Virtual Reality Therapy
The University of Louisville Depression Center is the only treatment facility in this region to offer virtual reality therapy - a new and highly useful treatment for anxiety disorders and related problems. We are using computerized virtual reality environments to help people overcome problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), fears of flying, social phobia, public speaking anxiety, fears of heights, and other common anxiety disorders Virtual reality therapy is also being used for battling addictions.
The U of L Depression Center uses computer hardware and software developed and tested by “Virtually Better™.” These highly realistic simulations are used by clinicians who are experts in cognitive-behavior therapy to expose patients to fear-inducing situations in a safe environment and to coach them on overcoming fears, breaking patterns of avoidance, and building effective coping skills. An extensive research effort has shown that virtual reality therapy is an effective and engaging method of treating anxiety disorders. Eric Russ, Ph.D., directs the virtual reality exposure therapy program at the University of Louisville.