In this blog we will focus on how virtual reality can be used as a tool by therapists for treating conditions like phobias. Therapists have been using virtual reality for administering virtual reality exposure therapy for many years. While earlier its wide availability had been affected by constraints of costs and technology, today we are seeing the rise of new opportunities due to the arrival of affordable virtual reality headsets like Samsung Gear VR.

Virtual reality can be used in cognitive behavioural therapy and exposure therapy. CBT is used to treat patients suffering from thought patterns which lead to destructive or negative behaviour. For example, the thought of air travel might be very intimidating for someone who thinks frequently and deeply about plane crashes. There are people who are extremely concerned about what others think about them, and this anxiety causes them to choose isolation over socialising with others. CBT and exposure therapy can be used to help patients gradually cope with their fears/anxieties, by exposing them to whatever triggers their fear/anxiety. This is where virtual reality can be used.

Virtual reality can be used to create a safe and controllable environment where patients can be exposed to whatever triggers their fears/anxieties, and thus help them to gradually cope with the same. ‘Virtually Better’ is a company that has developed software for treating conditions like fear of public speaking, flying, etc. A company called ‘CleVR’ is in the development of VR systems for treatment of conditions like fear of heights and social phobias. Virtual reality can also be used for meditation and stress relief. A VR game called ‘DEEP’ has been developed, with breathing being the way to control the game. Created by ‘Cubicle Ninjas’, ‘Guided Meditation VR’ is a famous relaxation app.

Virtual reality can also be used for delivering prolonged exposure therapy for treating post-traumatic stress disorder. Post-traumatic stress disorder is common among war veterans. An application for treating this condition, called ‘Bravemind’, was developed by the director of Medical Virtual Reality at the Institute for Creative Technology at the University of Southern California, Dr. Albert “Skip” Rizzo. The application was the result of a partnership with ‘Virtually Better’. The system contains a customizable and controllable VR environment, a scent machine (for emitting smells like gunpowder, diesel, etc.) and a vibrotactile platform (making one feel as if they are actually near an explosion, gunfight, etc.). This can be used for helping patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder to cope with their condition.

It is easy to see that virtual reality is not merely only about videogames and entertainment – it is a powerful technology with practical applications across multiple fields. A reputed virtual reality company by your side can really contribute towards the growth of your business and deliver the best results right from 360 videography and virtual reality knowledge transfer solutions to advanced visualization. To get the best results, you will need to choose a virtual reality company carefully and after making sure that they have an experienced and skilled team in place. With the right virtual reality company to assist you, you can really take your business to the next level.