What is Virtual Reality Therapy

What is Virtual Reality Therapy

It’s not unusual to use virtual reality for entertainment. If you’ve ever put on a VR headset, you’re probably aware of how immersive the experience is. But virtual reality isn’t just for entertainment and social interaction: it’s also becoming a popular tool for mental health care.

Virtual reality treatment is not the same as teletherapy, which involves communicating with a therapist via video rather than visiting their office. When employed effectively, virtual reality environments, which immerse users in a digital environment, can provide meaningful treatment for a wide range of mental health issues.

This is everything you need to know about virtual reality therapy.

How Does It Work?

While it is true that virtual reality has value for gamers, it can also provide mental health treatment to those who need effective therapy sessions. The possibilities for mental health professionals are equally exciting.

Traditional mental health therapy can be used with cutting-edge technology to place clients in scenarios that are safe, controlled, and comforting. As a result, virtual reality provides a practical and helpful environment for safely eliminating fear and other complicated emotions.

Virtual reality treatment has been shown to effectively treat anxiety disorders, PTSD, phobias, and depression.

The Benefits

While VR should be viewed as a tool rather than the solution to every mental health difficulty, it does comes with some benefits like these:

  • A high level of immersion. The settings within such a digital reality are becoming more intricate and lifelike.
  • Direct control of the environment and degree of exposure. Turbulence, for example, might be removed or included when addressing a phobia of flying.
  • Setting can be made extremely meaningful and intimate by integrating things, noises, and even smells from a client’s past.
  • Therapy can be more consistent, repeatable, or progressive.
  • Stimuli can be introduced gradually and deleted as needed. For example, a fear of spiders can be managed cautiously and stopped when necessary.

Putting a patient in this sort of controlled and immersive environment is what makes VR an effective treatment. It puts the patient in a safe environment where they can see in front of them instead of just imagining it. The virtual environment also takes them out of the setting of a therapist’s office, or psychiatric facility and puts them in a place they want to be, which makes this type of therapy a lot more effective.

Are These Effective Treatments?

Lucy Dunning, a licensed professional counselor in Marietta, Georgia, who employs virtual reality therapy in her counseling practice, notes that because the concept is new, data on its long-term effectiveness is still coming. However, preliminary studies indicates positive results. “It has been proved to be very effective for patients suffering from PTSD, anxiety, and chronic pain,” she explains.

According to 2022 research in JMIR Serious Games, virtual reality therapy virtual reality therapy has a documented effectiveness rate of 66% to 90% for persons with PTSD when used to enhance cognitive behavioral treatment (CBT). It has also been demonstrated to greatly aid in pain alleviation when used instead of pharmaceuticals.

The majority of virtual reality therapy research focuses on virtual reality environments, and less is known about how effective therapy employing avatars in a virtual world is. According to one research article published in Frontiers in Psychiatry, implementing CBT in a virtual reality context is an effective technique to treat persons suffering from depression who are hesitant to seek traditional therapy. Another study published in JMIR Mental Health suggests that virtual reality therapy could be utilized as an alternative to in-person therapy for those suffering from social anxiety disorders.

Candidates For VRT

When it comes to who should explore virtual reality therapy, experts believe it’s an excellent option for people who enjoy gaming and prefer an immersive experience. In any case, whether someone is suffering from depression, social anxiety disorders, a phobia, or PTSD, virtual reality therapy may be worth a shot.

Keep in mind that if you have a history of seizures or are prone to headaches, motion sickness, or vertigo, virtual reality therapy might not be the ideal option for you.

There are occasions when virtual reality therapy and virtual reality exposure therapy should not be the only type of treatment; for example, severe depression and bipolar illness are better treated with prescription medication. If you have or suspect you have a mental health disorder, it is critical to seek the advice of a mental health care provider to identify the best course of therapy and effective treatments.

The Future for VRT

Although VR is unlikely to meet all of the goals for mental health professionals, it compares favorably to existing treatments. As systems develop and immersion levels rise, it becomes an increasingly valuable tool for securely (re)introducing a client into a complex and hard setting. Once there, they can work through tough emotions, worry, and dread, as well as develop useful coping strategies.

While the focus of VR has been on assisting people in overcoming difficulties caused by mental health issues, the potential for developing and maintaining positive mental well-being is open-ended.

In the future, we may visit a gym for physical exercise and virtual settings to be intellectually fit. Who knows? What matters though, is that it is working and doing a lot of good in people’s lives.

Want to hear more about the Metaverse revolution? Do you want to learn how to make money as a Metaverse early adopter? Be sure to click here for FREE access to the Metaverse Beginnings online course and community. You can’t afford to wait!

Got a Question?

We usually respond in a few hours

100% Money-Back Guarantee

At Metaverse Mastery, we stand behind everything we do and deliver on that promise, which is why we back that up with our money-back guarantee.

So, give it two weeks and put in the work. If you don’t feel we’ve delivered on our promise, simply email us at help@metaversemastery.io and we’ll issue you a full refund.

Have any questions? Email us at help@metaversemastery.io

Send a conversation

We usually respond in a few hours

We're on it!

You’ll receive an email reply within a few hours. 

%d bloggers like this: