16 Jun 2016

Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy

What is Virtual Reality Therapy?

Virtual reality therapy (VR) offers a new human-computer paradigm in which users are no longer simple external observers of images on a computer screen but are active participants within a computer-generated-three-dimensional virtual world. Virtual environments differ from traditional displays in that the user experiences a sense of presence or immersion in the virtual environment. The sense of immersion is achieved by an integration of real-time computer graphics, body tracking devices, visual displays, spatial audio and possibly other sensory input. The user is presented with a computer- generated visual world that changes in a natural way with head and body motion. The most common approach in virtual reality exposure therapy to create a visual environment is to outfit the user with a head mounted display(HMD) including a head tracking device that provides head orientation and/or location orientation information to a computer that renders visual images on the display screen of the HMD consistent with the direction in which the user is looking the virtual environment.

Advantages of Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy (VRET)

Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy has the advantage of conducting time-consuming exposure therapy without leaving the therapist’s office, with more control over exposure stimuli and less exposure of the patient to possible harm or embarrassment.

Thus, it may offer a time and cost effective manner to conduct exposure therapy, with implications for the treatment of many disorders especially anxiety disorders.

For example, fear of flight exposure therapy involves considerable expense in terms of therapist’s time to accompany the client to an airport for exposure, in addition to the cost of buying tickets for actual flights for the client and therapist plus the logistical part in order to have the patient in a safe environment.

Virtual Reality Expo...

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