Virtual reality therapy is the use of computer-produced situations to make you believe and feel as though you are actually in a different place and situation. You may wear a helmet or 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. A counselor 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.
Virtual reality therapy has been successfully used to help people with:
Some virtual reality therapy programs help with depression, quitting smoking, decreasing pain, sleeping better, and substance use disorder .
Current as of: September 23, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Christine R. Maldonado PhD - Behavioral Health
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