanted other people to have fun.
They wanted to, you know, go out. Have a good time, you know, be the life of the party, that type of thing. Um, I cannot imagine any scenario where that person would be like, you need to lock yourself in your room for the rest of your life and just mop around and do nothing with your life. Um, because I’m not there to experience it too.
I cannot imagine a scenario where that would be true. Um, so what you were saying earlier, I think is a hundred percent accurate. You know, honor the memory. Um, But continue living and live the best life possible. That’s what they would want. Um, I, I [00:47:00] cannot think of a scenario where they wouldn’t want that for you.
Um, right. And I think that was a, a great way to, uh, you know, kind of help the people who might be on the fence a little bit hesitant to go seek help. Um, like, Hey, this is going to help you live a better life, which is honoring those people. Um. Mm-hmm. For the listeners who are mm-hmm. Willing to look into this a little bit more, find out a little bit more information, where PE can people go to find out more about, uh, what you do.
I know you said you’re in the, the Maryland area, um, but for mm-hmm. Uh, the people in that area, uh, and, and even people outside that area, where can people go to find out a little bit more about this?
Brooke Bralove: Sure. So if you’re in dc, Maryland, or Virginia, um, I, uh, I can be [email protected] and Instagram is Brooke Bra Love psychotherapy.
Um, Facebook is Brooke Bra love psychotherapy. [00:48:00] And, um, outside of. Those areas. Um, I would direct everyone to accelerated resolution therapy.com. Uh, all information about art. Uh, Laney has a wonderful Ted talk, some videos of people with success stories and, um, most importantly, there’s a directory. Um, and you can look search by state to find an art practitioner near you.
I. I also really wanna encourage therapists to get trained in this. This is. An amazing secret weapon to have. And, um, it’s, it’s, it’s a pretty, you know, easy training go. It’s a three day training. Um, learn how to do this and it will transform your practice. I have never felt also more confident as a therapist and less burnt out.
It also really prevents burnout for therapists because [00:49:00] we also are not absorbing, being told the trauma over and over and over again as well. Sure. Um, so it is truly the most exciting thing I’ve ever done and I, I really encourage everyone to try it. As you said, the worst thing that happens is you spent an hour.
Trying something new, but you know, the research shows upwards of 70% effective. And honestly, I would easily say mine’s more like 90, 93% effective. It’s, its, it really works very
Scott DeLuzio: well. And I know, uh, just where I first heard about this, uh, therapy was through, uh, a therapist at the va. Uh, and so I know that the VA is starting to offer this as well.
Um, so for listeners who are already enrolled in the, the VA system, um, ask about it. See if, uh, somebody in your area is able to offer that. Um, if they’re not, Um, there are, like you said, I’ll have links to the, [00:50:00] the, uh, websites that you mentioned, the show notes. But if you’re in the, the, uh, the Baltimore, DC, Virginia area, um, you know, definitely check out Brooks website, which I’ll link to in the show notes.
Um, but also, um, go online and, and search for practitioners in your area. There’s six or 7,000, uh, practitioners worldwide. Um, maybe there’s someone nearby, you know, and if not, um, you know, Urge someone to go take that three day training and, and get, get, uh, exactly. You know? Yeah. Trained, trained up in it.
Brooke Bralove: Right. Yeah. People should ask their, the people should ask their therapist to go get trained
Scott DeLuzio: in it. Exactly. So, well, thank you again for taking the time to join us and, and sharing this information about this, this form of therapy. Uh, I’m sure that a lot of people out there will, uh, benefit from this information, so thank you again.
Thank you. Thanks for listening to the Drive On Podcast. If you want to support the show, please check out Scott’s book, Surviving Son on Amazon. All of the sales from that book go directly back into this podcast and work to help veterans in need. You can also [00:51:00] follow the Drive On Podcast on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and wherever you listen to podcasts.