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Therapists explore virtual reality to help patients

March 16, 2019 / David Nath

The technology behind V.R. can put you in the world of fantasy, space, or even the post-apocalypse if you want. But now a group of therapists is proving the imaginary spaces don't have to be gaming related - and the technology has more potential to heal than previously thought. Researchers at the University of Colorado, Boulder are now using immersive virtual reality technology to help those who suffer from anxiety, depression, and irrational fears, by placing the user into the situations that cause their moods, or fears, to flare up.Monica Ng is the Director of Counseling and Psychiatric Services at the University. She compares V.R. therapy to some forms of cognitive behavioral therapy. focusing on challenging and changing what she calls unhelpful thoughts and behaviors, and improving the development of coping strategies specifically geared toward solving problems in their lives. The difference is that V.R. therapy allows the patient to work on those problem-solving skills in a sa...