Virtual Reality: Digital Therapy for the Modern Client

Sponsored - TICC is pleased to begin offering Digital Therapeutics (DTx) in our practice. DTx applies treatments based on scientific evidence, personalization of client care, and innovative medical interventions to help decrease the symptomatology a client is experiencing.

Virtual reality therapy is the use of computer-produced situations and simulations to make you believe and feel as though you are actually in a different place and situation. You wear goggles that contain a small video screen through which you see computer-produced images. When you move your head, the images on the screen change as they would in real life. During virtual reality therapy, you can confront a feared object or situation or traumatic event while staying in a safe and comfortable place (i.e., the counseling office).

A counselor at TICC helps you talk about your feelings and thoughts throughout the experience, encourages you, and offers suggestions to help you deal with the situation or event. You will gradually be able to deal with the emotional and physical distress you feel and learn to handle your thoughts and feelings. With the use of the virtual reality equipment, your mental health provider will be able to track your progress overtime regarding your emotional and physical reactions to distress with the use of an advanced electrodermal activity sensor.

Overall, virtual reality therapy provides the opportunity for mental health professionals to not only reproduce real-life scenarios but also to adapt and control these environments to suit the individual needs of the client.

This technology allows mental health professionals to evaluate and identify their client’s fears, anxieties, and other mental health conditions. Virtual reality is a tool that effectively facilitates the application of psychological evaluation and intervention protocols.

Virtual reality therapy has been scientifically proven to help decrease symptomatology in individuals with:

  • Exaggerated fears (phobias). You can use virtual reality to confront a feared object or situation. For example, if you have a fear of heights, you can “virtually” walk across a bridge and look over the side, knowing all the time that you are still in a safe room.
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You can use virtual reality to relive a traumatic event. For example, you can confront reminders of the traumatic event and talk about the emotional distress you experienced at the time of the event. It can also be used to safely experience and prevent potential problems from events that can have long-term trauma.
  • Substance Use Disorder (SUD). You can use virtual reality to confront the triggers that distress you and prompt you to use harmful and addictive substances as a form of unhealthy coping. The virtual simulations will allow you to increase your distress tolerance through learning healthier coping strategies, which will also decrease your dependency on such unhealthy coping.

Starting soon, TICC will be offering virtual reality therapy for the following:

  • Depression disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • OCD
  • ADHD
  • Pain management
  • Phobias
  • Bullying
  • Eating disorders
  • Public Speaking
  • Autism
  • Trauma
  • Sleep disorders
  • Zoophobia