Virtual Reality Therapy Helps Patients With Depression

Virtual reality content seems to help depression patients, according to a small study done by researchers at University College London, who that found some of the self-directed negativity of people feel in depression can be mitigated through role-playing in virtual reality


(VR environment, patients were asked to counsel a distressed child)

"The aim was to teach patients to be more compassionate towards themselves and less self-critical, and we saw promising results," Chris Brewin, a researchers at University College London, said in a press release. "A month after the study, several patients described how their experience had changed their response to real-life situations in which they would previously have been self-critical."..

After putting on a virtual reality helmet, participants were asked first to act as an adult counseling a distressed child. The participants then were made to be the child and heard an adult deliver their own compassionate words to them. The eight-minute therapy session was repeated three times over a three-week period, with a follow-up a month later.

Nine of the patients reported reduced depressive symptoms a month after the three sessions, and four reported a "clinically significant" decline in their depression.

Fans sf writer Roger Zelazny may recall his description of the dream console in his 1966 novel The Dream Master. In the novel, a psychotherapist used a device to control the dreams of his patients and even enter them to help.

Charles Render sat before the ninety white buttons and the two red ones, not really looking at any of them. His right arm moved in its soundless sling, across the lap-surface of the console - pushing some of the buttons, skipping over others, moving on, retracing its path to press the next in the order of the Recall series.

Sensations throttled, emotions reduced to nothing, Representative Erikson knew the oblivion of the womb...

Render freed his arm and lifted off his crown of Medusa-hair leads and microminiature circuitry. He slid from behind his desk-couch and raised the hood.

"Neuroparticipation is based upon the fact that two nervous systems can share the same impulses, the same fantasies…"

"When the therapist is in-phase with a patient he is narco-electrically removed from most of his own bodily sensations."

Via UPI.

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