THERAPY AND REHABILITATION
In combination with cognitive behavioural therapy, exposure therapy is one of the more common and successful ways to treat serious phobias and anxiety disorders. It works by building up a tolerance, so to speak, for the thing that scares you. So if you were an arachnophobe, exposure therapy might begin with looking at spiders in pictures, then movies, then in captivity, and on and on until eventually you aren’t cripplingly scared of spiders anymore.
VR can contribute to this process with simulated exposure, giving therapists the ability to recreate problem scenarios and dynamically adapt them to the patient’s needs. So far the technology has been successfully integrated into a multitude of treatment programs for disorders, including arachnophobia, fear of flying, anxiety, all the way through to major depression and battlefieldinduced PTSD. Several major companies already specialise in VR therapy and counselling, and we can expect many more to pop up as the tech becomes better understood and more widely available.