Virtual therapies treating real world trauma (incl. audio)

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“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