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Virtual Reality Therapy


Behavioral therapy through virtual reality

It is used for treating phobias, fears, PTSD, OCD, and other psycho-emotional states

Virtual reality therapy (VRT) is most often used to overcome phobias, fears, PTPD, OCD, and other psycho-emotional states that need to change the experience of a particular situation and anxious behavior.

For this purpose, we use exposure therapy where a person learns to relax when faced with situations that he/she experience dangerous and frightening.

Virtual reality creates the same kind of psycho-emotional reaction as the real situation. By creating the artificial reality we can see the exact moment or scenario that acts as a trigger for fear.

Therapy takes place gradually, step by step, whereby a person is exposed to a more intense situation as he/she reduces the degree of fear (systematic desensitization).

Systematic desensitization consists of several steps:

  • Making a list of situations where you feel fear or discomfort.
  • Learning Relaxation Techniques - Individually Customized (Breathing Exercise, NLP, Hypnosis, Visualization, Progressive Relaxation, Finding a Safe Place, etc.)
  • Visualization of the situations you listed.
  • Passing through these situations in virtual reality.
  • Passing through these situations in real reality.

EXAMPLE - Fear of elevators

First imagine you're standing on the elevator’s door, putting only one leg inside, then enter the elevator, then riding the elevator. The next step is to ride the elevator in virtual reality as long as the intensity of fear does not significantly decrease or even disappear. And the last step is to ride an elevator in real life.

Therapy for virtual reality should be repeated from 5 to 18 times - on average we can say about 8 to 10 times. It all depends on the intensity of fear, how long a person has a phobia and in what kind of circumstances a person has gained a phobia.

First treatment price = 375,00 kn

The cost of the next treatment if it comes 2x per week = 200,00 kn

There are 5 types of fear:

  • Anxiety - a constant state of anxiety and fear that is not caused by the specific thing, place, situation, event. This condition may or may not be accompanied by panic attacks
  • Panic attacks - sudden and intense "attacks" of fear and great anxieties that last for a few minutes
  • Phobias - irrational, unrealistic and uncontrolled fears that are triggered by certain objects, activities or situations
  • PTSD - post-traumatic stress disorder
  • RTS – rape-trauma syndrome (a special type of PTSD)
  • OCD - obsessive-compulsive disorder

 

The conditions I work with:

FEARS AND PHOBIAS

  • Fear of driving in different situations - simulation involving city streets, highways, tunnels and bridges with different speeds, traffic and weather conditions.
  • Fear of closed spaces (claustrophobia) - simulation includes elevators, small enclosed spaces, and high-speed trains.
  • Fear of Magnetic Resonance Machines - simulation includes: waiting room, talking with the doctor, MRI machine examination
  • Fear of flight – simulation includes: waiting for departure, ride to the airport, boarding, take-off, sitting in various places on the plane (a passage, middle, window) and flight at different weather conditions, including storms and turbulence.
  • Fear of height (acrophobia) - simulation includes high buildings, glass elevators, and open construction elevators.
  • Fear of spiders and cockroaches - simulation includes spiders or cockroaches in a terrarium or walking on a table or in hand.
  • Fear of darkness - simulation includes: a person is in a house with different rooms and light levels. The therapist can choose different weather conditions warm - rainstorm.
  • Fear of being alone at home - simulation includes: a person is alone in the house with different rooms and light levels.
  • Needle phobia, fear of injection, and removal of blood from veins or fingers – simulation includes waiting room, blood extraction.
  • Hypochondria or health anxiety - simulation includes: a person is in his/her living room watching a program about diseases such as cancer, high blood pressure or heart attacks.
  • Agoraphobia - a set of fears related to public places, open spaces and a multitude of people. Simulations work in different environments from which you can not escape (unexpected situations) such as plane, underwater, leaving home, driving away from home and crowded traffic, being stuck in small and large elevators, walking in the basement and narrow long corridors.

MOOD DISORDERS

  • Mindfulness and relaxation in different simulated environments that help to activate optimism. Virtual environments directed to train and practice full-attention exercises.

OCD - OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER

  • Aggression - obsessive thoughts and feelings about how to hit another person - the simulation of a bar where people talk and trigger the thoughts of aggression.
  • Hygiene - simulation of the environment in the "dirty" subway and in the "dirty" hospital waiting room.
  • Fear for health yourself and others - simulation of situations with triggers of obsessive thoughts on how something bad will happen to your loved ones, the people you love.
  • The impulse to jump from the height or some gurney - a simulation of the situation in an open elevator that causes obsessive thoughts of jumping from the top of the building or that you’re pushing someone from the top of the building.
  • Fear of driving under different conditions - simulation of various conditions that serve as training control over dangerous compulsions that can cause traffic accidents.

PTSD - POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER

  • Fear of driving after experiencing traffic accident - driving simulation in different situations and driving conditions, as a driver and as a passenger.
  • Fear of burglars - simulation of scene burglary in the house at night.

RTS – RAPE TRAUMA SYNDROME

  • Fear of riding in an elevator in the presence of a man - simulation of small and large elevators with a single man and a group of men.
  • Fear of subway driving - simulation of the darkroom and the presence of a group of men.

ADHD – ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER

  • Mindfulness and relaxation in different simulated environments that help to improve attention and reduce hyperactivity.

SOCIAL AND COMMUNICATION SKILLS – simulation includes:

  • Social phobia in different environments (in office and meeting rooms)
  • Fear of job interview
  • Fear of public speaking in front of different audience size - from the small, medium, large, and TED speech
  • Fear of high school and / or college examinations

 

Overcome your fears in virtual reality