Virtual Reality in Therapy – VR Therapy
We are excited to offer VR virtual reality therapy to tackle fears and address a range of psychological problems, and to have virtual reality in our psychology practice. VR, or virtual reality therapy is a fantastic tool that we enjoy using with clients who present with a wide range of problems.
From specific phobias to situations such as coping with a bully, VR therapy is a new way to learn how to cope. Often, therapy is about learning to change the way we think, react and behave. And often, the therapist’s rooms become a space to practice coping. But as Psychologist we know that the best way to change a behavioural response – such as fear – is to learn and practice it overcoming it in a real life situation. And that’s challenging. For example, how can you practice some of the things that our clients are afraid of? How do you practice giving a speech, taking a MRI scan, or having blood drawn? How can we practice staying calm in a storm? We know that one in four people struggle with mental health problems such as anxiety or depression. At Mindworx Psychology we are passionate about creating treatment plans that work for individuals – and that can be a mix of VR therapy combined with other therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Schema Therapy, or EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy).
Using virtual reality or VR environments allows us to simulate real world environments. And they allow us to modify them, and manipulate the level of challenge. It’s an incredibly safe environment in which to face your fears, and a super learning environment. Research shows that the learning in VR transfers into the real world, helping you perform better. It’s often seen by clients as an easier way to treat phobias.
Our virtual reality programs can be used to address issues such as social anxiety, bullying, fears around exams, fears of heights, fears of tight spaces such as elevators, medical appointment fears, fears of flying, and fears of animals, spiders and coachroaches. The list of what can be treated is continually growing and changing. We also use VR and virtual environments to help with mindfulness and relaxation. Like our approach to therapy – it’s not one size fits all, but how it fits you and your goals. We offer structured treatment programs with sessions delivered over 5-10 weeks. And for our VR Psychologists, we may also embed the use of VR into our therapy depending on your specific needs.
In addition, VR can help us engage with children, teens and young adults seeking help for fears and worries who may feel comfortable in the virtual world, or excited to try this form of therapy. And for adults who have never before used virtual reality, engaging with our VR platform can not only help with mental health treatment, but it has a side bonus of providing new learning and mastery.
Whether your treatment is entirely driven in our VR platform, or whether virtual reality forms just a small part of your psychological treatment is something to explore with your therapist.
Ready for change? We are ready to help.
Dr Amanda Mullin, Doctor of Clinical Psychology, Founder, Mindworx Psychology