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VIRTUAL REALITY THERAPY

Virtual Reality (VR) has shown itself to be a valuable addition to psychotherapeutic interventions.

Fears, Phobias, Mindfulness, Relaxation and Concentration

Virtual Reality (VR) has shown itself to be a valuable addition psychotherapeutic interventions that involve a need to overcome a fear or phobia as well as other uses including mindfulness, relaxation and concentration. The reason is that VR allows you to immerse yourself in carefully controlled conditions which mimic the situation which would in real life generate anxiety. Examples are fear of public speaking, fear of needles or flying. A full list appears below.

Gain confidence in confronting the situation that generates anxiety

In the February 2018 edition of Monitor on Psychology, a publication from the prestigious American Psychology Association (APA), the author Kirsten Weir wrote “Even in the early days of virtual reality, researchers quickly recognized that the technology was a great fit for providing exposure therapy, in which patients are exposed to things they fear in a safe place”. As patients gain confidence in confronting the situation that generates anxiety, the virtual environment can be adjusted to increase (or decrease) the feared situation.

A recent study could show up to 68% improvement

A recent study published in Lancet Psychiatry, 100 adults who had a phobia of heights were split into two groups, one receiving automated VR therapy and the other no specific treatment. The first group showed a 68% improvement while the control group dropped by just 3%.

Virtual environments enable the possibility of manipulating certain characteristics in order to control and adapt the intervention to the patients’ needs. For example, if you have a fear of public speaking, it is possible to vary the audience from a small meeting room to a large auditorium and can even control the audience reactions.  Or if you have a fear of spiders, we can show one spider some distance from you, right through to a few spiders close to you.

A non-invasive treatment

VR is both non-invasive and safe. The placement of the headset isolates the external stimuli, transporting the user to the environment in which the anxiety is experienced.  The experience is also enhanced by way of using biofeedback equipment, where levels of anxiety can be accurately measured and managed.

Acrophobia

Acrophobia

Acrophobia is an extreme or irrational fear or phobia of heights, especially when one is not particularly high up. It belongs to a category of specific phobias, called space and motion discomfort, that share both similar causes and options for treatment.
Aviophobia

Aviophobia

Fear of flying is a fear of being on an aeroplane (airplane), or other flying vehicle, such as a helicopter, while in flight. It is also referred to as flying phobia, flight phobia, aviophobia or aerophobia
Social Anxiety

Social Anxiety

Social anxiety can be defined as nervousness in social situations. Some disorders associated with the social anxiety spectrum include anxiety disorders, mood disorders, autism, eating disorders, and substance use disorders.
Needle Phobia

Needle Phobia

Fear of needles, known in medical literature as needle phobia, is the extreme fear of medical procedures involving injections or hypodermic needles.
Generalised Anxiety

Generalised Anxiety

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by excessive, uncontrollable and often irrational worry, that is, apprehensive expectation about events or activities.
Zoophobia

Zoophobia

Zoophobia or animal phobia is a class of specific phobias to particular animals, or an irrational fear or even simply dislike of any non-human animals.
Driving Phobia

Driving Phobia

A driving phobia, also called vehophobia or a fear of driving, can be severe enough to be considered an intense, persistent fear or phobia. A fear of driving may escalate to a phobia during difficult driving situations, such as freeway driving or congested traffic.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental disorder where people feel the need to check things repeatedly, perform certain routines repeatedly (called “rituals”), or have certain thoughts repeatedly (called “obsessions”).
Glossophobia

Glossophobia

Glossophobia or speech anxiety is the fear of public speaking. Stage fright may be a symptom of glossophobia.
Test Anxiety

Test Anxiety

Test anxiety is a combination of physiological over-arousal, tension and somatic symptoms, along with worry, dread, fear of failure, and catastrophizing, that occur before or during test situations.
Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder characterized by symptoms of anxiety in situations where the person perceives their environment to be unsafe with no easy way to get away.
Nyctophobia

Nyctophobia

Nyctophobia is a phobia characterized by a severe fear of the dark. It is triggered by the brain’s disfigured perception of what would, or could happen when in a dark environment.
Claustrophobia

Claustrophobia

Claustrophobia is the fear of being enclosed in a small space or room and unable to escape. It can be triggered by many situations or stimuli, including elevators crowded to capacity, windowless rooms, hotel rooms with closed doors and sealed windows, small cars and even tight-necked clothing.
Mindfulness

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment, which can be developed through the practice of meditation and other training.
Focus

Focus

Attention, also referred to as enthrallment, is the behavioral and cognitive process of selectively concentrating on a discrete aspect of information, whether deemed subjective or objective, while ignoring other perceivable information.
Relaxation Exercises

Relaxation Exercises

A relaxation technique (also known as relaxation training) is any method, process, procedure, or activity that helps a person to relax; to attain a state of increased calmness; or otherwise reduce levels of pain, anxiety, stress or anger.