What is virtual reality exposure therapy?

Is it safe for those with video game addiction?

For those coping with specific social phobias, anxiety, and post traumatic stress, the treatment of choice often includes some form of exposure therapy, or systematic desensitization as a way to reduce the debilitating nature of these conditions. During an exposure therapy session, a trained clinician gently guides an individual through a traumatic event which allows for the re-processing and examination of the thoughts, feelings and emotions associated with a given situation. The difference between Exposure Therapy and Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy or VRET for short, is in the method used to guide an individual through this process.

virtual minds eye

Instead of simply using the mind's eye, or simulating the actual environment used to recreate the troubling situation to be processed, VRET allows an individual to place themselves in a virtual environment that evokes the sights, sounds, smells and virtual feel of an environment which closely resembles the feared situation. This allows for the safe processing of memories, feelings, and emotions in a controlled setting. Even though VRET seems promising, future research is needed to better understand the risks and benefits of VRET, especially in those who may show signs of video game addiction. 

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Virtual reality: Changing the way we LIFE

Virtual reality: A life changer?

Put forth as the next big technological advance, virtual reality is predicted to change the way humans interact with the world around them, and in a big way.

In 1965, Gordon Moore of Intel speculated that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit would double annually. As the CPU advanced in speed and capacity, corporate America reduced prices on outdated computing hardware making it increasingly more affordable for the average consumer to purchase, which of course spurred development, which in turn spurred better hardware. 

virtual reality reSTART

Virtual reality (VR) has been on a similar developmental trajectory (albeit slower) for decades now. Like the “Internet,” “Facebook,” “Twitter,” and the “smart phone,” VR is on its way to become a household device on the face of users in mainstream America.

Consider what the invention of the printing press, computer, the Internet, and smart phones has done to change the way we co-create experiences with others in our environment and you’ll have a glimpse into the dramatic changes headed our way.

VR will revolutionize the way we “experience” life in general, especially as the technology is perfected and refined over time. Like the apps which make the Internet of things perform unique and beneficial tasks, haptic devices will allow our senses to be hijacked and stimulated to correspond with our VR view. Throw in a dose of augmented reality, which takes a computer generated graphic and superimposes it on the users actual view, and it’s easy to see how this composite view of reality will change the way we live, love and connect. 

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