VR and AR in Therapy


  • Exposure therapy is a treatment where a patient confronts and processes their trauma by retelling it to a therapist.
  • The goal of Bravemind is to take it one step further and recreate the soldiers war traumas via virtual reality.
  • Researchers have created virtual reality worlds that simulate Afghan and Iraqi cities, desert road environments, and scenarios that are relevant to combat medics. Additionally, scenarios that address military sexual trauma are in development.
  • It is currently used on over 60 sites

(Watch till 1:33)

VR in treatment of Psychosis

  • Psychosis is a loss of connection to reality. Psychosis can be a symptom of schizophrenia, bipolar and other mood disorders.
  • External stimuli such as a crowded subway can trigger or make psychosis worst.
  • Patients often can not remember or accurately remember episodes of involving psychosis.
  • VR is being used to recreate scenarios of psychosis. This allows:
  1. Doctors to better understand patients episodes.
  2. Doctors to better diagnose symptoms and develop cognitive treatments.
  3. Patients to realistically practice cognitive therapy in a clinical environment with the coach of a doctor.

(watch 7:10-8:05)

VR in Treatment of Panic Disorders and Irrational Fears

  • VR is being used to treat a large variety of panic disorders and phobias.
  • Doctors are able to create artificial triggers to help patients work through them
  • Doctors monitor vital signs to track improvement along with social emotional responses.


VR and AR for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • "Autism Spectrum disorder" is an umbrella term that describes a large ambiguous group of developmental disorders.
  • People's intelligence with an Autism spectrum disorder can be anywhere from severally below average, average, severally above average, servant and anywhere in between.
  • Common areas of struggle are speech/language, social, sensory and emotional.
  • Children with an ASD often have issues socializing and communicating their needs.

Ways VR and AR can help with the treatment of children with and ASD

  • Helps face anxites and build coping skills
  • Helps with therapy by giving the child something to focus on and provides something for them to talk through.


Works Cited

"Bravemind." ICT Medical Virtual Reality Group Bravemind Comments. USC ICT, n.d. Web. 09 Mar. 2016. <http://medvr.ict.usc.edu/projects/bravemind/>.

English, Al Jazeera. "The Cure - Treating Bipolar Disorder With Virtual Reality & The Good Doctor." YouTube. YouTube, 20 Aug. 2015. Web. 09 Mar. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_uINze1U2w&feature=youtu.be&t=7m10s>.

"Prototypes." Institute for Creative Technologies Bravemind Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy Comments. USC ICT, n.d. Web. 09 Mar. 2016. <http://ict.usc.edu/prototypes/pts/>.

Rizzo, Skip. "PTSD Therapy Session at VA Using Virtual Iraq." YouTube. YouTube, 30 May 2010. Web. 09 Mar. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4F4i6vEZ-H4>.

Senson, Alex. "Virtual Reality Therapy: Treating The Global Mental Health Crisis." TechCrunch. AOL Inc, 6 Jan. 2016. Web. 09 Mar. 2016. <http://techcrunch.com/2016/01/06/virtual-reality-therapy-treating-the-global-mental-health-crisis/>.

Smith, Melinda, M.A., Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., and Ted Hutman, Ph.D. "Autism Spectrum Disorders." : A Parent's Guide to Symptoms and Diagnosis on the Autism Spectrum. Helpguide.org, Feb. 2016. Web. 09 Mar. 2016. <http://www.helpguide.org/articles/autism/autism-spectrum-disorders.htm>.

University, Newcastle. "Children with Autism Overcome Real-life Fears in Virtual World - Newcastle University." YouTube. YouTube, 3 July 2015. Web. 09 Mar. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9U-rRC8jc28&feature=youtu.be&t=1m7s>.

Wiederhold, Brenda. "Virtual Reality Therapy for Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, and Specific Phobias." YouTube. YouTube, 6 Apr. 2013. Web. 09 Mar. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcM_g4g358Q&feature=youtu.be&t=2m21s>.

By Andrew R Emery

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