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Healing phobias with Virtual Reality

By on November 16, 2014

Use virtual reality to cure phobias?

The idea is brilliant, astounding. The victim (of the phobia) is placed in a surround screen, surround sound virtual reality machine and slowly the source of the phobia, from speaking in public to spiders, is introduced under the watchful eye of the therapist. Slowly but surely this allows the sufferer to become accustomed to the source of the phobia in virtual safety.

Of course, it’s not new. We hypnotists have been doing it for years, creating virtual movie screens inside our client’s minds that can play anything from a small distant black and white movie, to the most intense three dimensional, Dolby surround sound experience.

Using these internal Virtual Reality machines we can slowly and carefully introduce the phobia stimulus to the hypnosis client. We can also begin to change aspects of the experience, by changing sub modalities. We can even add circus music, or other comic aspects to turn it from drama to comedy.

At least science is catching up.

Here’s a recent article from the UK’s Guardian newspaper discussing Virtual Reality phobia cures. a walk down any street and out of every 10 people you pass, one will probably be afflicted by social phobia at some point in their life. Phobias may vary drastically in terms of their prevalence and severity, but they are rather more common than we realise. The first is simply personal experience so people who have been bitten by a dog, for example, learn to associate dogs with fear and danger. Virtual reality can help people conquer their phobias | David Cox | Science

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