Quality rehab facilities constantly experiment with new ways to treat patients and help them overcome substance abuse. No two individuals are exactly alike, and what works for one may not be effective with the other. An adaptive and flexible approach is the best way to offer treatment, which is why we’ve introduced VR Immersion Therapy as one of our mental health treatment modules.
How Does VR Immersion Therapy Work?
Immersion therapy is a state of the art treatment which utilizes virtual reality. Patients will wear a headset which will place them in a digital world where they will interact with various forms of stimuli and be assigned tasks that they must complete. These activities are designed to assist in the treatment process, and has been found to be highly effective in a number of issues, such as with alcohol or drug abuse or the enhancement of social skills for those who have autism. Immersion therapy has also been successfully used to treat those suffering from PTSD.
How Immersion Therapy Benefits Patients
Immersion therapy is unique as it approaches treatment in a radical way. For example, it can be used to create environments which induce fear in a manner that would be extremely difficult or costly to replicate in the real world. These simulations can assist people in overcoming their phobias by confronting the situation head on, while learning new methods to respond. This particular approach is called exposure therapy.
VR Immersion Therapy For Mental Health Rehab
This innovative approach to mental health treatment is not without its challenges. It is extraordinarily intense and will require patients to confront painful memories. Furthermore, younger patients will be more open to this form of treatment than those who are older. While VR is typically associated with gaming, a growing number of people are seeing its usage in other areas.
It is now being used by individuals and groups as diverse as school counselors, therapists and the American Department of Veterans. A number of studies have been conducted to determine the success rate of immersion therapy, and while some have found a rejection rate as high as 25 percent, others have found it to be as low as 3 percent. A simulated environment appears to have a powerful effect on the mind. It is for this reason that they are being used to simulate various phobias which can be catered to specific patients. Some of the simulations can even be accessed by smartphones which are attached to VR viewers.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of this technology is its adaptability. Different patients can be exposed to simulations which are completely unique and as the virtual reality becomes more advanced and similar to the real world, it will affect all five senses, making it even more realistic and giving patients a much better shot after overcoming substance abuse for good.
Mental health therapists will also communicate with patients while they’re immersed, which will help guide them in their responses. After the session is complete their reactions can be analyzed. Although this technology is still in its infancy, it is already showing tremendous promise.