Virtual Reality A Cure For Phobias
Facebook CEO’s Mark Zuckerberg bought Oculus Rift for $2 billion in March 2014 announcing to the world that virtual reality after many fits and starts was there to stay. Oculus Rift which has a great promise of involvement and being more realistic is almost about to be launched.
The main drive is the CG-rendered games, but clinicians have used it and suggested that it could be a therapeutic tool. Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University College London explains that treatment of phobias and fears through VR has lots of potential and it is becoming an important part of the treatment of mental health. He speaks from experience as he had used the “embodiment” process to treat 15 people from depression. This process differed from the traditional therapy in that in a virtual world, there’s a change in their perception and emotion as they become consistent with that of the avatar.
While in the UK VR is used in the clinics, it’s still minimally used. However, it has been used for years in the US, specifically to treat servicemen suffering from post-traumatic disorder once they come back from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Smokers have successfully stopped smoking with the help of VR therapy, which can also play a role in overcoming the fear of spiders.
Brewin compares this type of technology to buying a self-help VR scenario instead of a self-help book.