Sunday, November 20, 2016


•       My name is Alexis Harris and I am going to inform you on how VR is used to treat Fears and phobias, Studies have shown that this way of therapy is more effective than other methods that have been used.  Psychologist James Taylor developed "Graduated exposure therapy". which Gradually exposes patients to what they are afraid of during their therapy session.

•       A psychologist and a computer scientist published the first paper examining VR as therapy, finding that it successfully helped patients overcome a fear of heights. The next year, a pair of scientists published a paper on the successes of using it to cure fear of spiders

•       The way that the brain naturally responds to Virtual Reality is simple. Our brain is gullible and easy to fool.  So, when experiencing these identical ways to real-world experiences the VR developer fools your brain into thinking the VR space is real by knowing what tools your brain uses to construct reality.

•       “Virtual reality is a technology that could actually allow you to connect on a real human level, soul-to-soul, regardless of where you are in the world. “– Chris Milk “People who struggle with anxiety and depression can be excessively self-critical when things go wrong in their lives” – Chris Brewin

•       Virtual exposure still brings on physiological symptoms such as rapid heartbeat and sweating. Patients are taught new skills that help them to bring their bodies and minds back down from the anxiety, learning to create a new behavioral response to the situation that gradually replaces the fear

•       part of the treatment is getting people to relive their traumatic experience to help them process the negative feelings associated with it. With VR the individual is able to revisit painful memories but with a view to developing new forms of behavior that will challenge these and any other existing beliefs.

•       If you experience something you are afraid of in VR, and you manage to stay in that situation despite the discomfort, then you have most likely lowered the barriers for trying it in real life.

•       Exposure therapy, a form of cognitive behavioral therapy, involves subjecting patients to increasing amounts of things they fear, or otherwise hope to avoid. It is one of the great success stories of mental health, and it’s not just for phobias. Research on cases of intense fear and even traumatic brain injury shows that for several problems, the only way out is through.

•       In an American study, 23 patients were encouraged to gradually, and safely, approach a virtual spider. By the end, 83% of patients showed a significant improvement in how they dealt with spiders and they could even approach a real tarantula with minimal anxiety.

•       VR can also be used by sufferers PTSD. This is a condition which develops when a person has been placed under extreme stress or suffered a high level of trauma. A good example of this is a soldier who has experienced front line duty but other examples include an accident, physical assault, terrorism or the after effects of a major disaster.

•       It’s difficult to appreciate just how remarkable VR is until you’ve tried it. Although you know what you’re seeing isn’t real, your mind and body behave as if it were. It’s an extraordinary experience.

•       For the preliminary study, 15 adults with depression underwent three sessions of virtual reality therapy, which had previously been tested on healthy volunteers. In the virtual reality sessions, the patients wore a virtual reality headset which allowed them to see from the perspective of a life-size avatar.

•       To create the illusion that the avatar was their own body — an experience known in VR as “embodiment” — the patients could see the body moving in a mirror the exact same way that they were moving.

•       While embodied in an adult avatar, participants were trained to express compassion towards a distressed virtual child. As they talked to the child it appeared to stop crying and respond positively to the compassion.  Next, the patients were embodied in the child’s figure, and then listened to the avatar of their adult selves expressing compassion towards them

  • The lack of compassion is what can cause people to feel depressed. Encountering a child can make you automatically feel loved because of the way children make you feel. They constantly show affection and always smile and show there happiness.

•       This eight-minute scenario was repeated three times for a period of three weeks. Nine out of those 15 patients reported reduced depressive symptoms a month after the therapy was completed, with only four stating they experienced a clinically significant drop in severe depression.

•       Virtual reality means creating immersive, computer-generated environments that are so convincing users will react the same way they would in life.

•       One month after the therapy, the patients answered questions about their moods and mental health. Nine of the patients reported reduced depression symptoms, and four experienced a significant drop in the severity of their symptoms. Some of the patients said that they were less self-critical in real-life situations after undergoing the therapy. 

•       Experts say that receiving therapy in a virtual reality world, using a computer-generated image of yourself, reduces self-criticism and boosts self-compassion and feels of contentment.  

•       VR is becoming more widely available to the consumers and at a low cost, meaning that this method could be used as a way to reach a significant number of people who won’t admit that they are having problems or seek help

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