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Am J Psychother. 2012;66(2):151-63.

The psychodynamics of transference--a virtual reality model.

Author information

1
Massachusetts General Hospital & Harvard Medical School, Department of Psychiatry, Boston, MA 02114, USA. tristan.gorrindo@mgh.harvard.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Virtual reality is not only being utilized increasingly as an enhancement for diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric illness, but it also can be used to model theories, generate hypotheses, and provide a new context for teaching psychodynamic therapy. Here we describe the use of an online virtual world--Second Life--as a heuristic tool for understanding and teaching a key psychoanalytic concept, transference.

METHODS:

Using an extended vignette to illustrate the results of the modeling process, we explore teaching the vicissitudes of object relationships by means of analogs in virtual reality.

RESULTS:

Simple reframing operations demonstrate how traditional dynamic theories of psychiatric treatment can be brought to life in simulations using modern computer technology.

CONCLUSIONS:

Virtual worlds offer a helpful analogy in teaching complex psychoanalytic concepts, such as transference.

PMID:
22876527
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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