Virtual reality assisted cognitive behavioral therapy for the treatment of panic disorders with agoraphobia

F. Vincelli, H. Choi, E. Molinari, B. K. Wiederhold, S. Bouchard, G. Riva

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The chapter describes the characteristics of the Experiential-Cognitive Therapy (ECT) protocol for Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia. The goal of ECT is to decondition fear reactions, to modify misinterpretational cognition related to panic symptoms and to reduce anxiety symptoms. This is possible in an average of eight sessions of treatment plus an assessment phase and booster sessions, through the integration of Virtual Experience and traditional cognitive-behavioral techniques. We decided to employ the techniques included in the cognitive-behavioral approach because they showed high levels of efficacy. Through virtual environments we can gradually expose the patient to feared situation: virtual reality consent to re-create in our clinical office a real experiential world. The patient faces the feared stimuli in a context that is nearer to reality than imagination. For ECT we developed the Virtual Environments for Panic Disorders-VEPD-virtual reality system. VEPD is a 4-zone virtual environment developed using the Superscape VRT 5.6 toolkit. The four zones reproduce different potentially fearful situations - an elevator, a supermarket, a subway ride, and large square. In each zone the characteristics of the anxiety-related experience are defined by the therapist through a setup menu.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
Pages552-559
Number of pages8
Volume85
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Event10th Annual Medicine Meets Virtual Reality Conference, MMVR 2002 - Newport Beach, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 23 2002Jan 26 2002

Other

Other10th Annual Medicine Meets Virtual Reality Conference, MMVR 2002
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNewport Beach, CA
Period1/23/021/26/02

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Virtual reality assisted cognitive behavioral therapy for the treatment of panic disorders with agoraphobia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this