VRx Lab News

Cranberry Counseling PC Opens the VRx Lab

Virtual Reality: The Forefront of Technological Advances with 3D Simulations to Treat Fears and Anxiety

Marshfield, MA – December 11, 2017 – Cranberry Counseling PC is now providing Virtual Reality immersion treatment sessions for elementary and high school ages, for specific fears and anxiety, with the aim of reducing and removing worries and fear reactions.  Companies such as Facebook, Google, Apple, and HTC have dedicated strategic resources toward what they anticipate will be a revolution of significant technological advances with virtual reality uses.  Our VRx Lab provides the newest application of virtual reality for the treatment of fears.  This is a kind of therapy that kids can use to make great progress mastering their fears, within just a few sessions.

Psious is one of the pioneering companies in the development of Virtual Reality for therapeutic purposes.  The Spanish company offers immersive 3D simulations designed to treat a variety of fears, anxiety, or other emotional disorders.  The environments are especially designed so that they can be adapted to clients that experience common problems such as school stress, and/or specific fears such as fear of flying, heights, public speaking, insects, and many others.  A multidisciplinary team of psychologists, 3D artists and engineers worked together to create this online platform for mental health practitioners, which makes the treatment readily accessible to their clients.

Virtual Reality is validated by over 20 years of psychological research, proven to improve traditional therapy in many ways.  However, before the development of the Psious platform, this technology was only available at Medical Centers and university research laboratories, like Stanford University, UCLA, and UCSF’s Gazzaley Lab.

“Virtual Reality offers exciting benefits for anxiety therapy with children and adolescents.  My clients are already familiar with VR from their video gaming.  Now, they can benefit from this technology to reduce worry and fear in specific, realistic 3D graphic environments, which allows them to experience their fear gradually, while developing calm.  VR immersion treatment is far superior to “imagining” that you are in a situation.  Clients look forward to and enjoy their session time, and can see their progress objectively with a written report about what they accomplished after each session.  I have seen an increase in referrals for fears and anxiety in my practice.  Now, thanks to Virtual Reality, specific fears are easier and faster to overcome”, said Terry Alan Hayes, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist.

Anxiety disorders, from relatively simple specific fears to complex general anxiety, affect approximately 20% of our population, and are one of the main causes of school absenteeism for children and teens.  These disorders affect the quality of life of clients and their families, and tend to worsen if not treated properly.

“My life was limited by my irrational fear of flying and I didn’t want to accept it.  People who suffer from a phobia develop avoidance behaviors to not face their fear, and that is why I did not fly in a plane for 20 years.  Virtual Reality allows you, in a controlled and gradual way, to get over your fear in a few sessions, and without being embarrassed or having a bad time during the treatment”, said Dani Roig, Psious co-founder and ex-phobic.

With the opening of our VRx Lab, Cranberry Counseling PC is eager to help more people with specific fears and worry.  Fear of bugs or dogs, fear of needles or an MRI, fear of darkness, fear of elevators, and fear of flying all have specific environments to create the fear, with variables the therapist can arrange with increasing difficulty.   Training in the relaxation response within that situation helps to reduce negative thoughts, and to create positive thoughts of confidence and calm, so that fears are easily managed or eliminated.  VRx sessions can also help a child or adolescent learn relaxation, mindfulness, or concentration.  There is even a new treatment for distraction from pain, an area of promise as an alternative to narcotics.

Virtual Reality immersion sessions are not yet approved for coverage by health insurers.  This is an advantage since VRx sessions do not require any referrals or prior approval.  No mental health diagnosis Is required, and no information about your child’s VRx treatment will be released, unless it is requested to help with another mental health provider.  This removes barriers that frequently prevent many people with anxiety and phobias from even getting treatment.  Fears are reduced from the first session, and usually 4 to 6 sessions are sufficient to manage a fear.  Children and teens like the VR experience, and are usually excited about coming to a session.  Parents can purchase and provide this cutting-edge therapy directly for their children, privately, in our specially designed VRx Lab, with acoustic tiles on the walls, and a surround speaker sound system (instead of headphones or earbuds).

To receive more information about the therapeutic experience of using Virtual Reality, you can contact me at: (781) 837-5344.  For any requests, an interview, or to try the product, please do not hesitate to contact me.

My email is Terry@VRxLab.net.

For more information on the Psious platform, visit www. Psious.com.

Psious in the press:

Wall Street Journal, http://www.wsj.com/articles/virtual-reality-as-a-thrapy-tool-1443260202, September 26, 2015

Telecruch, https://techcrunch.com/2016/01/06/virtual-reality-therapy-treating-the-global-mental-health-crisis/, January 5, 2017