Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy in the Treatment of Anxiety and Related Disorders

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Ojomu, Paul
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Exposure-based techniques are some of the most commonly used methods of treating anxiety disorders (Kaczkurkin & Foa, 2015). In addition to imaginal (i.e., occurring in the client's imagination) and in vivo (i.e., experiencing in real life) exposure techniques, virtual realities have also been used to treat anxiety and related disorders with significant positive results (Maples-Keller et al., 2017; Zhang et al., 2020). Virtual reality (VR) technology uses VR headsets connected to computer devices to create a real sensory experience. With VR, users experience a three-dimensional virtual environment similar to a real-world experience (Maples-Keller et al., 2017). VR can be used to assess an individual's interaction in a social situation; it can also be used to evaluate cognitive performance in certain conditions. Furthermore, it can be used to assess and reduce symptoms such as auditory hallucinations, addictions, and phobia (Bell et al., 2020). As more clinicians become more interested in incorporating VR in their practice, there is a need to understand what VR technology entails, the challenges of implementing this therapeutic approach, and the types of disorders that can be treated with VR. Hence, this review aims to synthesize the existing literature on this topic in order to provide additional insights for clinicians interested in this field of intervention.
vret, virtual reality, anxiety disorder, treating anxiety with vr
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States, openAccess