A new study conducted at the University of Melbourne shows that virtual reality might become helpful in overcoming phobias, informs Xinhua News.
Using HTC devices and Oculus Rift VR Vive the researchers discovered that virtual reality represents a cheaper and more efficient form of therapy.
A therapy session using a virtual reality device might help you to overcome the fear of speaking in public or the fear of heights.
The rudimentary virtual reality systems worth thousands of dollars were used for decades by doctors who were dealing with patients suffering from different phobias.
Recently, the University of Melbourne introduced these new devices, which are more advanced and cheaper and capable of curing a wider range of phobias.
One of the top technologists from the University of Melbourne, Greg Wadley revealed these systems are offering patients the opportunity of facing different situations. For example, when they are dealing with a patient who is afraid to speak in public, the device is ‘teleporting’ him or her in front of a massive crowd. After they face their biggest fears, the patients convince themselves that they have nothing to fear about and it’s all in their heads.
Another interesting characteristic of this new discovery is exposure therapy, which is a new technique specially created for people with spider phobias or other similar situations. The patients are confronting directly with the object or the situation in a controlled environment. The controlled environment gives them a sense of safety, which helps them overcome their fear.
The team from the University of Melbourne believes that mixing virtual reality therapy with individual therapy sessions is the next big step to healing severe disorders such as depression and psychosis.