• Virtual Reality

    Virtual Reality

    Through Virtual Reality or VR users are able to experience a sense of presence through a computer generated environment within a controlled setting. Virtual reality involves wearing a head mounted device which displays three dimensional images on your screen, allowing the patient to feel as if they were truly there. This headset works in such ways that allow you to move within the virtual environment and explore your surroundings. Virtual reality aims to create a realistic world that is both immersive and interactive, and aims to provide a real world experience for the patient. This unique interaction allows for the patient to engage with the specific Virtual Reality environment in a more naturalistic way.
    Research has proven that gains made in virtual environments translate directly to increased tolerance in real life situations. These virtual environments are proven to produce physiological changes that are consistent with emotional responses to real life events that have the ability to evoke symptoms such as paranoia, fear and anxiety.
    Virtual Reality is a powerful tool used amongst Psychiatrists and Therapists to apply exposure-based treatments. Exposure-based therapies have been around for over a century and work by gently and gradually assisting the client to confront the sources of their fear and distress.

    The use of VR can make the idea of exposures much approachable, as knowing that a scenario is fictional makes it much less intimidating. Moreover, VR allows us to personalize a situation to a client's specific fears, as well as allow us to practice exposures that might otherwise be unsafe or even impossible to find in the real world.
    Virtual Reality Exposure therapy, or VRET, has been proven to be effective for treating and diagnosing a range of mental health conditions. Currently there is strong evidence of the effectiveness of VRET to treat phobias, OCD, and PTSD. There is also promising evidence that the use of VR to treat ADHD and depression may be in our future.