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Virtual reality and psychotherapy.

Author information

1
Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain.

Abstract

Virtual Reality (VR) is a new technology consisting on a graphic environment in which the user, not only has the feeling of being physically present in a virtual world, but he/she can interact with it. The first VR workstations were designed for big companies in order to create environments that simulate certain situations to train professionals. However, at this moment a great expansion of this technology is taking place in several fields, including the area of health. Especially interesting for us is the use of VR as a therapeutic tool in the treatment of psychological disorders. Compared to the traditional treatments, VR has many advantages (e.g., it is a protected environment for the patient, he/she can re-experience many times the feared situation, etc.). There are already data on the effectiveness of this technology in the treatment of different psychological disorders; here anxiety disorders, eating disorders and sexual disorders are reviewed. Finally, this chapter ends with some words about the limitations of VR and future perspectives.

PMID:
15295145
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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