Virtual Reality... for psychotherapy? According to yet another study, the University College of London has again confirmed the effectiveness of Virtual Reality as a tool in treating psychological issues, such as Depression and Anxiety. According to our Montreal psychologists, in addition to the benefits of convenience and logistics, Virtual Reality can provide direct therapeutic benefits.
What is Virtual Reality?
Virtual Reality (VR) provides users with full immersion in a 3D virtual environment, by wearing a VR headset. Currently, it is used mostly in games, simulations (e.g. military), and videos. However, there is no limit to what can be viewed in VR.
The Science Behind It
In regular CBT, it is common to notice that you may be suffering from stress or depression, as a result of being too self-critical. Or perhaps you get panic attacks from some trigger situation? Or you may have a phobia, like flying in an airplane. Perhaps you have social anxiety or anger issues? Regardless of the issue, what traditional psychologists provide is the opportunity to understand the causes of an issue and what can be done about it.
However, practice makes perfect.
Therapy alone is not enough. Psychologists very often recommend exposing yourself to your difficult situation to learn how to cope and deal with it. You cannot fix social anxiety by staying isolated; you need to meet people. You cannot fix a phobia if you actively avoid it. You cannot eliminate low self-esteem or depression without self-improvement. You get the idea.
VR makes it easy to get exposure to situations you find difficult. Whether it is in social situations, or flying in an airplane, VR can help you get acquainted and comfortable in situations you would otherwise find difficult.
In fact, the researchers at the University College of London used participants who suffered from Depression. They simulated the act of helping a child in need. The result? Their symptoms improved, as they felt better about themselves.
The Convenience of VR
Would you like your psychotherapy session in a 5-star limousine? Or perhaps on top of the Burj Khalifa? How about a beach? No problem!
With VR, having your sessions in your paradise is only 1 click away. And the best part?
You can do it from the comfort of your own home.
At Clinic Dr. Bita, we are the world's first and only mental health clinic in Westmount Montreal developing VR for clinical use. We will bring the future in mental health, straight to your door.
Have Questions? See here.
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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are not to be misinterpreted as medical, clinical, or any other professional advice. The views expressed are opinions and / or ideas founded on research and clinical experience. These views are meant to provoke awareness and inquiry into various issues, and thus, create an open-minded dialogue, civil discussion, and respectful debate among our readers. Any claims made are subject to change should new studies be conducted that disprove these claims.
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