Category Archives: Clinical Psychology

Empathy-based virtual reality training a ‘game changer’ for police (incl. video)

“A new virtual reality (VR) training program is giving police officers the chance to virtually stand in someone else’s shoes.

The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) has launched a program to provide empathy-based training by simulating scenarios with people who are experiencing mental health issues.

Trainees use a VR headset to enter into a virtual world where they will have access to three different modules: autism, schizophrenia and suicide prevention.”

By John Lesavage/CBC News

Image & Video: Associated Press

Read more: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/halton-police-virtual-reality-1.5376107

The weirdest VR experience yet could make you happier (incl. video)

“A new study asked participants to play the role of virtual therapist for themselves—and the results suggest that VR could be an effective therapeutic device for some people.

[The] study, conducted at the University of Barcelona by VR researchers and clinical psychologists … found that immediately after body swapping with Freud and counseling themselves in virtual reality, about 80% of the 29 participants reported feeling like they had a different perspective on their problem and that this would result in a change in the way they dealt with it.

Mel Slater, a professor at the University of Barcelona, co-director of the Experimental Virtual Environments for Neuroscience and Technology Lab, and the lead author of the paper [says] “The critical difference with the body swapping is you can think about it as if you’re another person listening to someone else’s problem …. That’s really what makes a difference.”

By Katherine Schwab at Fastcompany.com

Read more: https://www.fastcompany.com/90389617/the-weirdest-vr-experience-yet-could-make-you-happier

Virtual Reality Helps Dementia Patients Recall Memories (incl. video)

“Virtual reality (VR) therapy may vastly improve the lives of people with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia, a small new study from the University of Kent, U.K., has found.

Specifically, researchers found that exposing people with dementia to virtual reality environments helped them recall old memories, reduced aggression and improved their interactions with caregivers.

“VR can clearly have positive benefits for patients with dementia, their families, and caregivers. It provides a richer and more satisfying quality of life than is otherwise available, with many positive outcomes,” explains Dr. Jim Ang, PhD, one of the study’s researchers.”

By Jill Provost for BeingPatient.com

Image & video by Being Patient

Read more: https://www.beingpatient.com/virtual-reality-therapy-alzheimers-dementia/

Virtual reality PTSD therapy demonstrated at Glenrose Hospital (incl. video)

“Virtual reality therapy for post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) was demonstrated at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in Edmonton HiMARC’s Motion-Assisted Multi-Modal Memory Desensitization and Reconsolidation (3MDR) has patients walk on a treadmill toward the stimulus, sounds and images that may remind them of events that brought on traumatic memories.

The therapist is with them through this experience, guiding, directing and asking them a series of questions as the soldier or veteran confronts these memories.

“It was incredible. I don’t know how else to describe it. My senses were heightened. I was even sensitive to the clanging sound of the carabiner on my harness,” Capt. Anna Harpe said after experiencing the 3MDR system.

By Larry Wong, Edmonton Journal

Read more: https://edmontonjournal.com/news/local-news/watch-virtual-reality-ptsd-therapy-demonstrated-at-glenrose-hospital

VR Helps Children Combat the Fear Of MRI Scans (incl. video)

“King’s College Hospital [have] created a VR experience to help with the ‎claustrophobic nature of an MRI scan.

Young children are often terrified and traumatised by the procedure and refuse to go into the MRI machine.

In order to lower this fear, a new virtual reality app has been created in the UK. Its aim is to help NHS workers to manage the fears of young children who require medical treatment.”

By Jackie Edwards for VR Focus

Image and video by Vocativ

Read more: https://www.vrfocus.com/2018/10/looking-to-deal-with-the-fear-of-mri-scans-the-nhs-have-turned-to-vr/

Patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or other anxiety conditions are finding real solutions in a virtual world (incl. video)

Patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or other anxiety conditions are finding real solutions in a virtual world.

Stéphane Bouchard, Canada Research Chair in clinical cyberpsychology has demonstrated how a virtual tour of an animated space can help people battle their personal demons.

Afraid of spiders?

Virtual reality therapy allows patients to confront spiders, a bit at a time, with visuals so real in a three-dimensional, computer-simulated environment as to evoke the same emotions as the real thing.”

By Wayne Scanlan at Ottawa Citizen

Image and video by Errol McGihon

Read more: https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/virtual-reality-therapy-treats-anxiety-with-a-dose-of-virtual-demons

How VR is Helping Children With Autism Navigate the World Around Them (incl. video)

“VR is being embraced by therapists, counselors, teachers, parents and their children as a pivotal therapy tool to help those with autism to better communicate and connect with their family, friends, and the world around them.

Dr. Patrick Bordnick, dean and professor at Tulane School of Social Work came up with VR- Project Delta or VR-Δ, a virtual reality app that helps patients prevent drug and alcohol relapse by practicing self-control and awareness skills in realistic simulations where drugs and alcohol are present.

Dr. Bordnick has also created the app named VR-qualis est vita for kids and adults with autism. This app places participants in a realistic environment to help them learn communication, social skills, and how to interact within the home, school, and other environments.”

By Juanita Leatham at VR Fitness Insider

Image & Video: Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

Read more: https://www.vrfitnessinsider.com/how-vr-is-helping-children-with-autism-navigate-the-world-around-them/

Virtual reality for therapy: Ground breaking technologies for treating mental illness (incl. video)

“VR has been known to make groundbreaking changes to the education and gaming industry. Some of its contributions are to the fields of therapy and psychological research.

Researchers, psychologists, scientists and designers alike all work together to create VR technology to treat mental illness.

Two of the most common VR applications in treating mental illnesses are exposure therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy.”

By Jeannie Lo at ScadConnector

Video and Image by BBC

Read More: https://scadconnector.com/2018/05/25/virtual-reality-for-therapy-ground-breaking-technologies-for-treating-mental-illness/

Virtual reality therapy provides medical treatment alternative (incl. video)

“Phobias, those extreme or irrational fears people have of maybe heights, or spiders, can make normal life difficult for many sufferers.

But in Mexico, one student engineer has come up with an innovative way to treat patients’ conditions, using Virtual Reality (VR) technology to gradually expose them to their fears.

The VR technology reflects the reality that a patient is afraid of.

Fear of the dark is treated by gradually fading light within the headset, while patients with a fear of heights experience the simulation of gradually ascending from a virtual ground level.”

By Alasdair Baverstock, CGTN America

Read more: https://america.cgtn.com/2018/01/25/virtual-reality-therapy-provides-medical-treatment-alternative

Virtual reality technology helping kids with sensory challenges like autism (incl. video)

“For kids with sensory challenges like autism, everyday experiences like popping down to the supermarket, crossing the road or swimming in the sea can be absolutely terrifying. 

But one Christchurch school has introduced something to try and bridge this gap.

With help from electronics giant Samsung, Allenvale School got hold of some virtual reality goggles.

And they’re proving a much needed portal for 10-year-old Kingston Friggin to enjoy school, where he once hated it.”

By Seven Sharp at TV New Zealand

Read more: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/virtual-reality-technology-helping-kids-sensory-challenges-like-autism-v1