PARSIPPANY — Virtual Reality, the use of 3D interactive computer-generated environments, has long been familiar to gamers to enhance their video gaming experience. However, in recent years, this technology has been successfully used to treat psychological disorders particularly fears and phobias. Morris Psychological Group, PA is pleased to announce that they are now adding Virtual Reality therapy to their list of services.
“Combining Virtual Reality with established therapeutic techniques provides a unique opportunity for patients to overcome their fears,” explains Francine Rosenberg, Psy.D. “We are very excited to be able to offer this state-of-the-art approach to treatment.” Dr. Rosenberg indicates that the approach can help with fears of storms, heights, needles, flying, spiders, driving, public speaking as well as problems such as social anxiety, agoraphobia, claustrophobia and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
During the treatment, the patient will be immersed in a 360-degree virtual environment which is controlled by the psychologist who can gradually increase the difficulty level based on the individual patient’s needs. In spite of being exposed to these feared situations, the patient will remain in the comfort of the therapist’s office, making this an ideal intervention for those who have struggled to overcome their fears.
In addition, Virtual Reality treatment also assists patients in learning relaxation and meditation, important skills in managing pain, stress and anxiety. Patients can choose to immerse themselves in peaceful scenes such as a beach or a meadow while they learn to meditate.
A recent meta-analysis published in the Journal of Anxiety Disorders, examined 30 controlled studies and confirmed that use of Virtual Reality Therapy is an effective intervention for the treatment of many anxiety disorders. (Carl, E. et al., 2019) For more information about this service, contact Francine Rosenberg, Psy.D. of Morris Psychological Group, PA (973) 257-9000 ext. 207.
Carl, E., Stein, A.T., Levihn-Cohn, A. Pogue, J.R., Rothbaum, B. Emmelkamp, P. Asmundson, G.J.G., Carlbring, P., and Powers, M.B. (2019). Virtual reality exposure therapy for anxiety and related disorders: A metal-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Journal of Anxiety Disorder, 61, 27-36. doi.org/10.1016/j.janxdis.2018.08.003