Virtual environment assisted CBT - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-27-2013, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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Virtual environment assisted CBT

Does anyone have any information about this? Particularly if you live in the UK? It sounds rather interesting:

Originally Posted by BBC
Out-of-body virtual scenarios 'help social anxiety'

People suffering from social anxiety could be helped to overcome their fears by viewing themselves taking part in virtual scenarios, research from the University of East Anglia suggests. New imaging technology allowed six participants to rehearse their behaviour in a range of social settings. They were able to practise small talk and maintain eye contact, for example. Researchers said it could be used with cognitive behavioural therapy.

UEA researchers created more than 100 different virtual scenarios, such as using public transport, buying a drink at a bar, socialising at a party, shopping, and talking to a stranger in an art gallery. They then asked six young men recovering from psychosis who also have debilitating social anxiety to take part in the video scenes. The participants were able to see their while experiencing social interaction.

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-29-2013, 07:13 AM
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Wow, that's really interesting.

I guess we're still learning a lot about how the brain works. The article mentioned not using a head-mounted display in this case, but experiments set up like that have shown that someone's sense of self can be projected onto somewhere else, using multiple cameras to fool the brain. I can see how this might work, because you'd know logically that you're safe in the therapy room, but your brain could be confused enough about whether the video was real, that you could get some of the benefits of exposure.

It also reminds me of the experimental treatment for people who hear voices, where they create virtual avatars for the voices. Apparently, confronting a visual representation of the voices, and asking them to leave them alone, actually helped.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-29-2013, 07:44 AM
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This could work

But it prkb won't be in our time

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