THE GUARDIAN: Automated virtual reality therapy helps people overcome phobia of heights

Press/Media: Expert comment

Release date: 11/7/2018

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Dr Warren Mansell, a clinical psychologist at the University of Manchester who was not involved in the study, said he was not surprised the VR therapy proved effective, but said it was not yet clear whether it was “better” than conventional face-to-face therapy and real life exposure, or how it would be decided which approach an individual should receive.

 

But, Mansell added, VR is useful as it offers the potential for individuals to carefully control the situations they are exposed to, which can be difficult in the real world but, he says, is an important aspect of such therapy.

Mansell was also optimistic such technology could be useful beyond phobias. “Most people with bipolar disorder have an anxiety disorder, for example,” he said “Fear is at the root of psychosis, and if anything we need more novel solutions to help people with more idiosyncratic problems.”

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