Virtual reality and psychotherapy

Cristina Botella, Soledad Quero, Rosa M. Baños, Conxa Perpiña, Azucena García Palacios, Giuseppe Riva

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


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.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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