“The University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) is an academic research center that combines creative narrative with advanced immersive techniques such as virtual reality to provide veterans with urgently needed options in the treatment of conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Treatments with immersive technologies like virtual reality involve exposure therapy.
The patient dealing with PTSD or other disorders is encouraged to confront traumatic memories in virtual settings with the help of a trained therapist.”
By Sonya Haskins for VR Fitness Insider
Image & Video: Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT)
“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.”
“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.”
“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.
“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.”
“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.”