Category Archives: Clinical Psychology

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

Neuroscientist harnesses the power of virtual reality to unlock the mysteries of memory (incl. video)

“UCLA researchers are the first to blend virtual reality with a surgically implanted prosthesis to reveal what happens in the brain when people create memories.

At UCLA, Nanthia Suthana is one of the first neuroscientists in the world to harness the power of VR to unravel how someone’s brain encodes and retrieves memories while the person explores a new virtual setting on foot.

“Without our memories, each of us would be lost in time and cut off from other people,” said Suthana, an assistant professor of neurosurgery and psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “At UCLA, we are the first to blend virtual reality with a surgically implanted prosthesis to reveal what happens inside the brain when we create memories.”

Thanks to her curiosity about how memories define us, Suthana’s advances in virtual reality have opened the door into an entirely new realm of brain research.”

By Elaine Schmidt at UCLA Newsroom

Read more: http://newsroom.ucla.edu/stories/neuroscientist-harnesses-the-power-of-virtual-reality-to-unlock-the-mysteries-of-memory

Virtual reality therapy helping victims of phobias conquer their fears (incl. video)

Clinical psychologist Corrie Ackland, who specialises in phobias, is developing a new and potentially highly effective treatment. Her team is turning to virtual reality to conquer phobias.

Through a VR headset, phobia sufferers can be gradually exposed to environments that give them anxiety, from needle injections to dentists, snakes and spiders.”

By Yahoo Australian News Sunday Night

Read more: https://au.news.yahoo.com/sunday-night/features/a/36237239/new-virtual-reality-therapy-helping-victims-of-phobias-conquer-their-fears/#page1

See the Newcastle virtual reality room helping children with autism overcome their phobias

An immersive virtual reality room that helps children with autism overcome their phobias is now being offered on the NHS.

In 2014, scientists at Newcastle University found that virtual reality can help youngsters with autism spectrum disorder overcome their serious fears.

Now, the first NHS patients have been referred for treatment in what is known as the Newcastle Blue Room.”

By Katie Dickinson at Chronicle Live

Read more:

https://cdn.ampproject.org/c/www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/health/see-newcastle-virtual-reality-room-12593593.amp

Virtual reality ‘could help treat vertigo’ (incl. video)

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“Virtual reality could be used to diagnose and treat visual vertigo, according to a team of Cardiff University psychologists.

People with the condition suffer from dizziness and nausea and often cite places with repetitive visual patterns, such as supermarkets, as the trigger.

A team of psychologists is working to develop virtual environments to help with diagnosis and rehabilitation.”

By Max Evans at BBC News

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-38715719

Virtual Reality Helps Teens with Social Anxiety (video)

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“Virtual reality is proving to be a viable solution to easing the social anxiety teens with ADHD and Asperger’s syndrome encounter daily.

These teens go through tremendous difficulty developing the social skills to interact with peers and adults in what most consider normal social situations.

The Center for Brain Health at the University of Texas has been successfully improving these teens social anxiety via VR sessions, helping them to make friends and communicate openly.”

Blog by Raphael Konforti at VR Fitness Insider

News report by NBC News Today

Read more: http://www.vrfitnessinsider.com/vr-helps-teens-social-anxiety/

Virtual Reality Helps Veterans with PTSD (incl. video)

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“Veterans and active duty military members are using virtual reality to relive the worst moments of their life in an innovative counseling program being offered for free at the University of Central Florida’s PTSD Clinic.

“It’s a very intense program but the advantage is that we can really take care of this disorder and treat this disorder thoroughly and effectively in a short period of time,” said Dr. Deborah Beidel, the founder of UCF Restores, a program that uses a combination of counseling and exposure therapy to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Iraq War veteran Bruce Chambers was one of the first patients to go through the therapy.”

By Dana Jay at WOFL FOX 35

Read more: http://www.fox35orlando.com/news/local-news/217037965-story

Don’t like spiders or snakes? Clinic says virtual reality can defeat real fears (incl. video)

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“Scenarios involving spiders – so many spiders, crawling all over you – heights, public transport and crowds are being tested or are already available to download and use … at Australia’s first specialist, virtual-reality phobia treatment clinic, which recently opened in Sydney.

Meanwhile a large number of research groups are investigating potential uses for the new technology.

A London-based project for example is exploring using train-station simulations to treat social anxiety. The simulated patrons can even be programmed to turn and stare at the user – helpful for treating paranoia.”

By Liam Mannix at The Sydney Morning Herald

Image: Ignis VR

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/clinic-makes-real-life-less-scary-by-letting-you-face-fears-in-virtual-reality-20161107-gsjrj3.html

Can Virtual Reality Unlock The Cure To PTSD? (inc. video)

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“At USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies Albert “Skip” Rizzo and his team are using virtual reality — a technology in the midst of booming growth — to help combat veterans fully process and recover from PTSD.

In Rizzo’s “Bravemind” program, patients revisit painful memories in a VR setting, under the care of a trained therapist. This sense memory allows them to access the memory clearly and, in doing so, to fully process it.

It’s a revolutionary type of exposure therapy that has so far netted promising results.”

BY STEVE BRAMUCCI at Uproxx.com

Read more: http://uproxx.com/life/bravemind-virtual-reality/

Mind Over Matter: How Virtual Reality Is Changing Healthcare

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“Just a few years ago, virtual reality headsets were futuristic, space-age stuff.

Now, this immersive technology has transcended video games and is being used to help people as they recover from injuries, surgeries, pain and disease, and mental health disorders.

The relative accessibility of virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift, which was released earlier this year, patients are now poised to receive interactive healthcare benefits.”

By Wendy Joan Biddlecombe at Hopefulheadlines.org

Read more: https://hopefulheadlines.org/2016/08/27/mind-over-matter-how-virtual-reality-is-changing-the-healthcare-game/