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Today, technology💻📱🕹 is being blamed for increasing social isolation, lowered communication skills, decreased attention spans, and even for violence. With a rise in people being encouraged to have a break from technology did you know that technology can help some people?
Did you know technology can be used in therapy and help people deal with fears? Or help with meditation or relaxation? Or even help to distract people from pain?
We have now started to use Virtual Reality (VR) equipment as part of therapy to help clients overcome anxiety and phobias.
With over 20 years of research, VR Therapy has had positive outcomes and has improved traditional therapy in many ways.
Over the years, psychologists have found it challenging to treat phobias because it is difficult to recreate the specific feared environment. With VR technology, gaps in treatment have been filled, and a graded exposure program can be delivered in a virtual world and undertaken in a safe therapeutic environment. VR therapy allows you to learn to respond to the feared stimuli without the mind and body becoming over alerted before you face your fear in the real world. At any time during the exposure in a virtual world, if you become very anxious, relaxation or diaphragmatic breathing can be introduced in the virtual world to help you before returning to the feared situation.
WHAT PROBLEMS CAN IT BE USED FOR? 🤔
VR Therapy can be used for many disorders including fear of flying 🛩, fear of driving 🚗, fear of needles 💉, fear of public speaking 👩🎤, fear of bugs 🕷, fear of heights 🏗, agoraphobia, test anxiety 📝📚, pain management, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders and many other disorders.
VR Therapy can also be used to help with relaxation, mindfulness, and stress management.
HOW DOES IT WORK? 🤔
An assessment is completed on your suitability for VR Therapy, and then if you are assessed as suitable, the exposure component of the Cognitive Behaviour Program is delivered in a virtual world.
You will still engage in therapy verbally before and after the virtual exposure program to put things into perspective and will still have to complete out of sessions tasks.
WHAT EQUIPMENT IS USED? 🤔
A VR headset 😎, software from a mobile platform, and a computer program 💻managed by a psychologist are used to deliver the treatment. During exposure, physiological responses are measured with biofeedback sensors to monitor and track the progress of the client.
So next time you start getting anxious because you know you have to get on a flight or get a needle or face some other feared situation. Why not try some VR Therapy.
We at Dr Olga Lavalle & Associates are the first 😱to provide Virtual Reality Therapy in the Illawarra. For further information, please contact us on 02 42445636