“Canada’s military mission in Afghanistan has ended, but for many war veterans, the haunting memories can linger for years. That’s why the Canadian military is testing a new, high-tech therapy to help treat soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
The virtual-reality software, developed for the U.S. military, re-creates the war in a controlled environment, with therapists hoping it will unlock traumatic memories and allow the healing process to begin.
“If PTSD is so difficult, it’s because people are constantly reliving these horrific scenes in a lot of vivid detail,” social worker Marianne Vincent told CTV News.”
By Corinne Ton That, CTVNews.ca
Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/ottawa-turns-to-virtual-reality-to-help-treat-veterans-with-ptsd-1.1806029#ixzz30prf4pod
“Lieutenant Rocco’s recently returned from deployment in Iraq and he’s having trouble acclimating. He sits near the edge of a sofa in his social worker’s office, still dressed in fatigues, and sporting a buzz cut. Even though he says he’s okay, he admits to getting flack from his boss about his lack of productivity and that he’s arguing with his wife. “There are things I don’t want to talk about with her. Things I can’t get out of my head,” he says.
The more you listen in on Lieutenant Rocco’s session, the easier it becomes to forget the slightly odd cadences of his speech and the blocky outlines of his clothing which point out that the Lieutenant isn’t a real person. He’s a digital avatar designed to be a training tool as part of University of Southern California School of Social Work’s curriculum for the Master of Social Work degree with a Sub-concentration in Military Social Work. A virtual patient like Lieutenant Rocco teaches prospective counselors how to deal with soldiers returning from duty where they may have witnessed life-altering atrocities.”
BY LYDIA DISHMAN at Fast Company
Images/video courtesy USC Institute for Creative Technologies
Read more: http://www.fastcompany.com/1648674/avatar-teaches-social-workers-how-talk-iraq-and-afghanistan-vets
More info: USC Institute for Creative Technologies Medical Virtual Reality Lab – Dr. Albert “Skip” Rizzo