“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
“A new study, published in the journal Biological Psychology, exposed participants with arachnophobia (a fear of spiders) first to real spiders and then to virtual ones.
There were two important findings – first that these “spider phobic” participants overestimated a spider’s size, secondly that this bias could then be reduced using VR.
Though it was already known that a fear of a particular object or event can increase your attention to it, this is the first time it has been shown that individuals with arachnophobia overestimate a spider’s size.”
By Melissa Hogenboom for BPS Research Digest
Read more: http://digest.bps.org.uk/2016/04/hanging-out-with-virtual-reality.html?m=1
“Created at the University of Southern California’s Medical Virtual Reality Lab, SimCoach is just one of several initiatives the lab has pioneered for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
‘The safe environment really is the idea of giving people opportunities to interact with this content, either in a therapy context or in private,’ says Skip Rizzo, the lab’s director and a clinical psychologist.
‘It’s totally confidential, there’s no tracking, there’s no monitoring of the system, people can ask this virtual agent questions about post-traumatic stress. The agent can ask them questions about the types of symptoms that they are experiencing and give a little feedback as to how difficult it might be for them.”
In another form of exposure therapy pioneered by Dr Rizzo and his team, a software system called Bravemind provides a sophisticated, lifelike virtual reality environment for helping patients revisit the scene of trauma.”
By Antony Funnell at ABC Radio Nation
Read more: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/futuretense/virtual-therapies-treating-real-world-trauma/6892542
“Therapists do not typically keep boxes of live spiders in their desks. That can make it tricky to treat patients suffering from arachnophobia using exposure therapy, one of the most popular ways to combat phobias.
So startups and universities are starting to treat phobias using virtual reality. With realistic and immersive technologies like the Oculus Rift, therapists could help a patient overcome crippling fear using safe, easy-to-wrangle simulated spiders.”
By Heather Kelly at Money CNN
Read more: http://money.cnn.com/2015/04/29/technology/virtual-reality-therapy-phobias/
Image: Nick Statt/CNET
“Scientists and medical professionals have been at the drawing board for years now, developing and implementing virtual reality in ways that can help them train, diagnose, and treat in myriad situations.
Here are just ten of the use cases that are currently in practice and continually developing as the technology itself develops too.”
- Exposure therapy
- Treatment for PTSD
- Pain management
- Surgical training
- Phantom limb pain
- Brain damage assessment and rehabilitation
- Social cognition training for young adults with autism
- Opportunities for the disabled
- Opportunities for the homebound
By Erin Carson at Tech Republic
Read more: http://www.techrepublic.com/article/10-ways-virtual-reality-is-revolutionizing-medicine-and-healthcare/
“Virtual reality experience Autumn is about the aftermath of an attack and sexual assault.
While creating Autumn, [design team] Tusmorke has kept two different types of players in mind.
On one hand, they hope Autumn serves as an experience of understanding for those who’ve never suffered an assault situation.
On the other, Autumn could also potentially serve survivors of the trauma themselves, allowing them to confront and engage with their emotions both in a safe environment and on their own terms.”
by JESS JOHO at Kill Screen
Read more: http://killscreendaily.com/articles/autumn-oculus-rift-experience-tackles-post-traumatic-stress-surviving-rape/
“The University of Houston is working on some impressive new research. It’s using virtual reality to help drug and food addicts kick the habit.
Imagine a world where all of your bad cravings and impulses can disappear.
A professor at the University of Houston has created a virtual reality where drug and food addicts can determine what triggers their cravings in order to overcome them.
UH Professor Patrick Bordnick, Graduate College of Social Work associate dean for research and director of the Virtual Reality Clinical Research Lab, said sitting in a therapist’s office is not the way to tackle addiction. Therefore, he created virtual realities where patients can put on goggles and walk inside of a mock drug house, a restaurant buffet, or coming soon, a war zone for PTSD patients.”
By Haley Hernandez for KPRC News
Read more: http://www.click2houston.com/news/uh-professor-creates-virtual-reality-program-to-help-addicts/29657798
“Exposure therapy has proved a highly successful treatment for phobias, but it’s impractical for things such as fear of public speaking or flying. The answer may be virtual reality.
“Phobics know that when they see a little spider on the counter, they shouldn’t be panicking because technically it’s not dangerous,” says Stéphane Bouchard, a psychologist at the University of Quebec. “They’ll tell you, ‘I know this is crazy.’ But because they keep avoiding, their limbic system keeps associating spiders with danger or extreme disgust and they never undergo that corrective experience.”
For many types of phobia, however, traditional exposure therapy is not feasible. Crippling fears of public speaking or flying, for example, can be difficult to tackle practically. Over the past 10 years the solution has increasingly been the virtual world, utilising some of the technologies that brought us 3D cinema.”
By David Cox at The Guardian
Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2014/oct/16/virtual-reality-phobias-public-speaking-flying
“To enhance the effectiveness of treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and animal phobias, the University of Texas UT3D program is now using its technology to create the illusion of being exposed to a fear, without having to come into direct contact.
The 3-D Fear Project was created in collaboration with the radio-television-film department and the psychology department. It uses an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset and sound cancellation headphones to expose the patient to what they fear in the most realistic environment possible. Sean Minns, radio-television-film visiting student researcher, said using regular video to combat phobias is not enough.”
BY ADAM HAMZE at Daily Texan
Read more: http://www.dailytexanonline.com/2014/09/30/3-d-technology-used-to-combat-phobias-ptsd
Dr. Gale Lucas and Prof. Albert “Skip” Rizzo of the USC Institute for Creative Technologies explain to NBC News their big idea behind a computer named “Ellie” that has the ability to identify people at risk for PTSD. It’s called virtual therapy.
Watch the feature: http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/watch/how-virtual-therapy-could-help-fight-ptsd-331592259645
Read more: http://www.nbcnews.com/tech/gadgets/how-virtual-therapy-could-help-military-fight-ptsd-n168746
Research Study – Dr. Gale Lucas, The University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0747563214002647
The University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies: http://ict.usc.edu